Friday, June 5, 2015

Review: The World That Wasn't podcast

You can probably tell I am a big fan of Jordan Harbour's Twilight Histories (it is a featured podcast after all). Nevertheless, I would like to see more alternate history podcasts since I feel there is a lot room for new and unique shows. There have been attempts in the past like Nicholas Pardini's What If History and the multiple incarnations of the Podcast, but nothing that has lasted as long as Twilight Histories. Occasionally an SF or history podcast will have a lone alternate/counterfactual history episode, but never enough to satisfy the hunger of a hardcore alternate historian. So, of course, I was happy to discover the first episode of The World That Wasn't.

TWTW follows a format similar to Pardini's What if History in that it is essentially just two guys (Nicholas Davidge and Jamie Toal...I found out how the spell Jamie's name after being contacted by the TWTW guys on Twitter) as they discuss various what if questions. What is unique is that they also have a guest historian and include sounds effects, music and even short skits, so the level of professionalism is up there with Harbour's Twilight Histories, yet it is different in that it is not a second person narrative, but an alternate history discussion.

I probably shouldn't spend all my time comparing TWTW to other podcasts, because that is hardly fair. Instead lets talk about the first and, so far, only episode where our hosts talk about what if Germany won the Battle of Britain. Not a bad start, although they do inevitably talk about a successful Operation Sealion, which is (for those who don't know) the inspiration for the term "alien space bats". To our hosts' credit they did have Sonja Ostrow of Vanderbilt University on to reign them in when they go too fantastical and they also discussed other potential scenarios such as a failed Operation Sealion, the evacuation at Dunkirk failing and Britain making a negotiated peace with Germany. I also liked how they tried to stay on the overall topic and not go on too many tangents into other periods of history.

There is not much else to say after that. I think I can say without any trepidation that I will certainly subscribe to TWTW and look forward to next month's episode.

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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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