Monday, December 31, 2012

Weekly Update #85

Editor's Note

The last post of 2013! I know I said I would be splitting this into between AH and steampunk, but for once there is not enough steampunk info to warrant a separate Weekly Update. O well.

Next month begins our No Americans writing contest. We got several entries, but we still have room for a few more. Send your submissions to ahwupdate at gmail dot com. We are looking for reviews, essays and original fiction based on non-American AH. I also will announce the theme for February on Wednesday.

Welcome to our first readers to Netherlands Antilles. I hope you enjoy our trips into the multiverse.

And now the news...

Is Django Unchained alternate history?

That is a question I have been pondering when I read the Digital Spy article regarding Quentin Tarantino's trilogy of alternate history films. Django Unchained is the second film in the trilogy, the first being Inglorious Basterds, the tale of a group of Jewish American commados going on a rampage in Nazi Europe. A pretty good film and the end is certainly alternate history when the Basterds assassinate Adolf Hitler in a movie theater (don't complain about spoilers because the film has been out for 3 years now).

Now I haven't covered Django Unchained before because it never came under my radar as alternate history. Annalee Newitz at io9 says it is at least on the personal level of a free black taking revenge on his former master. Of course alternate histories do not require earth-changing divergences, yet IMHO you need more than just fictional event to make something alternate history. At the very least that would make Django Unchained a historical fiction.

Still the next installment in the trilogy, Killer Crow, will be more alternate history than the revenge fantasy of Django Unchained. Tarantino plans to base the third film on a group of black soliders mutinying against their oppressive white officers and going on a war path in their attempt to reach Switzerland. This could be really interesting to watch. Anyone who has read "The Good War" by Studs Terkel would have learned about how badly African American soldiers were treated in WWII. One veteran told Terkel about how they were kept at night in barbed wire enclosures and rarely allowed to leave while the white soldiers could come and go as they pleased. After hearing some of those tales, I am surprised Killer Crow isn't a documentary instead of a fictional story.

What is your opinion? Is Django Unchained an alternate history?

Crusader Kings II: The Republic Video & Developer Diary Released!

Paradox Interactive announced a new video developer diary and written developer diary for the Strategy RPG's latest expansion, The Republic, have been released. Listen to CKII Project Lead Henrik FĂ„hraeus give details on what's in store for rulers in the upcoming DLC, and then head over to the forums for additional details in the written portion which will be published weekly until launch.
Despite all the back-stabbing and uncovered assassination plots, it has been quite the year for Crusader Kings II, which has been recognized by gaming press and media worldwide with glowing reviews and several award nominations, including “Strategy Game of the Year” by PC Gamer, IGN, Gamespot and Destructoid and GameSpot’s “People’s Choice” award.

“The tremendous success of Crusader Kings II means a great deal to us, and not just as a personal achievement,” said Johan Andersson, Studio Manager for Paradox Development Studio. “Our vision was to create a challenging game experience that continues to reward gamers over time, combining unlimited freedom and huge replayability, a certain level of complexity and lots of passion for game development. I can't tell you how happy and proud we are to see Crusader Kings II embraced by so many people."

Crusader Kings II: The Republic expansion will release on January 14, via all major digital download portals for $9.99 USD.

Submissions Wanted

Those looking for opportunities to get published should check out the Calls for Anthologies page of World Weaver Press and Prime Books new digital implant Masque Books. Some bad news, Lightspeed Magazine is not accepting new submissions until March 15, 2013. Also if you are going to submit anything to The Alchemy Press, you need to use the standard manuscript format.

Writing, however, is not just about submission guidelines. It takes some skill and creativity. Check out 10 Elements of Reality Not Allowed in Fiction by John Wiswell at The Bathroom Monologues for a good list of everyday occurrences you will never see in a story. Also you might want to listen to what George R. R. Martin has to say about writing. The author of Song of Ice and Fire series and the editor of Wild Cards should definitely be a guide in your world of writing.

Good luck!

New Releases

Baen has released their ebook library on Amazon. Although not technically new releases, Amazon users now have access to a lot of older AH books from writers including Turtledove, Stirling and Flint. So enjoy those and these new releases:


Blood and Steam (Volume 3) by Jamie Sedgwick
It has been many years since Breeze Tinkerman vanished in her spring-powered plane over the northern Wastes while searching for the fabled lost city in the ice, but her daughter River is more than happy to carry on her legacy.

