Talk:Alternate history/Archive 3

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Archive 1 Archive 2 Archive 3

Fictional or not fictional

I am in a minor content debate about whether you can call a character from an alternate history story a "fictional character" or not. The character is based on someone real (actually it is based on someone mentioned in the Bible... but let us assume that the Bible is talking about a real person) ... The names are similar but not identical, and the events of the story are not the same as those in real life (or more accurately, not the same as the events mentioned in the Bible). Is it fair to say that the character, as portrayed in the alternate history story, is fictional?

If so, do we need to verify the statement "X is a fictional character"? Another editor is requesting verification... I don't think you do (after all, we don't bother to cite the fact that Harry Potter is fictional in the article on Harry Potter). Blueboar (talk) 00:02, 7 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I would say that the word "fictional" in the context you are debating is superfluous and remove it entirely.Shsilver (talk) 01:35, 7 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

How long is too long?

I just shortened the page a little. It is currently 50 kilobytes. Is that too long? Akiyama (talk) 00:18, 6 December 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Seems OK to me. Recommend removing the tag. Still could use more documentation. Pete Tillman (talk) 02:57, 6 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Sorry, but this is much too long for me. The main problem is that the discussion of alternate histories in literature is unfocused and excessive. It seems to go all over the place, but misses important points (eg there is a reference early in the piece that talks about the "first work in English" that looks like it needs linking to an earlier French tradition(?). If I had time I would completely rewrite the whole of this section to give it either a chronological or thematic development, rather than seeming to throw bits in all over the place. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:04, 3 March 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Deleting sentence on Ray Bradbury's A SOUND OF THUNDER

The statement, "Ray Bradbury's A Sound of Thunder creates a scenario in which the time travelers inadvertently destroy all history as we know it." is singularly innaccurate.

The short story (not the film) ends with only one discernible overt change in the present due to the time-travellers' actions in the past. That change is that on their return from the past, the time-travellers find that the loser in the recent presidential election (a "strong man" candidate) is now the winner. The "destroy all history as we know it" change occurs in the (bad) movie adaptation.JTGILLICK (talk) 22:40, 8 April 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Why was the link to different World's removed?

Different worlds is the new dicussion page for what was Othertimelines, formerly the second most active AH dicussion board on the net. Why was the link to different worlds removed again? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:15, 27 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The link disappeared on 23rd September. I tried replacing it and was blocked from doing so because the domain is on a spam blacklist. See here and here. Akiyama 01:41, 5 November 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Well, my requests to have either Invision boards in general, or this forum in particular, removed from the spam blacklist, were in vain. They were ignored and deleted. If anyone wants to track down this elusive, but active, discussion board, I suggest typing "invision" and "different_worlds" (note the underline!) into Google and proceeding from there! Akiyama (talk) 00:15, 5 March 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Can anyone please tell me why the site is on the spamlist? I go there myself and can assure you its not spam. (MorphyVSFischer (talk) 03:06, 29 June 2008 (UTC))Reply[reply]

Improper use of acronyms?

Towards the end of the article I started noticing the acronym POD being used a lot. I'm assuming that is supposed to be Point of Divergence? It took me a while to figure that out and I'm sure I can't be the only one confused by the way the acronym was used in the article. Perhaps someone can clean this up a bit? I prefer not to edit Wikipedia myself since it almost always ends up in a revert\edit war these days... —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:04, 9 July 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

WikiProject: Alternate History?

If I were to make such a Wikiproject, would anyone be interested? Zombie Hunter Smurf (talk) 19:57, 15 July 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Thank you for the second citation. OR policies require that any analysis of published sources must also be referenced (i.e. simply citing Livy himself is not sufficient to demonstrate that this qualifies as "alternate history") - the new citation seems to satisfy this. Brando130 (talk) 02:49, 18 July 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Image copyright problem with Image:How Few Remain Front Cover.jpg

The image Image:How Few Remain Front Cover.jpg is used in this article under a claim of fair use, but it does not have an adequate explanation for why it meets the requirements for such images when used here. In particular, for each page the image is used on, it must have an explanation linking to that page which explains why it needs to be used on that page. Please check

  • That there is a non-free use rationale on the image's description page for the use in this article.
  • That this article is linked to from the image description page.

