Friday, July 8, 2011


Editor's Note

Not sure when my next post will happen, some family issues will keep me away from AHWU for some time. I hope, however, to bring you an interview with a Sidewise Awards judge. So keep a look out for that.

Is S. M. Stirling vandalizing/trolling Wikipedia?

An editor by the name of "Joatsimeon" has been making some controversial edits to the Wikipedia article of Amina Abdallah Arraf al Omar, who if you remember from AHWU #1 is the alternate history fan persona of Tom MacMaster.

Now for those who do not know, Joatsimeon is the handle often used by author S. M. Stirling, whose alternate history works include the Nantucket series, which gave us the "ISOT" plot device. There is proof to back up this claim. Stirling used the same name at and still uses the name on his Yahoo group.

So is this Wikipedia user Stirling? His earliest edits were made to the S. M. Stirling article, including the deletion of a sentence on the Joatsimeon handle. If this is Stirling, however, then how does a published, best-selling author who has handled his share of criticism explain this juvenile post on his talk page:

Whatever, "dude". If you feel pursuing Minal's vendetta (unless it is your own) on to wikipedia is significant, goo ahead but be aware that the info you supplied was removed earlier. Good Day to you and your hissy fit at being shown wrong! Joatsimeon

If that is Stirling, than I am severely disappointed that he would react like this to a meaningless dispute on Wikipedia. If it is not Stirling, than he better do something about this impostor before he hurts his reputation any further.

Review of the Podcast

So as promised here is my review of the first episode of the Podcast (the second and third podcast have been released today as well).

Compared to What If History, the podcast has a lot less dead air and has a large number of participants from a variety of backgrounds. That being said, the podcast has a lot of issues that makes it unlikely to be released to a wider audience.

For one thing, the recording was of poor quality. Maybe it was Skype itself, but there was a lot of random noise that made the podcast difficult to listen to at times. Meanwhile, the podcast would have improved greatly with just a little editing. Probably a half hour could have been cut out and the podcast would have benefited greatly for that.

More importantly, the podcast is very The participants use their user names and at one point someone stated that it was unlikely anyone outside the forum would ever listen to this (Oops!).

In summary, if you are an active member of the community, you will probably enjoy this podcast, especially if you ever wondered what some users sounded like in real life. If you are not a member of, however, stick with What If History until the Podcast is ever released to a wider audience.

Links to the Multiverse

Hitler's Britain - a documentary on what a German invasion and occupation of Britain in World War II would be like.

Gaming's Alternate US History - GamePro releases a list of alternate American history video games. Warning, not all of them are actually alternate history.


  1. Too bad, it would have been cool to know Stirling was reading this blog.

    Listen fake Stirling (if that is your real name), maybe you should get a different handle on Wikipedia. Now I do not want to tell you what to do, but if you are a fan of Stirling, you must realize how it can be a problem to be using a handle he is known everywhere to be using. Even if you do not mean to, your actions and statements may indirectly affect Stirling’s reputation.

  2. Nice idea about the viewership map! Mind if I borrow the idea?

  3. Go ahead, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.


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