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Friday, October 7, 2016

Alternative History Resource

Yesterday we had the ARRT Speculative Fiction Genre Study and we discussed Harry Turtledove. [Details on the full assignment here.] Before the meeting began, I was talking with my colleague, Monique and she mentioned that she wanted to learn more about Alternative History as a genre leading up to our meeting and had quite a bit of trouble finding a trustworthy resource.

Specifically she was looking for something like Stop You’re Killing Me! is for mysteries, a genre focused site where library workers and readers can find reviews of specific titles.

Well thankfully for al of us, she kept up the hunt and uncovered Uchronia. We looked at it before the meeting started and I was pleasantly surprised.

From the site:
Uchronia: The Alternate History List is a bibliography of over 3200 novels, stories, essays and other printed material involving the "what ifs" of history. The genre has a variety of names, but it is best known as alternate history. 
In an alternate history, one or more past events are changed and the subsequent effects on history somehow described. This description may comprise the entire plotline of a novel, or it may just provide a brief background to a short story. Perhaps the most common themes in alternate history are "What if the Nazis won World War II?" and "What if the Confederacy won the American Civil War?" 
For more information about alternate history and this bibliography, please read the extended introduction.
I even learned that there is an award for the best Alternative Fiction titles-- Sidewise. The list of nominees and winners goes all the way back to 1995! And you all know how much I love using awards as a RA suggestion tool.

This is a gold mine of information and a valuable resource for fans of these books. I highly recommend it. Pass it on.

Monique also referenced this article from 2011 in the New Yorker which talks about Alternative History titles and the appeal of the genre. It is worth a quick read if you are unfamiliar with Alternative History and its fans.

Click here to access the site

1 comment:

mf said...

Thanks for the shout out Becky!