So, I finally got around to actually reviewing an AH book, recently! Here’s what I wrote:

American business historian Robert Sobel had originally gotten the idea to write an alternate history work from Jeff Weinper, a former student of his who had perished in Vietnam, and, in the summer of 1971, got the opprotunity to actually write the book, while waiting for his next regular contract work. Sobel also got the idea to spoof real-world history tomes by inserting footnotes into the text and inventing dozens of fictional sources out of whole cloth; and thus For Want of a Nail(originally to be titled Scorpions in a Bottle) was born.[1]

For Want of a Nail diverges from our history in the year 1777, when the British under General John Burgoyne are able to win the Battle of Saratoga, and the American Revolution fails. Many of the surviving Patriots, however, decide to flee to Mexico(then known as New Spain), primarily settling in what was Texas in the real world. Andrew Jackson, who was the 7th President of the United States in our universe, ends up becoming the “Founding Father” of the new United States of Mexico in 1819. The British Colonies, meanwhile, are reorganized into the Confederation of North America in 1780, and gradually become more and more independent of the U.K. over time.

By the 1970s, global history has undoubtedly changed drastically: the C.N.A. is a surprisingly egalitarian nation-perhaps almost utopian in some aspects-while Mexico is a relatively backwards and troubled country. Also, elsewhere in the world, a still imperial Germany dominates Europe, Russia has fractured into several pieces, and Australia has a rather more prominent role on the world stage in its own way(and is the home of that world’s Robert Sobel).

So here’s my take:

What I Liked: This was one of the first alternate history works I had ever become familiar with, and I was honestly amazed by the level of worldbuilding Mr. Sobel was able to do here, and the footnotes & citations are so well done, one might think they came from a real history book, indeed!

What I Disliked: The only major thing I disliked is that the contrasts between the two main countries, the C.N.A. and U.S. of Mexico, which this story revolved around, could get a little ham-handed at times, in my view; for example, I did find it hard to believe that Mexican slavery could survive until the 1920s, while the C.N.A. elected an *African-American Governor-General in 1950.

My overall view: Despite a few flaws, For Want of a Nail still remains a true classic in the genre of alternate history, as it was one of the very first modern examples of its kind, and remains venerated by alternate history fans across the world even today. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who is interested in this genre, as they may well wish to learn more about it after reading this book!

So, there you have it! Please note that my current reviewing process is in it’s early stages and is likely to be gradually refined over time. But hopefully it’s at least alright even now, though.

Also, if you’d like to buy this book yourself, you can click on this link here: For Want Of a Nail

Yep. Last post I made here was 18 months ago…..and so much has changed since then. That said, though, I have finally gotten done with reviewing an AH book, and it’s one of my old favorites, and a classic, too. Stay tuned for that! =)

P.S. Also, I just recently joined Amazon’s affiliate program! Neat, huh? I’ll be providing purchase links to published AH works when I can, so you all can buy them for yourselves online.

I’d like to offer any apologies to anybody who might have been watching this blog; I’ve just been busy, and haven’t even been able to figure out just what to write when I did get back to this blog. But I did recently buy some AH books recently, and I’ll definitely try to start reading them when I get the chance. I may even post a review or two! So be sure to check back often…..and in the meantime, I hope you’re all doing well. =)

Hi there. Since I’ve gotten this blog back up and running, I thought I might show you my home site. It’s called “Steve’s AH Place”, and is about a year old.

The story behind this site actually started, when I began to desire to find a way to store my stories and stuff, in a way that could not only preserve them online, but also leave them accessible enough so people could offer feedback on them, and a forum layout seemed to be the best idea to put that on paper. However, though, I eventually realized that this site had potential to not just be a great place to store my writings, but also a nice spot for people to hang out and chill in general. So I turned it into a genuine forum.

While the site does focus on Alternate History, you can talk about whatever’s on your mind, really. There’s special sections for video game discussion, literature(including comics, too.), TV, films, etc. There’s also a board where folks can roleplay(Shared Worlds), and an area for fanfiction(of any kind), as well. And even a place where one is free to discuss the wildest scenarios they can possibly think of(the “Alien Space Bats” forum). Not to mention a place to talk about real history, too.

And, of course, General Discussion is the place to be for general stuff, as with nearly every other forum out there.

Last but not least, there is the place where I keep all of my writings, “Steve’s Original AH Works”(a few of these stories, like “Stars & Stripes”, “La Tierra Afortunada”, etc. were featured in another post on this blog).

