Thursday, May 8, 2014

Timeline Thursday: Great White South

A while back I was an active contributor on the Alternate History Wiki. Some of you might remember my work on the collaborative timeline, "1983: Doomsday", but there was another timeline I also contributed a lot of my time and energy. It was called "Great White South". Check out the map below to get an idea about what this timeline was about:
As you can probably guess, "Great White South" features a warmer Antarctica that can support human colonization. Originally created by user NuclearVacuum (aka Devon Moore), the point of divergence happens in the far past where Antarctica becomes mysteriously warmer without raising the world's sea levels. Alien space bats are certainly in play as this warming event is never explained.

Humans eventually discover the cold continent and the written history of the timeline begins. First members of the Fuegian culture expand across the continent, later followed by Europeans. Colonization by Europeans are minor affairs due to the distance and harsh terrain. Russians tend to dominate these early efforts, but colonization picks up in the late 19th century with the British, Germans, Danish and Chileans all carve out their own enclave. Following World War I, the political map of Antarctica changes drastically after the Russian empire collapses into new independent colonial and native states, with the Americans even grabbing a piece. Antarctica continues to be involved in global affairs although decolonization does not happen until the late 20th century.

"Great White South" tends to parallel our timeline's history, unlike the horrifying "Green Antarctica", but it was still a neat collaborative timeline to work on. It lacked the scope of "1983: Doomsday", but still allowed for some world building as different cultures who usually wouldn't live near each other interact. Sadly it doesn't look like much has been added to this timeline since 2011, but perhaps one day a new contributor will pick up where we last left off.

As always, if there are any timelines you would like for me to check out or ones you would like to recommend to our readers, please contact me at ahwupdate at gmail dot com.

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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.

1 comment:

  1. It sounds like a brilliant idea. I have always had a certain fascination with Antarctica, perhaps because of my father's hero-worship of Ernest Shackleton. There are certainly some science tricks that could be used to explain the warmer continent.

    I imagine someone has written stories where the Earth's magnetic poles have shifted to move the southern-most continent into a more temperate zone. Of course, that would likely spell doom for another region of the world (Russia, or Canada) where the new North pole would end up in such a circumstance. It could be a fun world to explore.