Doktor Glass by Thomas Brennan
In an age of Zeppelins and gyroplanes, atomics and horseless carriages, the Transatlantic Span is the industrial marvel of the nineteenth century. A monumental feat of engineering, the steel suspension bridge stretches across the Atlantic from Liverpool to the distant harbor of New York City, supported by no less than seven hundred towers. But in the shadows of its massive struts, on the docks of the River Mersey, lies a faceless corpse…


An Alternate History of the Netherlands by JL Avey
An Alternate History of the Netherlands explores the past four hundred years of a world where it was the Dutch, and not the English, who maintained dominance of the world's oceans. You can also read my review of his short story "The End". Hopefully we will even see a review of this book in the future.

In the Heart of Darkness by Eric Flint and David Drake
The Malwa Empire has conquered 6th century India and is forging the subcontinent's vast population into an invincible weapon of tyranny. Belisarius, the finest general of his age, must save the world.

Owl Dance by David Lee Summers
Owl Dance is a Weird Western steampunk novel. The year is 1876. Sheriff Ramon Morales of Socorro, New Mexico, meets a beguiling woman named Fatemeh Karimi, who is looking to make a new start after escaping the oppression of her homeland.

Links to the Multiverse


Beyond Boneshaker: The Extended Steampunk Universe by Jamie Gibbs at Tor Books Blog.

Have a Little More Christmas in Your Steampunk by Austin Sirkin at Steampunk R&D.

Here's What the DTLA Federal Courthouse Could've Looked Like by Adrian Glick Kudler at Curbed.

The song of Song: The shot that killed Song Jiaoren was not heard around the world. But it might have changed Chinese history at The Economist.

Steampunk Events for January 2013 by Ay-Leen at


Alternate history and the butterfly of doom by Alison Morton at Write a novel? I must be mad!

Ann Althouse’s great alternate history of Presidents if JFK lived at No Moss Here.

Best Steampunk Reads of 2012 by Mike Perschon at Steampunk Scholar.

My Favorite Bit: Anne Lyle talks about THE MERCHANT OF DREAMS at Mary Robinette Kowal's blog.

Ortho Steampunk: Wood May Become Bone Implant Material of The Future by Gene Ostrovsky at Med Gadget.

Review of Alfred & Emily by Doris Lessing at Tea and a Good Book.

Review of The Educated Ape and Other Wonders by Robert Rankin at Falcata Times.

Review of Gunpowder Empire by Harry Turtledove at Bookshelves of Doom.

Review of The Martian War by Kevin J. Anderson at My Bookish Ways.

Review of Pax Britannia: Time's Arrow by Jonathan Green at Falcata Times.

Review of Red Dragon Rising: Blood of War by Larry Bond and Jim DeFelice at Thinking about books.

Review of The Rise of Ransom City by Felix Gilman at Salon.

Review of Seven Wonders by Adam Christopher at Geek Syndicate.

Review of Sherlock Holmes Vs Dracula by Loren D Estleman at Falcata Times.

Review of Wake of the Bloody Angel by Alex Bledsoe at Thinking about books.

Speculative Fiction Top 10 of 2012 (The Coldest War by Ian Tregillis is #1) at Pat Fantasy Hotlist.

Top 5 best science fiction and fantasy books of 2012 (Empire State by Adam Christopher is #1) at SciFiNow.


New BioShock Infinite Gaming Footage Looks Glorious! by sarawestrop at Geek Syndicate.

Review of Dishonored at Ramblings of the Easily Distracted.


Cherie Priest at Times Free Press.

Lavie Tidhar at Lawrence M. Schoen's blog.


Review of Elementary: Season 1, Episode 10 at Thinking about books.

* * *

Matt Mitrovich is the founder and editor of Alternate History Weekly Update, a blogger on Amazing Stories and a volunteer editor for Alt Hist magazine. His fiction can be found at Echelon PressJake's Monthly and The Were-Traveler. 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. Doktor Glass by Thomas Brennan aroused my interest and is now on my list for 2013.

    A few days ago I could download a digital copy of Owl Dance by David Lee Summers for free over at
    It will take some time until I will read it because my next read will be The Great North Road by Peter F. Hamilton which means an reading adventure of 1100 pages!

    1. I'm glad we helped you get book edi. Have fun reading it.

  2. Thank you for mentioning my article! That was a very pleasant surprise to come across while reading this.

  3. Listen guys I appreciate comments like the ones above, but please do not use it as a way to spam links to your sites. You want to promote your stuff on The Update? Submit an article I can post and I will let you link to your stuff in the signature blurb and on the "Our Favorites" bar. Do it the right way or don't do it at all.


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