For those of you folks who prefer to lurk a while once you’ve found a new site, don’t worry! Guests are free to comment on just about any portion of the site, without having to sign up. And in fact, guests are encouraged to leave comments on the “Original AH Works” board.

So here’s a link to the site in general:

http://stevesahplace.freeforums.net/

Or, if you’d like to go straight to the area where I keep my stuff:

http://stevesahplace.freeforums.net/board/3/steves-original-ah-works

And the general AH section:

http://stevesahplace.freeforums.net/board/2/alternate-history-discussion

Well, alright, I suppose that’s it for now. I hope you enjoy my site! =)

 

 

 

 

 

Hey there, again! Sorry for the long wait in updates.

Anyway, I may have mentioned that I’ve written a few of my own stories, am I right? Well, for those interested, I’ll go ahead and give you a brief overview of my TLs and link them.

Stars & Stripes

This is basically my “flagship” timeline. It starts with a small change in 1805, but, unlike most other TLs, utilizes a “multiple POD” effect. As of 1820, this timeline features a slightly different Napoleonic Wars, an earlier (and shorter) Mexican revolution, and an alternate take on OTL’s War of 1812. And, btw, there’s no Embargo Act, either….but the legislation that was supposed to be replaced by it IOTL, remains, and gets worse, prompting some rather disgruntled Yankees to make noises of their own…..

http://stevesahplace.freeforums.net/thread/3/stars-stripes-rise-united-states

La Tierra Afortunada

Anybody ever take a look at Mexico’s real world history and notice just how darn unlucky they’ve been? From the insanities of *two* long-lived dictators, the foibles and foul-ups of *two* would-be emperors, and the Drug Wars of the modern era, not to mention just plain off-and-on misery all around, from mind-boggling political corruption, to the truly astonishing amounts of poverty in places, Mexico just hasn’t had it too good. This timeline, however, seeks to change that. It starts out with, and get this, a young lawyer with abolitionist sympathies from New England gets bitten by the proverbial pioneer bug, and, with several dozen like-minded individuals, finds himself deep in the heart of Texas. Meanwhile, the ongoing “cold” conflict between Texas and Antonio de Santa Anna’s Mexico turns hot after a couple of OTL events turn out worse than in the real world, and a real conflict breaks out ITTL, and one that eventually draws the concern of America, and one run by former Jacksonian buddy now turned rival, Martin Van Buren.

http://stevesahplace.freeforums.net/thread/6/la-tierra-afortunada-nicer-mexico

A Nation, Divided

I haven’t quite been able to do much with this one yet, but as the title implies(more specifically, it’s original full title was “A Nation, Divided: The Price of War And Freedom, or How I Learned to Love the Decades of Secession(and Cotton!)”.), it’s about a divided America. The divisions between North and South will start earlier, and will have their origins in several different factors; chief amongst them will be earlier industrialization in the South, as well as the butterflying of the original Louisiana Purchase(John Adams won in 1796 here), which delays westward American settlement by some twenty years. I can’t really describe much else in detail, but I can give you hints as to where this TL is headed:

1. Haiti is going to turn out *quite* a bit better than it did in our world.

2. The South eventually does break off successfully, and initially has literally everything due south of the Ohio River.

3. Delaware begins gradual manumission of slaves in 1825.

4. The War of 1812 equivalent, when it does occur, isn’t likely to be quite the same conflict as it was in our world.

5. There isn’t going to be quite an equivalent of the Napoleonic Wars, as there was in our world.

6. Slavery ends earlier in the U.S. as a whole(I’ll go ahead and reveal the year: 1852), as there’s no plantation lobbyists to worry about.

7. Watch out for an alternate Republic of Texas sometime in the late 1820s, early 1830s…..

8. And yes, the U.S. does still get California and environs.

http://stevesahplace.freeforums.net/thread/5/nation-divided-price-war-freedom?page=1

So, really, that’s about it for now, I guess. Thanks for reading! =)

Also, any comments? Suggestions, etc.? Write me if you’d like. Here’s the form for that:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I first got into the Alternate History genre by way of Turtledove and, believe it or not, Civilization II, several years ago. I was later inspired to write my own with inspiration from David Johnson’s “Trolley World”, Glen’s “Dominion of Southern America”, “Union & Liberty”, For All Nails, and then some. 

I now have several progressing full-time TLs of my own, with all sorts of other side projects, and I may post some of that here sometime soon.

I hope you enjoy this humble little WordPress blog of mine over these next months and years as it develops. =)