Monday, January 20, 2014

Weekly Update #131

Editor's Note

I have returned. Those who follow me on Facebook probably already learned of the reason for my sudden leave of absence. For those who don't know, my wife and I lost our child. She was born as a stillborn on the 10th. We named her Geraldine Erin after our mothers.

As you can expect this has been a very difficult time for my wife and I. Not knowing how I would react to this tragedy and wanting to help my wife recover, I took time off of work and my writing responsibilities. I learned that everyone deals with grief differently and while I do not regret my decision, I believe it is time I return to my normal life. I imagine that if I had lost my daughter when she was much older, she would be ashamed of her father for giving up the things he loved. So I am now motivated more than ever to not let her down.

Thank you to everyone who has contacted me with their condolences. My wife and I feel blessed to have such support, even from people we have never met in person. I look forward to continuing my coverage of alternate history here at The Update.

For Gerry...

Author Neal Barrett, Jr., Dies

In other sad news, author Neal Barrett, Jr., died on January 12, 2014. Born in San Antonio, Texas, on November 3, 1929, he was the Toastmaster at the 1997 WorldCon in San Antonio, and SFWA’s 2010 Author Emeritus.

His first published story was “To Tell the Truth,” which appeared in Galaxy in 1960, and his first novel, Kelwin, came out ten years later. He wrote a lot of fiction under his own name, but also used several pseudonyms and house names. In addition to his speculative fiction, he also wrote mysteries, comics, media tie-in novels, and some Tom Swift and Hardy Boys novels. His most recent story may be “Bloaters,” which appeared in the 2013 anthology Impossible Monsters, while his most recent collection, Other Seasons: The Best of Neal Barrett, Jr., appeared in 2012 from Subterranean Press.

Barrett’s long and storied career resulted in surprisingly few award nominations. His only Hugo and Nebula nominations were for “Ginny Sweethips’ Flying Circus” (a novelette published in the February 1988 issue of Asimov’s). He earned a Theodore Sturgeon Award nomination the same year, for “Stairs” (Asimov’s, September 1988), and a World Fantasy Award nomination for his 2000 collection Perpetuity Blues and Other Stories.

Barrett wrote one alternate history short story according to Uchronia. Titled "The Leaves of Time", it was published in 1971 by Lancer. The story is set during an alien invasion, where a human soldier is thrown into an alternate North America that was settled by Vikings, but he is pursued by an alien. If you would like to learn more information about Barrett, you can check out the unofficial fan site about his works.

Conquest of Paradise Expansion Now Available for Europa Universalis IV
Last week, Paradox released Conquest of Paradise, the first expansion to Europa Universalis IV. Available for Windows, Mac, and Linux, Conquest of Paradise provides players of Paradox’s strategy game with an all-new set of challenges during the Age of Exploration, including a randomized American continent, trading with the natives, establishing colonies, and more. Players can also take control of newly formed colonial nations or play as one of several Native American nations, complete with unique buildings, events, and mechanics. See the trailer below:
You can also check out a let's play (or try in this case) of the expansion pack at Quill18's YouTube channel:
There is also a new patch for Europa Universalis IV and you can check out the notes here. If you have played Conquest of Paradise or Europa Universalis IV, we want to know. Leave a message about it in the comments or shoot us an email.

Video Gallery

Here are some more videos for the alternate historians out there. First up, what did Total War: Shogun 2 get right and wrong about Japanese history? Find out at History Respawned:
Next up, learn about Zoomin Games' favorite memories from the alternate history classic Red Alert 2:
Finally, can you name the eight films that were saved by historical inaccuracies? Cracked can:

Links to the Multiverse


25 Time Travelers NOT From Gallifrey by Marc Buxton at Den of Geek.
Bright Ideas: Alternate History by Matt Foss at Foss' Flicks.


9 Awesome Works of Supernatural Alternate History by Nicole Hill at Barnes & Noble.
Bring on the Night published – a New Short Story and Sequel to Chivalry at Mark Lord's Writing Blog.
Five Things I Learned Writing Hive Monkey by Gareth L. Powell at Terrible Minds.
Literary cousins – comparing alternate histories and invasion narratives at Island Mentalities.
Re-reading Philip José Farmer by Robert Silverberg at SF Gateway.
What’s Coming up in Alt Hist Issue 6 by Mark Lord at Alt Hist.
What to do During Sherlock’s Hiatus by Jess Dimond at Apex Publications.

Counterfactual/Traditional History

Another Pacific War Timeline: A Different Leyte Gulf by Matthew Quinn at The World According to Quinn.
Counterfactual Croydon: #OccupyCroydon by Tom Black at The Croydon Citizen.
Japan WWII soldier who hid in jungle until 1974 dies by Hiroshi Hiyama at Yahoo.


1984: the romantic film. Love the idea? by Alison Flood at The Guardian.
Always a Time Traveler’s Girlfriend, Never a Time Traveler: Rachel McAdams and Science Fiction’s Weirdest Typecasting by Ryan Britt at


Emma Jane Holloway at My Bookish Ways.
Lavie Tidhar at The Skiffy and Fanty Show.
Ian Tregillis at S&L Podcast.


Archduke Franz Ferdinand Lives! by Richard Ned Lebow at Blogcritics.
CSA: The Confederate States of America at Loving The Stories.
Dominion by CJ Sansom at Birmingham Post.
Elementary 2.13 at Thinking about books.
The Hartlepool Monkey at Geek Syndicate.
Nothing Lasts Forever at Hit & Rung Blog.
Revolution 2.11 at Paul Levinson's Infinite Regress.


WGN Unveils their Historical Fantasy Series Salem by Roth Cornet at IGN.

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Matt Mitrovich is the founder and editor of Alternate History Weekly Update and a blogger on Amazing Stories. His new short story "Road Trip" can be found in Forbidden Future: A Time Travel Anthology. When not writing he works as an attorney, enjoys life with his beautiful wife Alana and prepares for the inevitable zombie apocalypse. You can follow him on Facebook or Twitter.


  1. Thank you Mitro, for sharing my recent blog post. I had a lot of fun writing it and am absolutely fascinated with the ideas behind Alternate History. I'll have to give credit to Dan Carlin's excellent Hardcore History podcast as inspiration for the post.

    Great video posting from Cracked, pretty crazy how messed up some of the stories would be. The one story that would lend itself very well to a movie would be the events that lead up to World War 1. After Archduke Franz Ferdinand's failed assassination attempt, later that same day one of the would be assassins walked out of a sandwich shop to see none other than the duke himself sitting in a stalled vehicle. You honestly couldn't ask for a better way to start a film.

    Great site, I'll be sure to keep coming back for more!

    1. You are welcome. I am also happy to see that you have a new AH blog according to Twitter. I look forward to reading your posts. Speaking of Franz, I am posting a review later today over at Amazing Stories regarding a book featuring worlds where the Archduke survives Sarajevo. You should check it out, I think you would like it.

    2. Thanks for the suggestion, I'll give it a look!

  2. So sorry to hear about your loss. She will live in the good work that you and your wife do.