Monday, April 21, 2014

Weekly Update #143

Editor's Note

I am taking some time off of work this week. That means I am also taking some time off the blog. So no new posts Thursday and Friday this week. I will return next week to our regularly scheduled program.

Fair warning: prepare to see the word "altered" a lot in today's Weekly Update.

And now the news...

Altered America Sales Result in Altered Europa Announcement

Altered America first came to my attention last year and I was fortunate enough to get a better introduction to Altered America by one of its authors, Bruno Lombardi. All evidence shows that the anthology has been well-received by the alternate history community. It was announced last Tuesday by Martin Ingham of Martinus Publishing that sales of the alternate history anthology Altered America have been extremely well. Because of this fact, on Saturday, Martin announced calls for submission for a new alternate history anthology: Altered Europa.

According to the submission guidelines on Martinus' website: "Altered Europa will feature stories of alternate history where something changed in European history as we know it. Let your imagination run wild, and imagine how things might have turned out differently. Any point in history is fair game, from Ancient Greece to near modern times, and perhaps even some tales slightly into the future, so long as the alternate history is exposed. Show us what happened at the event, what happened shortly thereafter, or reveal how things are impacted much later on. Give us something to think about, something that will thrill and entertain us, and reveal a Europe that might have been!"

An official deadline has not been announced yet, but expect to hear about that in the near future (I will make sure to add it to our calendar). For more details you will need to check out their submission guidelines. I am thinking of submitting my own story to the anthology, but more on that later.

Reviews of Altered Pasts by Richard J Evans

Historian Richard J. Evans made some waves in the alternate history community with his article in The Guardian entitled 'What if' is a waste of time. I still recommend reading this controversial article because he does make some good points and you can also check out my response to the article on Amazing Stories.

For those who don't know, Evans has an even more in-depth argument against counterfactuals in his recent book Altered Pasts: Counterfactuals in History. I have been seeing more reviews on this criticism of counterfactual history.

Owen Hatherley at The Guardian gave Altered Pasts a good review saying "Altered Pasts sharply reasserts the need for history to explain what did happen, and why" but did say the "underlying sternness can be stifling." John Gallagher of The Telegraph was a bit more critical of Altered Pasts calling it a "a bullishly enjoyable primer in the history of what might have been" but felt it is unlikely to convince many due to Evans' "unreasonably narrow definition of 'counterfactual history'".

I will keep an eye out for more reviews and who knows, maybe we will even see a debate between Evans' and a proponent of counterfactuals in the near future. My recent interview subject, Frank Harvey, told me he has been corresponding with Evans...

Brass Sun: a new US-format miniseries from the Eisner-Nominated anthology 2000 AD

Fans of clockpunk should check out Brass Sun, a new comic set in a clockwork Solar System. 2000 AD is bringing Ian Edginton and INJ Culbard’s series to North America with a six-issue US-format miniseries in May.

The series take place in "The Orrery", a clockwork solar system where planets whirl on vast metal arms and the sun of cogs is worshiped as a god. But the sun is dying, the planets are freezing one by one, and cults burn as heretics those who warn of the danger. The main character, Wren, sets off on an adventure to restart the sun. The mini-series will culminate in the collected trade paperback, which is being released to comic and book stores simultaneously in the UK and North American in December.

In all honesty this sounds like the comic version of Jay Lake's Mainspring series, which I never continued with after reading the first book. Despite have two nominations for the Sidewise Award, I thought it was a tad weird even for me. So I probably won't be picking this up, but if anyone else finds this interesting, let me know and I may post your review.

Video Gallery

This week in videos we have the opening battle clip from the time travel (and possibly alternate history) film X-Men: Days of Future Past:
O yeah did I mention it has superheroes? We end with the release trailer for Paradox's War of the Vikings:
Send your video recommendations or any questions/comments to ahwupdate at gmail dot com.

Links to the Multiverse


5 Science Fiction and Fantasy Reads for Lovers of Classic Literature by John DeNardo at SF Signal.
1636: Commander Cantrell in the West Indies – Snippet 19 by Eric Flint.
[Excerpt] THE BURIED LIFE by Carrie Patel (+ Exclusive Preview of John Coulthart’s CITIES & THRONES Cover Art) at SF Signal.
Keith Brooke Says The Most Political Story is a Good One at SF Signal.
PERFIDITAS is on tour! by Alison Morton.
Review: The Land Across by Gene Wolfe at Thinking about books.
Review: Once Upon a Time in Hell by Guy Adams at Falcata Times.
Review: Wolfhound Century by Peter Higgins at The Book Plank.
The School of Hard Knocks (Schooled In Magic V)–Snippet by Chris Nuttall at The Chrishanger.
Signed Paperback Historical Fantasy Werelord Thal Now on Etsy at Digital Journal.


Review: Katusha at Til the Last Hemlock Dies.

Counterfactual and Traditional History (plus news)

5 'Game of Thrones' Plotlines Ripped Right Out of History by Adam Ganser at Cracked.
5 Insane Supervillain Schemes by Real Governments by Alex Hanton and Evan V. Symon at Cracked.
5 Scenes From History That Everyone Pictures Incorrectly by J. Wisniewski at Cracked.
7 Alternate Histories of Rome by Jordan Harbour at Twilight Histories.
All the Planets are But Rays: Victorian-era Magical Societies, Telepathy, and Interplanetary Space Travel by Felix Gilman at Tor.
Anti-Dieselpunk prejudice by Travis James Leland at Dieselpunks.
Did the Byzantine Empire Have a Byzantine Tax Code? by Brian Palmer at Slate.
The forgotten man who almost became president after Lincoln by Scott Bomboy at Yahoo! News.
Preparing for Travel to 1900s Europe by Evangeline Holland at Edwardian Promenade.
Vintage Public Health Posters Show Just How Creepy The 20th Century Was by Vincze Mikl√≥s at io9.

Film and Television

All The Ways You Can Screw Up Your Own Timeline by Madeleine Monson-Rosen at io9.
BioShock movie could be back in development by Chris Pereira Gamespot.
Da Vinci's Demons 2.5: Corn at Paul Levinson's Infinite Regress.
X-Men: Days of Future Past Viral Explains Alternate History by Joe Dussander at SciFiNow.


Pre-order Wolfenstein: The New Order, earn Team Fortress 2 hats by Earnest Cavalli at Joystiq.


Tim Lebbon at SF Signal.
Daniel Levine at My Bookish Ways.
Christopher Priest at Screen Invasion.


Dissecting Worlds Series 8, Episode 4: God Emperors at Geek Syndicate.
What Podcasts Do I Love? (And Some Bumbersnoot Poetry) by Gail Carriger.

Short Fiction

Table of Contents: CLOCKWORK UNIVERSE: STEAMPUNK VS. ALIENS Edited by Patricia Bray and Joshua Palmatier at SF Signal.

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Matt Mitrovich is the founder and editor of Alternate History Weekly Update and a blogger on Amazing Stories. Check out his short fiction. 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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