The following images also have this problem:

This is an automated notice by FairuseBot. For assistance on the image use policy, see Wikipedia:Media copyright questions. --16:30, 14 September 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

removed section

I removed this section from the article

The Medieval scholar Gershonides perceived free will as meaning that "God knows beforehand all the choices open to each individual. God does not know, however, which choice the individual, in his freedom, will make." In effect, God in this view perceives a multitude of alternate timelines, with each crucial decision taken by a person creating two or more new timelines branching off from each other - similar to the universe postulated by modern writers of alternate history <ref>Louis Jacobs, ''God, Torah, Israel: Traditionalism without Fundamentalism''</ref>.

Though sourced, I'm not sure whether the author of the book meant it in the way it was written on this article or else it was interpreted that way by the editor. Zombie Hunter Smurf (talk) 00:45, 4 December 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

"The boundaries of alternate history"

I'll admit that I'm not an expert on the alternative history genre, but this section strikes me as a bit excessive.

Do we really need to devote so many words to explaining that stories that were set in the present or future when they were written don't count as alternative history even if the date they were set is now in the past? (I would have thought it would be fairly straight-forward difference, and could be expressed in one sentence, as I just have).

As for invasion literature - I don't see why this would count as alternative history, unless the story in question actually involves events occurring ahistorically as an explanation for the invasion.

In fact, just reading the section again, it seems to contain very few citations, and a lot of "One could define..." type statements, which to me makes it look like OR and/or not NPOV. Wardog (talk) 13:32, 1 May 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Your probably right, looking at it more closely it does seem more like OR. Most of the links can be removed to the See Also section. Zombie Hunter Smurf (talk) 13:43, 1 May 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You're (talk) 12:33, 6 May 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Introduction needs refixing - the term allohistory is introduced and defined twice. Quite excessive. Yili2943 (talk) 13:25, 20 June 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Done. You could have done it yourself. Shsilver (talk) 17:27, 20 June 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The description of the French word uchronie would seem to be problematic in my opinion. It is likened in etymology to the word utopia in the entry, but UTOPIA is commonly thought to be derived from the Greek eu (good), not u or ou (not), as stated in the entry. I think this could be rectified by referencing the Greek u directly, and dropping the reference to utopia. B. Polhemus (talk) 21:27, 7 August 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The prefix allo- is from Greek allos, “different, other” —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:15, 6 October 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

"Another occasionally-used term for the genre is "allohistory" (lit. "other history")" The prefix allo- is from Greek allos, “different, other” and history is from the Greek historeō (actually ἱστορέω) Basically I'm unclear on what the abbreviation lit. means, and whether it would be worthwhile to have more of an etymology of the word. Tumacama (talk) 15:28, 6 October 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

—Preceding unsigned comment added by Amywill5918 (talkcontribs) 01:20, 22 November 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply] 

Frequency as an example of alternate worlds

Not alternate worlds exactly, main character somehow communicates with father across time and changes history - and thus, his present - all in the same world.

I really liked this article, well written, detailed and informative! —Preceding unsigned comment added by Amywill5918 (talkcontribs) 01:25, 22 November 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Was it needed to reveal the plot of Lost?

Not sure if it adds much to the article, and it was completely unexpected to find that :( —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:26, 31 July 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

An excellent example not included.

The_Jesus_Factor_(novel), as well as being an excellent story in its own right, is IMHO the "best" example of the genre. Old_Wombat (talk) 11:44, 22 April 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

That is not an alternate history, it is a secret history. Alternate history is where the author intentionally changes the past and speculates on how the timeline would diverge based on those changes. Secret history is where history remains the same, just our understanding of history is based off a lie or misconception. For example, if people found out the truth about the nuclear bombings of Japan, history would not change. Japan would have still lost World War II. So no, that novel is not the "best" example of the genre.
Also this article is not meant to be a list of AH works, see list of alternate history fiction. Zombie Hunter Smurf (talk) 16:41, 23 April 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Ahhh, ZHS, thanx for that. Until I read your article I had never heard of "secret history". Old_Wombat (talk) 12:08, 25 April 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Having had another 24 hours to think about this, and having read the "secret history" article in its entirety, I have one last torpedo to fire, ZHS. I now think that you have under-analyzed this book. Yes, the climax, so to speak, of the book is the failed nuclear bombing of Japan, BUT the ongoing theme of the whole book is the continuin secret and massively expensive efforts by the two (then) superpowers to work on the problem. It's not just those two bombs that failed, it is ALL bombs since then, so the timeline DOES diverge.

