Friday, February 21, 2014

A Practical Guide to Lurking on AlternateHistory.com

At this year's Capricon I had a short talk with Kier Salmon about "lurking". I know it sounds sinister, but it is actually an innocent term for being a member of an online community without actively participating. Hell they even have a Wikipedia article about it.

Anywho, the conversation gravitated to AlternateHistory.com (AH.com) where I do most of my lurking. What with my own alternate history website, my career and wife, I don't have loads of time to participate as an active contributor to the mammoth forum. Thinking about it some more, I wondered whether someone who is new to the forum and not ready to participate as well would even know where to start looking for threads to follow. So without further ado, here are some good threads for the beginning lurker:

Map Thread XI: This is the main thread for new maps from the creators on AH.com. Every day there are new maps to check out, both stand alone or else linked to the timelines they are a part of. Currently it is 491 pages long and probably ready to become Map Thread XII.

Alternate Wikipedia Infoboxes: There are a lot of ways to tell a story. Have you ever tried to do it with a Wikipedia Infobox? I like this thread for the unique way the forum members describe an alternate timeline without large blocks of text.

ASB settings: My favorite map maker on AH.com is Bruce Munro, but did you know he has a long running thread of short scenarios? Bruce uses cynical humor and pop culture references (with a healthy dose of Lovecraftian horror) to fill in the gaps of well-known franchises. Plus he has maps!

Rememberences of Map Contests Past: Did I mention I like maps? AH.com has regular map contests, but linking all the individual threads would just be silly. Luckily, they are all archived in this thread. Enjoy!

Stand-alone timelines: There are a lot of timelines on AH.com. Many good, many bad, a few great. Check out our past showcases to get some recommendations, but I would also like to give shout outs to Damsels and Dirigibles, The Rise of the Tri-State World Order and The Rise and Fall of the Amerikaner Republics.

The Official Weird Dream Thread: This thread was suggest to me by Jon Davis on Alternate History Online. Not exactly my cup of tea, but this thread about people describing their weird dreams is already 110 pages long. Might be fun to check out at least once...

Are there any other threads I should have listed? Leave a comment below.

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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.

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