Alternate History

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Alternate History or Alternative History novels challenge deterministic perceptions of political and social development by pointing up the contingent nature such development with plausible fictional histories. Successful alternate histories often tap collective anxieties and repressed wishes about specific historical events, especially those involving war. The first alternative history novel was Geoffrey-Chateau's 1836 Napoleon and the Conquest of the World, 1812-1823. The "what-if" of Axis victory in the Second World War is a recurring theme in the most successful novels in the sub-genre, while the "what-if" of a Confederate victory in the American Civil War is an increasingly popular fantasy among ideological conservatives in the United States.

List of Alternate History Novels and Historical Revision

Background

  • Barney Warf. "The Way it Wasn't: Alternate Histories, Contingent Geographies." in Lost on Space: Geographies of Science Fiction, Bob Kitchen and James Kneale, ed.s, 2002. London: Continuum. ISBN 0826457304. pp. 17-38.
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