Monday, September 29, 2014

Weekly Update #162

Editor's Note

My paper on the history of the alternate history fandom is progressing nicely. I finished Evans' Altered Pasts, which I will be reviewing on Amazing Stories tomorrow, and I am wrapping up an interview with Ian Montgomerie. That's right, I will be posting an interview with Ian the Admin, founder of, in the near future so stay tuned.

Also please check Daniel Bensen's podcast on alternate history. Yours truly was the guest and I had a great time speculating with Dan on wide range of topics.

And now the news...

What's Next for Scotland and America's Secessionists?

So Scotland's bid for independent failed, but the debate is far from over. There is the big question on what the British government is going to offer Scotland now that they stayed in the UK, which is being called the "devo-max" option, and how this will effect the rest of the country (consider what happens when England begins demanding their very own regional parliament). As British politicians prepare for future headaches, across the pond, American secessionists have not lost hope that the referendum could kickstart their own bids for independence.

A few days ago I started an informal poll in Alternate History Online asking members which American state or region they thought was the best candidate for independence. As I write this on Sunday night, Texas is in the lead with Hawaii in second and tied for third we have California and New England. Texas being the favorite isn't that far fetched as Annie Lowrey of Slate backs that up in her article on secession. That being said, perhaps we shouldn't be looking at the big states to bring down the Union, but instead focus on smaller states like New Hampshire according to Jason Sorens, founder of Free State Project, said in The Washington Post.

Truth be told, secession in the United States remains far-fetched. I will continue to keep an eye on the subject, however, because I know how much alternate historians like to balkanize the USA.

Outlander Wraps Up the First Half of Season 1

I am trying not to learn too much about Outlander, because I really want to watch the show and don't want anything spoiled. So here is what I will say: the mid-season finale of Outlander premiered last Saturday (catch a sneak peak here) and the show will return next April. Geek Syndicate and io9 had reviews for episode 7, while Paul Levinson and Geek Syndicate again had reviews for episode 8.

Phew! Really quick recap done and no spoilers.

Videos for Alternate Historians

This week in videos we begin with the First Doctor lecturing us about why we can't rewrite history:
Sorry wasn't paying attention. We follow that up with a history of the Metroid franchise done by the guys at The Game Theorists:
We end with Cinema Sins tearing about Captain America: The Winter Soldier:
Yeah not exactly alternate history, but with Cap having his own wing in the Smithsonian, I thought this may slide in just under the wire.

Links to the Multiverse

Books and Short Fiction

The book I read suddenly had an alternate history by Ghost in the Machine at io9.
Excerpt from Clockwork Secrets: Heavy Fire by Dru Pagliassotti - September 27, 2014 at The Qwillery.
Hilary Mantel hits back at critics of her Thatcher assassination short story by Matthew Weaver at The Guardian.
Mysterious Galaxy reading! Venusian Gambit pre-orders! Plus wikipedia! at Michael J. Martinez.
Review: The Boleyn Deceit by Laura Andersen at Writedge.
Review: The Clockwork Dagger by Beth Cato at NPR.
Review: The Golden Princess by S.M. Stirling at Bookworm Blues.
Review: Jani and the Greater Game by Eric Brown at Falcata Times.
Science Fiction Excerpt: Caveat Time Traveler at Scientific America.
Steampunk Fiction and the Women Who Write It by Rachel Cordasco at Book Riot.


REVIEW: Red Baron Vol. 1 at Geek Syndicate.

Counterfactuals, History and News

The 9 biggest alien invasion hoaxes in history by Evan Hoovler at Blastr.
Cowboys and Kalashnikovs: Comparing the Mexican-American War to the Conflict in Ukraine by Zach Dorfman at National Interest.
Denver area students walk out of school in protest by Colleen Slevin at Yahoo.
Life in the multiverse means endless possibilities at New Scientist.
Steampunk & Disability: Why I Find It’s A Better Fit Than Other Fandoms by M. Sally-Rouge Pax at Steampunk Tourist.
Trench Warfare in World War I Was a Smarter Strategy Than You Realize by George Dvorsky at io9.

Films and Television

8 Things That Prove Star Wars Actually Takes Place In Our Galaxy by Rob Bricken at io9.
The Black Widow Movie That Almost Happened by Gwynne Watkins at Yahoo.
Disney Movies In Order Of Their Historical Setting by Gergo Vas at Kotaku.
REVIEW: Doctor Who, S8, E5: Time Heist and E6: The Caretaker at Geek Syndicate.
Time-Travel Movies Are Garbage by Mike Pearl at Vice.


11 things to think about before starting a time travel plot by David Ball at Ongoing Worlds.
There's A New Total War Game Coming, But Hrm by Luke Plunkett at Kotaku.


Stefan Bachmann at Tor.
Alan Gratz at Tor.
Cherie Priest at Tor.


Almost Educational - EP 12: Alternate History Lesson at Podcast Garden.
The SF Signal Podcast (Episode 259): A Discussion of Social Science Fiction at SF Signal.
Show 14 – Four Weeks in the Trenches at Twilight Histories.

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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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