Thursday, October 23, 2014

Sideways In Time Paper Update 10/23/14

My still untitled paper for the Sideways in Time Conference on the alternate history fandom (perhaps I should stop using "fandom" or "fan" to describe alternate historians, I know Ian Montgomerie doesn't like to use it) is progressing smoothly. I am averaging an interview a week (I hope you enjoyed my last one with Paula Goodlett) and I got plenty more lined up. Here is a list of what I have been up to:
  • Plan to post an interview with Sidewise Awards judge and Uchronia contributor Evelyn Leeper this Friday, so stay tuned for that.
  • Started interviewing another Sidewise Award judge, James Rittenhouse, who founded the Point of Divergence APA. A lot of well-known alternate historians were part of that group based on an incomplete list I was able to find.
  • Also need to follow up with Andrew Smith, creator of Brithenig and the Brithenig Project, which eventually led to Ill Bethisad.
  • Added some info on the Turtledove Awards of and the Stirling Awards of the AltHistory Wiki. Although the Sidewise Awards are more organized, I still thought it was important to note the community's efforts to recognize online originals.
  • Still need to work in all my notes on Evans' Altered Pasts into my outline. Its always good to include a contrary viewpoint to counteract your own bias. Still this paper will be heavy on primary sources, due to the lack of secondary material on the fandom.
  • Been reading and taking notes on some old articles by Fredric Smoler in American Heritage. The articles are really in-depth reviews of different alternate history books, but he does comment occasionally on the people who write alternate histories, so I think his quotes can be worked into my paper. More useful was his opinion on people on Internet trying to prove Stirling's Draka books are implausible. That is much more valuable and there is a surprising number of sources on that topic alone.
I am still looking for anyone who can provide me with more information on the Geocities era, the Tarrantry Saga and any other gathering or work of alternate historians you think I should include in the paper. If you can help me or know someone who can, please email me at ahwupdate at gmail dot com. Any new avenues of research will be greatly appreciated.

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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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