The one thing which I cannot calculate is the author's firm statement that this is only a work of fiction, not any kind of un-cover-up. Does that make any difference? Old_Wombat (talk) 08:37, 26 April 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Um, no. You said it yourself, there has been a massive cover up/secret that even if revealed would not change the history of the world. Alternate history usually involves divergences like "the Confederacy wins the American Civil War", "Nazis win World War II" or "the Cuban Missile Crisis starts World War III", etc. Also the fact that it is a work of fiction makes no difference since works of secret history tend to be fiction anyway. In fact the article mentions fiction history that is "deliberately suppressed", which appears to be the plot of the novel. Sorry Wombat, but that novel does not fall under the alternate history genre. Zombie Hunter Smurf (talk) 16:16, 26 April 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Well there are lots of internet references that say that it does (not that that makes it correct, of course); but in any case, I've had my say and I am outta here. Thanx for the conversation. Old_Wombat (talk) 09:17, 28 April 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

What references say it is an alternate history work? It is not even listed on Uchronia: The Alternate History List. Are you sure it is no called alternative history, which tends to be another way of saying secret history? Zombie Hunter Smurf (talk) 15:16, 28 April 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Old Wombat, sorry to say this, but stating that you're "outta here" without even trying to defend your stand by showing these "lots of internet references" claiming that The Jesus Factor is AH just indicates your incapability of working with the project. --Eaglestorm (talk) 15:55, 28 April 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I have to agree with Eagle. My own search for said sources revealed no reliable, third party sources. The few sources that did mention the novel often referred to it be a conspiracy theory or alternative history, which does not always mean the sub-genre of science fiction this article covers. Wombat, if you have access to these sources than share them, it makes no sense for you to leave the argument if these references exist. Zombie Hunter Smurf (talk) 18:58, 28 April 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

"Major Writers" vs. "Popular Fiction"

Anyone know why this division has been made and on what basis? (talk) 16:59, 11 January 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Althistory Wikia

I've been on it for a year and gave up. It is A trollish and most Alternate Historys are ASB or rightwing stuff knocking the UK, China and Germany propaganda. (talk) 14:18, 11 May 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

/* Television */ I have replaced the politically correct expression Common Era (CE) with the more popular term AD (Ano-domini).

What is the point of using the politically correct term Common Era (CE) most people prefer to use the normal term Ano-domini (AD). (talk) 21:56, 16 January 2011 (UTC) I am very pleased that the politically correct term Common Era has been deleted from this article. As a result of this the article now looks much better. Thank you to whoever did it.ScottieRoadPatriot (talk) 21:10, 20 January 2011 (UTC) I too find AD much more recognisable, but I do, do hope that by it you meant Anno Domini. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:23, 9 September 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Page move without discussion

This page was recently moved from 'Alternate History' to the current title without discussion. Unless justification for this change is presented here, it should be moved back. Dialectric (talk) 17:41, 30 November 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

WorldCat Genres

Hello, I'm working with OCLC, and we are algorithmically generating data about different Genres, like notable Authors, Book, Movies, Subjects, Characters and Places. We have determined that this Wikipedia page has a close affintity to our detected Genere of alternative-histories-fiction. It might be useful to look at [1] for more information. Thanks. Maximilianklein (talk) 22:57, 5 December 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Italian websites?

Maybe I'm just being weird, but why should their be links to Italian websites on the English wikipedia? Zombie Hunter Smurf (talk) 15:08, 29 July 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Where do you see that?--Ollyoxenfree (talk) 19:55, 11 February 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]


There seems to be a minor edit war ongoing regarding the inclusion of the Civilization series in the "adaptations" section. Eaglestorm, it would be helpful if you could explain why you reverted the original edit so we can try to find a compromise. —Joseph RoeTkCb, 18:15, 28 May 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Anybody who's played Civ 4, not just RFC, can attest to the alternate history component. (Stories and tales/succession games alone have tens of thousands of hits) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:03, 28 May 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That's a crap edit, full of peacockery. I wasn't involved, but seeing the snooty edit summary, I am now, and reverting again. --Chris (クリス • フィッチュ) (talk) 10:34, 29 May 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You could suggest how to improve it, rather than reverting unilaterally79.42.204.23 (talk) 12:32, 29 May 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You guys are unbelievable. Did ANY of the games listed get ANY discussion before they were included, and does any of them have the recognition that Civ has outside of the gaming community? I bet you even after the movies are made, nobody who doesn't play Crimson Skies will recognize that title, but mention Civilization to a nongamer and you'll at least get a glimmer in the eyes why it is about, i.e. alternate history. Rhye's edit was factual and nothing is "peacockery" about it. That is why Wikipedia has such a bad rap about users who think they are the only ones that know what editing is about. And was I a fool to think that Conservapedia was run by malignant and deliberately ignorant fools. And who quote the following rules for themselves:

