On Weird Concepts

So an idea came to me. An alternate history novel. An alternate history novel about the Beatles. There have been a few Beatles alternate histories. Larry Kirwan’s Liverpool Fantasy comes quickly to mind, as does Stephen Baxter’s “The Twelfth Album” and Ian McLeod’s “Snodgrass.” The concept is doable. It’s something that conceivably could have happened.Continue reading “On Weird Concepts”

On Temeraire

I ordered from Amazon’s UK division recently Naomi Novik‘s debut novel, Temeraire, the first book in an alternate history series that posits that alongside Nelson’s Navy and Wellingon’s Army Britain fought the Napoleonic Wars with a dragon Aerial Corps. I was impatient. I could have waited and bought the novel’s American paperback, entitled His Majesty’sContinue reading “On Temeraire”

Warlords of Utopia

Tuesday I finished Lance Parkin’s Warlords of Utopia, his Faction Paradox novel that recounts the trans-temporal war between the timelines where Rome never fell and the timelines where Germany won the Second World War. Warlords is not a conventional novel. Rather, the book feels like a memoir. The narrator, Marcus Americanus Scriptor, states at theContinue reading “Warlords of Utopia”

Some Fictional Perspective

“If the re-election of George W Bush for his second term as President has a significance in terms of global history, it is that this, far more than his original accession to power, was the point when certain facts became clear to the traditional allies of the USA. Namely, that not only was the behemothicContinue reading “Some Fictional Perspective”

On the Mirror Universe Pike

I toyed with the idea a few years ago, purely as a thought experiment, of reworking “The Cage” as a Mirror Universe adventure. My thinking went something like this– Suppose that the vision the Talosians gave Pike of himself as an Orion slave trader was, roughly, the person Pike was in the Mirror Universe. ThenContinue reading “On the Mirror Universe Pike”

Alternity! Federation/Romulan War?

Going to the mailbags. Ryan wanted to know: What if the Romulans had somehow successfully invaded Vulcan in early 2368 during the TNG episodes Unification I and II? While war between the Federation and the Romulans would have almost certainly occured, what would have happened next? I think the Romulans erred badly, in mistaking theContinue reading “Alternity! Federation/Romulan War?”

Alternity! A Lord of the Rings counterfactual

Electronics Arts released last week a video game based on the Return of the King film, with voice-overs done by the trilogy’s cast and a liberal sprinkling of film footage from the three films bridging the gaps between missions. As with a DVD, there are bonus films that can be unlocked, and earlier this evening,Continue reading “Alternity! A Lord of the Rings counterfactual”

What if… No Khan Noonian Singh?

Try this on for size. It’s 2266. Captain Kirk and the Enterprise are zipping through space, and there’s an emergency distress call from a nearby colony, under attack. The Enterprise diverts from its routine patrol. Had the Enterprise stayed on its course for another day, Spock would have detected a derelict Earth ship from theContinue reading “What if… No Khan Noonian Singh?”