Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Standing On the Edge of the Abyss

Guest post by Thomas Diana.

What if Japan changes its strategy and tries to stop the war before it’s too late?

What if the 20 July plot succeeds?

What would the world look like during the Cold War or in the 2000s?

In June 1942, Japan suffers a major defeat during the battle of Midway losing four aircraft carriers. Most Japanese leaders will not admit it, but they lost the war that day. Few of them understand it and they will work to overthrown the Tojo military government, protect the Emperor and change the course of war in the Pacific.

From the Solomon Islands to the Mariana Trench, from Burma to China, the war will follow a different path, because Japan wants to win the peace. The only way is to push the US Navy to strike before she’s too strong to be beaten.

In Europe, the 20 July plot and Operation Valkyrie succeed in killing Hitler and his staff in the Wolfsschanze. The plotters will also convince most of the SS that the coup has been staged by Himmler, Goebbels and Goering. Once again, some politicians and military leaders will try to achieve peace in honor in the West so they can focus their forces in the East.

Unfortunately, after what happened in Asia only few month ago, Stalin wants a total victory against Germany and to avoid any conflict with the Man of Steel, the allied leaders will not change their mind either: unconditional surrender. This is the only way to not unleash the anger of Koba.

But even in this new Germany, some leaders can’t accept the humiliation of unconditional surrender.
The war will be long. The war will be bloody.

This is the story of the French alternate history book Au Bord de l’Abime, the first book in a trilogy.
It’s not a novel but a compilation of fake articles, book extracts and web pages (even a thread from a discussion forum) which details this alternate World War II and gives various points of view over 734 pages. Chapters alternate from political and technical stuff, to epic and bloody battles, or simple biography and OOB. You can expect new destinies for people like Isoroku Yamamoto, Kanji Ishiwara, Tomoyuki Yamashita, Claus Von Stauffenberg, Erwin Rommel and others. Even FDR will enjoy a different destiny.

The book also contains a hundred illustrations, maps, flags and insignias. The illustrations (portraits, battle scenes, vehicles) are made to looks like the real picture from this time.

On the technological side there is already two alternate vehicle design. The Japanese Navy has two anti-aircraft battleships and the German Luftwaffe has an additional variant of the Me-262 jet-fighter. But to know more about it you’ll have to read the book.

Au Bord de l’Abime is also an opportunity to show some details and historical figures from a different angle. The first volume ends with some hints on what will happen during the second and third volumes. You can also expect some Easter-eggs from other alternate history and science fiction books, plus some cryptozoology and nerd stuff.

The book is available on Kindle and there is also a collector's edition with some color illustrations and bonuses.

The bad news is the book is only available in French.

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Thomas Diana is a French self-taught writer and illustrator, who previously worked in the video game industry. Passionate about history and geopolitics, he found a cool way to understand and manipulate them thanks to alternate history. He also wrote a short alternate history called Platine, which is available on Kindle. You can follow his current project on Facebook and discover his illustrations on DeviantArt and Artstation. He’s also the founder of a French Alternate History forum.