6a) ps-and I loathe busybodies with too much time on their hands, who spend more time being critical of the postings of others than they do posting their own knowledge. I am the natural enemy of the protocol deletionist; I hate those who intentionally won't seek a creative way to save something potentially useful.

6b) pps-and those who delete factual or useful contributions to an article, that are not vandalism, because it does not fit their own narrow view of what the article should be. If someone puts something on there that might not belong where it is, find a home for it, don't delete it outright.

Civilization IV, and, in fact, the whole of the Civilization series is a viable addition to this page, as the purpose of any Earth-based map is to play the "what-ifs" to your heart's desire. I may be a bit biased towards the game as a player of it, but I must say that if you find bias in the section, fix it, don't remove the entry on the game. And keep Rhye's and Fall of Civilization especially, because, to quote the official description of the mod found on its website:
"Rhye's and Fall of Civilization is a modpack for Civilization IV that attempts to make your single player game an "Earth simulator".
It can be considered both a mod and a dynamic scenario: Rhye's and Fall of Civilization revolves around the re-enacting history on Earth, guiding your game in through an alternative, but still realistic history, unique every game you play." (talk) 13:53, 30 May 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I have edited the section in question to remove anything that could be seen as unnecessarily "peacock-y". I hope this is an acceptable compromise. —Joseph RoeTkCb, 19:32, 30 May 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

As a dedicated writer of alternate history timelines I can say that there is most definitely an important place for Civilization, I have never played the games but within the alternate history community they are as important as many of the other works mentioned in this article.--Ollyoxenfree (talk) 20:10, 11 February 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Grammatically speaking

The first sentence of this article makes no sense. I understand what is meant, but don't have time to fix. Anybody? wgoetsch (talk) 18:39, 21 April 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

What do you see as a problem? I don't see anything (unless you refer to alternate history, which is the non-grammatical but popular name).--Ollyoxenfree (talk) 23:47, 15 February 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

why some novels and not others?

I am a little puzzled why some alternate history novels by major sci-fi writers don't get mentioned while others do. In particular, LeGuin's LATHE OF HEAVEN and Gibson & Sterling's THE DIFFERENCE ENGINE are missing, and I think both are lot more interesting than still another "Germany wins WW2" novel. (Personal opinion, of course) CharlesTheBold (talk) 03:11, 31 May 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Well for starters, The Lathe of Heaven is not alternate history. Otherwise, it is a matter of what editors have decided to note. Shsilver (talk) 12:36, 31 May 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think the biggest problem with the article is that it has become an excessive list of alternate history fiction combined with unecessary plot. Most of the works listed lack examples to show why they are important to the genre as a whole. I've been working on and off on what I think IMHO is a better version, its unfinished though as you will see. Please everyone check it out and feel free to edit it. Zombie Hunter Smurf (talk) 21:57, 1 June 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

"Not alternate history"? This raises the question of whether the formal definition of alternative history (as used in this article) absolutely requires a clear point of divergence in a timeline, or whether changing a single sociological condition to create an alternate history is sufficient. "Lathe of Heaven" most certainly does create alternate histories, many of them, but they are not triggered by the usual decision points. Instead, something like skin colour is changed and the results examined, repeatedly. Not all that different from "Sliders" in that sense - and "Sliders" was included in the article. - Tenebris —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:15, 5 September 2009 (UTC) Then would noughts and crosses be included as alternate history by malorie blackman i think. It's almost the same history that we have experienced but socially reversed . —Preceding unsigned comment added by Gabbyyellow (talkcontribs) 19:43, 21 May 2010 (UTC) Lathe of Heaven is about a man who's dreams alter reality, Alternate History is about realistic alternatives to our reality based on a divergence from our timeline.--Ollyoxenfree (talk) 23:56, 15 February 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

External Links

I noticed one of the things recommended to be worked on was thinning down the external links, therefore I would like to propose removing the following links to sites of seemingly little importance:

I figured I should put this up for discussion first, if anybody would like to argue for the relevance of any of these websites I would welcome it. Thank you for your consideration.--Ollyoxenfree (talk) 00:20, 16 February 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

What can be cut from "AH in Fantasy" and "Cross-time Stories"?

