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Uchronia, Parallel history and sword and literature

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  • Morgan Kane
    Lost in the multiverse
    • Jun 2006
    • 1428

    Uchronia, Parallel history and sword and literature

    What if :

    Uchronia : the way of presenting his ideas on philosophy, economy and so on..

    Beside the classical uchronia, ( Bastable ), a fashion is to take an historical event, to send a modern carachter or an E.T. and imagine a new course of history by the action of this character .

    I think that the success is seldom here ....... from the point of view of writing.

    Sprague de Camp is one of the best ( Lest darkness fall ! )
  • Groakes
    • Jan 2005
    • 2512

    Well the John Birmingham Axis of Time series is really very, very good despite the incredibally silly premise...

    It starts of in 2020 and the War on Terror continues - Marseilles has been victim of a radiologic attack, Tripoli has been nuked, there has been serious combat in Damascus etc. A Multinational carrier task force (based around the USS Hillary Clinton - who has been assasinated) is operating off Indonesia. A DARPA research vessel in the centre of the taskforce is carrying out experiments on worm hole technology (how can you selectively kill someone at a great distance?) when it all goes horribly wrong and the taskforce is shiftewd back in time (or across time...) and lands literally in the middle of the US fleet steaming toward Midway. The folk from the future are all pretty out of it and when the locals open fire on the Japanese flagged vessels in the task force, the automatic weapon systems cut in and pretty much wipe out the US fleet...

    ...Anyway history goes pretty much skewiff from here on in - the Western Allies have pretty much a hold on mosty of the advanced weaponary (though the Axis and the USSR get hold of some), but have limited logistics support. The USSR and Germany stage a cease fire and purges rack both of them as the dictators read the history books from the future - no more Rommel, no more Kruschev etc.

    The most interesting aspect though is the interaction between the 21st century types and the folk from the 1940s - black women in positions of command for example and the post modern view of violence from the 21st century where they have been "at war" for 20 years and have become innured to the spectacle of violence.

    The big plus is that Birmingham CAN actually write. He is literate, clever, funny and doesn't take himself seriously. They are filled with asides and allusions to the (Australian) literary scene (for example a joint research centre set up in the Ukraine between the USSR and the Reich is christened the Demidenko project.... It rewards close reading and additional research of characters names - check out the wikipedia entry for Weapons of Choice....

    There are bunches of historical characters and also Captain Harry Windsor of the SAS.... for a discussion of the characters

    The three books - Weapons of Choice, Designated Targets and Final Impact are a great read and get the big thumbs up from me
    Does it follow that I reject all authority? Perish the thought. In the matter of boots, I defer to the authority of the boot-maker.