Monday, September 15, 2014

Weekly Update #160

Editor's Note

Excuse me while I get through some shameless self-promotion. Alternate History Weekly Update has once again been entered in the Underground Book Reviews' Independent Literary Industry Awards Contest. You can click the link to see the rules, but to vote for us you need to like us on UBR's Facebook page when our post appears.

As you know The Update has always tried hard to provide content from indie authors and we are proud to be recognized for this effort. I will keep you guys posted on when voting will begin.

And now the news...

Will an Independent Scotland Balkanize Europe?

I have covered US state secession proposals before, but this is the first time I have covered a European nation potentially losing some of its territory by secession. I am talking about Scotland, whose citizens will be going to the polls this week to decide whether or not they will remain a part of the United Kingdom. Polls currently give "No" a slight lead, but the number of undecided voters mean this vote is too close to call.

But what does an independent Scotland mean for the rest of Europe? Robert Kuttner wrote an interesting article for the Huffington Post suggesting that part of the blame for the situation rest with the European Union because it made it economically feasible to split up minority regions from larger nation-states as independent countries. The European Union has stated Scotland would no longer be a part of the EU if they secede, a stance no doubt meant to appease larger members who have active secessionist movements (see the map to your right).

I don't think the European Union, however, is thinking in the long-term. The EU risks looking like Swiss cheese if Scotland declares independence and more minority regions follow (Spain has several of them). On the other hand, supporters of a more federated Europe should probably encourage smaller states since they will be more likely to delegate more authority to the central government. Perhaps there is more at stake than we realize and with Russia stretching its muscles, Europe should be doing everything to stick together as a whole and stop worrying about its separate parts.

And what about the rest of the world? Are other regions around the globe, like Texas, more likely to secede if Scotland votes for independence? Should we be concerned that North Korea backs an independent Scotland? Let us hear your opinions in the comments.

What are people saying about Outlander Episodes 5 and 6?

Speaking of Scotland, lets talk about the last two Outlander episodes. For episode 5, Sharlene Mousfar of Geek Syndicate gave the episode a 4 out of 5 and said the "chemistry between Jamie and Claire has kicked up a notch as have the stakes." Katharine Trendacosta of io9 commented on how Claire's future knowledge is beginning to be a problem, especially when she tries to change history. For those who haven't read the books, and from what I heard the show follows them pretty closely, I just wanted to let you know Uchronia does not list them as alternate history. Shame really.

Now on to episode 6 (see a quick preview here). Once again Sharlene Mousfar of Geek Syndicate continues to rate the show highly, giving it a 5 out of 5. She commented on the graphic violence of this episode, but generally thought it was a good episode. Author Paul Levinson titled his review "Outstanding", which some up his review quite nicely.

Seriously I need to watch this show!

Videos for Alternate Historians

We begin this segment by asking: did you attend the 2014 Historical Novel Society Conference in London this year? Well in case you didn't you can check out highlights from the conference below:
Friend of The Update Alison Morton, author of Successio, has also written about her experiences at the convention (part 1, part 2 and photos). Now we end this segment with a look at Cody Franklin's new video, what if 9/11 never happened?
Don't forget to share your video recommendations with us at ahwupdate at gmail dot com.

Links to the Multiverse

Books

Alan Moore Completes 1 Million+ Word Historical Fantasy Novel, Jerusalem by John ONeill at Black Gate.
Author FAQ: On writing and on getting an agent by Michael J. Martinez.
Creative Alchemy Author Offers Free Fantasy Novel Inspired by Real WWII Heroines at PR.com
Designing the Dress for Of Noble Family’s Cover Image by Mary Robinette Kowal at Tor.
A different, dangerous land: Three alternate depictions of Britain by Vikas Datta at Economic Times.
Dragon Con 2014: Harry Turtledove Q and A, and The Big Things Panel by Doug Dandridge at Imagination Unlimited.
Steam Era Transportation – Railways in Stories by Ray Dean at Steamed!
The Steampunkery of H.G. Wells by R. Graeme Cameron at Amazing Stories.
What If Anne Boleyn Had a Son? by AlexandriaIngham at Wizzley.

Comics

A beginner's guide to DC Comics's multiverse by Alex Abad-Santos at Vox.
Cool Stuff: The Star Wars Deluxe Edition Hardcover Collection by Peter Sciretta at Slash Film.
Latest L. Neil Smith Report by Baloo at Ex-Army.

Counterfactuals, History and News

Alternative History - NATO Never Expands at Nuclear Diner.
​For Centuries, This Mystical Jewish Sect Lived Hidden In Plain Sight by Mark Strauss at io9.
The Islamic Roots Of Science Fiction by Charlie Jane Anders at io9.
Japan: Hirohito warned attack on Pearl Harbor would be 'self-destructive' by Justin McCurry at The Guardian.
This Is What Would Happen If The Yellowstone Supervolcano Erupted by Ajai Raj at Yahoo.
Three Things To Keep In Mind About The Big Jack The Ripper 'Reveal' by Robbie Gonzalez at io9.
Why Estonia Might Be Next on Putin’s “Wanted” List by Rob Garver at Yahoo.

Film and Television

See Footage From Unmade ‘Who Framed Roger Rabbit’ Movie Starring Paul Reubens by Peter Sciretta at Slash Film.
Short Film: Interview With a Time Traveler at SF Signal.
TV REVIEW: Doctor Who, S8, E3: Robot of Sherwood at Geek Syndicate.

Interviews

David Barnett at My Bookish Ways.
Paul di Filippo at Amazing Stories.

Podcasts

Episode 27 - Alternate Histories at Try It, You'll Like It.
Reductio Ad Hitlerum by Mike Pesca at Slate.
S&L Podcast - #188 - It's a Dragon Con Plex with Naomi Novik.

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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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