These sections take up far too much room for their relative importance, what can be removed from the sections? I notice there is some large explanations of plots, can that be thinned out or perhaps removed entirely?--Ollyoxenfree (talk) 01:05, 16 February 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Comics and graphic novels

I have added the following subhead to Alternate history in other media with the following information (actually, slightly less info than there is in the following paragraph) as an initial paragraph. Feel free to expand on it with any info you may have…

In comics and graphic novels: In the graphic novel series General Leonardo (three albums planned; In the Service of the Vatican and Crusade To the Holy Land published so far), Erik Svane and Dan Greenberg have the upper echelons of the Vatican forcing Leonardo da Vinci to build avant-garde military inventions (the tank, the hangglider, etc) in around 1480 in order to create an invincible army to embark upon a new Crusade to invade the Holy Land and reconquer Jerusalem. Asteriks 10:25, 3 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I am unsure of the inclusion of Elseworlds and What If? (comics) in this section as they ask "what ifs" based on the fictional universes. Titles like The Nail asks what the DC Universe would be like without Superman and few if any have any actual real world historical setting. Red Son deals with Superman landing in Russia not American, the Annihilation What If? deals with the question of how Earth's superheroes would cope if the Annihilation Wave wasn't stopped in deep space as it was in the main series (which is really an alternative "present" set in a fictional universe). Unlike Watchmen there is no explanation of justification of how they fit into the general definition. There are good examples as mentioned (Ministry of Space, Captain Confederacy) but I'm pretty familiar with the Elseworlds and What if imprints and can't see how they fit. (Emperor (talk) 20:48, 29 October 2008 (UTC))Reply[reply]

Will the person or persons who wrote this long entry please buy a dictionary and check the difference between 'alternate' and 'alternative'? These histories can only be 'alternative', sionce they replace other possible histories. 'Alternate' is used of two things that succeed one another in turns. It cannot be used of histories of any kind.Denis MacEoin 23:16, 27 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Alternate, adj. - 11. constituting an alternative. Also, this isn't important, but I pronounce the word when used with your definition as "all-ter-nate" (with a long A), whereas the definition I put would be pronounced by me as "all-ter-net" (with a short A). I'm not sure this is even correct (my accent is General American). No, wait, that first pronounciation is for the verb. (talk) 18:13, 8 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Pronunciation, with only one O. (talk) 12:27, 6 May 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Also, there is a dictionary reference for Alternate History...from the Oxford Dictionary of Science Fiction.Shsilver (talk) 18:42, 8 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes, but these are all based on original misuses of the word.
Please see the following:
3. (US) Other — as a common misuse when meaning alternative.
The two words really do have quite separate and distinct meanings: alternate implies the taking of turns, and alternative implies a choice. Start with the verb “to alternate” and carry its meaning over to the adjective alternate. You have a useful modifier that says, in a word, “First this one, then that one,” or, “Now me, then you, then me again, and so on.” Don’t corrupt alternate with any other confusing meaning.
Then take alternative, which means the choosing of one out of two courses; as a noun, it means such a choice (or “option”), and as an adjective, it is a synonym for “substitute”. Limit it to that. Let’s not blow alternately hot and cold on this: the alternative to holding the line is fuzziness.
—William Safire, On Language
Insisting on usage resulting from error is bad form an encyclopedia. Turkeyphant 19:36, 7 April 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Alternate is used more than alternative, in fact many people call alternative totally improper because of its relation to conspiracy theories.--Ollyoxenfree (talk) 01:11, 16 February 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Getting back on topic: Alien Space Bats. They are a plot device used with alternate history, like a Point of divergence or an Assiti Shards effect. Essentially some fantastical thing usually caused by aliens, God(s), magic, or something similar caused history to go off in another direction. It also has been used to describe alternate histories that are implausible. I believe in Dies the Fire, Stirling attributed the creation of the phrase to someone named Alison Brooks. Is that enough to get its own mention? Zombie Hunter Smurf (talk) 13:21, 5 June 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Mystery sentence

I do not understand the following sentence from the Definition section:

"Another copy of the foregoing is available,[7] and a different definition of "secret history" by the same writer is also searchable.[8]"

The references are:

7: ^ "Alternate History 101". 2001-08-13. Retrieved 2012-11-25.

