Alternate history or alternative history is a genre of fiction consisting of stories that are set in worlds in which history has diverged from the actual history of the world. It can be variously seen as a sub-genre of literary fiction, science fiction, and historical fiction; different alternate history works may use tropes from any or all of these genres. It is sometimes abbreviated AH. Another occasionally used term for the genre is "allohistory" (literally "other history").
Since the 1950s, this type of fiction has to a large extent merged with science fictional tropes involving cross-time travel between alternate histories or psychic awareness of the existence of "our" universe by the people in another; or ordinary voyaging uptime (into the past) or downtime (into the future) that results in history splitting into two or more time-lines. Cross-time, time-splitting and alternate history themes have become so closely interwoven that it is impossible to discuss them fully apart from one another. "Alternate History" looks at "what if" scenarios from some of history's most pivotal turning points and presents a completely different version, sometimes based on science and fact, but often based on conjecture. The exploration of how the world would look today if various changes occurred and what these alternate worlds would be like forms the basis of this vast subject matter.
In French, Italian, Spanish and German, alternate history novels are called uchronie. This neologism is based on the prefix u- (as in the word utopia, a place that does not exist) and the Greek for time, chronos. An uchronie, then, is defined as a time that does not exist, a "non-time." This term apparently also inspired the name of the alternate history book list, uchronia.net.
Read more about Alternate History: Definition
Other articles related to "alternate history, history, alternate":
... Fans of alternate history have made use of the internet from a very early point to showcase their own works and provide useful tools for those fans searching for anything ... The "Usenet Alternate History List" was first posted on April 11, 1991, to the usenet newsgroup rec.arts.sf-lovers ... In May 1995, the dedicated newsgroup soc.history.what-if was created for showcasing and discussing alternate histories it expanded rapidly and at its peak in the early 2000s regularly had over 10,0 ...
... Alternate history or alternative reality is a genre of fiction consisting of stories that are set in worlds in which one or more historical events unfolds differently than it did in the real ... science fiction, and historical fiction different alternate history works may use tropes from any or all of these genres ... Another occasionally used term for the genre is "allohistory" (literally "other history") ...
... fantasies are set in a world that has a history somewhat similar to our own world, but with magic added ... divergence, but some also feature magic altering history all along ... and Three Lions in which the Matter of France is history, and the fairy folk are real and powerful ...
... Fans of alternate history have made use of the internet from a very early point to showcase their own works and provide useful tools for those fans searching for anything alternate ... The "Usenet Alternate History List" was first posted on April 11, 1991, to the usenet newsgroup rec.arts.sf-lovers ... In May 1995, the dedicated newsgroup soc.history.what-if was created for showcasing and discussing alternate histories ...
1980s and the 1990s saw a boom in popular-fiction versions of alternate history, fueled by the emergence of the prolific alternate history author Harry Turtledove, as well as the ... This period also saw alternate history works by S.M ... Since the late 1990s, Harry Turtledove has been the most prolific practitioner of alternate history and has been given the title "Master of Alternate History" by some ...
Famous quotes containing the words history and/or alternate:
“The history of reform is always identical; it is the comparison of the idea with the fact. Our modes of living are not agreeable to our imagination. We suspect they are unworthy. We arraign our daily employments.”
—Ralph Waldo Emerson (18031882)
“It might become a wheel spoked red and white
In alternate stripes converging at a point
Of flame on the line, with a second wheel below,
Just rising, accompanying, arranged to cross,
Through weltering illuminations, humps
Of billows, downward, toward the drift-fire shore.”
—Wallace Stevens (18791955)