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  • Listomania: Alternate History

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    This week we have been thinking a lot about a popular genre; alternate history. Alternate history fiction is where an author takes a point in history and asks what if it had happened differently.

     

    We have made a list of our favourite alternate history books which we think you will enjoy! If you love this list an excellent resource we recommend is uchronia.neta website dedicated to alternate histories.

     

    What if... Germany won World War II?

    Farthing by Jo Walton

    It’s 1949, eight years after Britain agreed to peace with Nazi Germany, leaving Hitler in control of the European continent.  Murder mystery after a Jewish man seems to be set up by his wife’s disapproving family.

     

    Genre: Suspense

    Place a hold on Farthing

    Weapons of Choice by John Birmingham

    A military experiment throws a multi-national fleet from the year 2021 back in time to the start of June 1942 near the Hawaiian Islands.  But their mere presence could change the outcome of the war.

     

    Genre: Science Fiction

    Place a hold on Weapons of Choice

    Dominion by C. J. Sansom

    Winston Churchill did not become British Prime Minister in May 1940, and the Brits surrendered to Nazi Germany. By the 1950s, the UK is a satellite state of the Germans, while they continue to fight their long campaign against the Soviets. This book focuses on David Fitzgerald, a resistance spy and secret Jew, who has to smuggle a scientist out of the country.

     

    Genre: Science Fiction

    Place a hold on Dominion

    Fatherland by Robert Harris

    An alternative history set in Berlin 1964 and the Nazis have won the war. March is a police officer working on a murder case who stumbles across the truth of what exactly the Nazis have been up to.


    Genre: Suspense

    Place a hold on Fatherland

    The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick

    What would 1960's America look like if Germany and Japan won the war? This slice of life novel explores just that, with a scifi twist. Has also been made recently into an amazing TV series.

     

    Genre: Science Fiction

    Place a hold on The Man in the High Castle

    The Darkest Hour by Tony Schumacher

    Imagine living in Britain in 1946 if the Nazis had won the war. This story follows British policeman and war veteran Rossett as he carries out his day to day life in Nazi occupied Britain while you wonder - is he a hero? Or is he the worst kind of traitor?

     

    Genre: Science Fiction

    Place a hold on The Darkest Hour

     

    What if... Anne Boleyn bore a healthy son?

    The Boleyn King by Laura Andersen

    Reimagining history in sumptuous detail, Laura Anderssen takes readers back to the deadly intrigue, turbulent affairs, and treacherous passions of Tudor England - and answers the compelling question What if Anne Boleyn had given Henry VIII the son he so desperately wanted? Source: Goodreads

     

    Genre: Historical Fiction 

    Place a hold on The Boleyn King

     

    What if... the Black Death was even deadlier?

    The Years of Rice and Salt by Kim Stanley Robinson

    The novel explores how subsequent world history might have been different if the Black Death plague had killed 99% of Europe’s population, instead of a third.

     

    Genre: Science Fiction

    Place a hold on The Years of Rice and Salt

     

    What if... Alaska was a World War II refugee settlement?

    The Yiddish Policeman’s Union by Michael Chabon

    In 1940, the United States voted to create a refugee settlement in Alaska for Jews being persecuted by the Nazis. The State of Israel is destroyed in 1948 and Sitka Alaska becomes a vibrant home city for the world’s Jews.  The novel follows Detective Meyer Landsman as he investigates his neighbour's murder.

     

    Genre: Suspense

    Place a hold on The Yiddish Policeman's Union

     

    What if... Franklin Roosevelt lost the 1940 Election?

    The Plot Against America by Philip Roth

    Roosevelt is defeated in the 1940 presidential election by Charles Lindbergh, and anti-semitism becomes an accepted part of America. The novel tells the story of the Roth family living in Newark, who are persecuted in different ways. 

     

    Genre: Historical Fiction

    Place a hold on The Plot Against America

     

     

    What if... Stalin was born in the USA?

    Joe Steele by Harry Turtledove
    After the suspicious death of Franklin Roosevelt, Joe Steele [Better known to us as Stalin] captures the 1932 Democractic presidential nomination and goes on to defeat Herbert Hoover and bring totalitarianism to the USA.

     

    Genre: Suspense

    Place a hold on Joe Steele

     

     

    What if... the Civil War never happened?

    Underground Airlines by Ben Winters 

    Set in an United States where the American Civil War never occurred because Abraham Lincoln was assassinated prior to his inauguration. As a result, slavery has remained legal in four southern states: Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and a united Carolinas. 

     

    Genre: Science Fiction

    Place a hold Underground Airlines

     

    What if... you could travel to the past?

    11/22/63 by Stephen King

    Jake Epping's friend Al divulges a secret to him: his storeroom is a portal to 1958. He enlists Jake to try to prevent the Kennedy assassination. So begins Jake’s new life as George Amberson and his new world of Elvis and JFK, of big American cars and sock hops and of a troubled loner named Lee Harvey Oswald.

     

    Genre: General Fiction 

    Place a hold on 11/22/63

    Making History by Stephen Fry

    What if Hitler was never born? Follow the amusing tale of Michael, a young historian, who manages to turn back time and ensure Hitler was never born, with devastating results.

     

    Genre: General Fiction 

    Place a hold on Making History

     

    Set over a century ago...

    His Majesty’s Dragon by Naomi Novik

    The Napoleonic Wars were full of tales of heroism, adventure, intrigue — and in this version, dragons.  Imagine the Battle of Trafalgar, with the added excitement of dragons.

     

    Genre: Science Fiction 

    Place a hold on His Majesty's Dragon

    1632 by Eric Flint

    The town of Grantville and its power plant are sent from the year 2000 in West Virginia to 1631 in central Germany, in the middle of the barbaric Thirty Years War. American-style freedom and justice are introduced to Europe, and the American Revolution starts much earlier than before.

     

    Genre: Science Fiction

    Place a hold on 1632

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