8: ^ "Jorge Luis Borges Reviews by Evelyn C. Leeper". Retrieved 2012-11-25.

Can anyone clarify it? FrankSier (talk) 00:55, 19 February 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I think it means (not certain) that another example presenting and contrasting alternate history and secret history is (references by the same author showing that one definition reflects the other). It just has terrible grammar and appears to be redundant, however seeing as I might be missing something I think it would be prudent to get another opinion.--Ollyoxenfree (talk) 01:10, 25 February 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Why is no longer in external links

I just noticed this now. A few months ago, there was a link in the external links section to, which claims to be the largest AH site online (and from the number of active posters, it's far bigger and more significant than any of the other sites mentioned). Can anyone tell me why the link was removed?--RM (Be my friend) 03:31, 14 March 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]


We need a link to Len Deighton's SS-GB, a popular 1978 novel depicting a United Kingdom after Nazi occupation but only hinting at the ultimate outcome of the war. -- (talk) 07:12, 17 September 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Article title

The title "alternate history" gives the impression that it's referring to Historical revisionism. Fiction novels don't actually have the aim to offer an alternative to history. Wouldn't it be better to call the article something like "Alternate history in fiction", or "Fictional history"? GreyWinterOwl (talk) 15:50, 13 October 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

"Alternate History" is an accepted genre in fiction; a search on gave nearly 3000 hits. As near as I can tell, Historical revisionism doesn't involve a point of digression or produce a new timeline.--Jim in Georgia Contribs Talk 17:36, 13 October 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Alright, it is accepted as a genre in fiction, but as a stand-alone article title in an encyclopedia, it gives the impression to deal with something actually related to history, when it doesn't. "Alternate history" is a fiction genre, it's not something that actually proposes an alternate view of history. That's why I thought maybe it could be called something like "Alternate history (fiction)" or the other examples I suggested. GreyWinterOwl (talk) 19:39, 13 October 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think our pages should be titled to reflect the common name. The content of the article can explain the details.--Jim in Georgia Contribs Talk 20:13, 13 October 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Fine if the common name is "Alternate history", but adding "(fiction)" after it wouldn't violate common name, it would just specify that the article is about a genre of fiction, and is not related to the subject of history. GreyWinterOwl (talk) 21:14, 13 October 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think you're going to have to find at least one other person who confuses AH with history.--Jim in Georgia Contribs Talk 00:50, 14 October 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The very first line in the article states "Alternate history or alternative reality is a genre of fiction consisting of stories..". I think that we have to assume that readers will understand what the title refers to when they hit that first up. The "Alternate history" tag has been in use for many years and don't see it as being confusing. I also don't think we should be in the business of trying to second-guess how and why readers will access a certain page. Perry Middlemiss (talk) 21:41, 29 October 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

"See also" section

In August 2013 an "organize section" maintenance tag was placed on the "See also" section indicating that the layout needed work. The Wikipedia layout guidelines state the following about such "see also" sections: "A bulleted list of internal links to related Wikipedia articles. Consider using {{Columns-list}} or {{Div col}} if the list is lengthy. The links in the 'See also' section do not have to be directly related to the topic of the article because one purpose of 'See also' links is to enable readers to explore tangentially related topics."

It is my view that the current layout reflects this and the tag should be removed. If no-one objects I'll do that in about a week. Perry Middlemiss (talk) 21:52, 29 October 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

External links modified

Hello fellow Wikipedians,

I have just added archive links to one external link on Alternate history. Please take a moment to review my edit. If necessary, add {{cbignore}} after the link to keep me from modifying it. Alternatively, you can add {{nobots|deny=InternetArchiveBot}} to keep me off the page altogether. I made the following changes:

Cheers.—cyberbot IITalk to my owner:Online 18:44, 13 July 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Alternative vs Alternate

Alternative is the proper English spelling. "Alternate" is only in American English and it causes confusion because the word has a double meaning: alternate is something that alternates back and forth, like the current, whereas if we talk about history, we refer to a history that's an alternative to the real one. (talk) 12:08, 2 February 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

American English is just as valid as British English - neither is more "proper" than the other. Wikipedia recognizes this in its WP:ENGVAR guideline, which allows articles to be written in different varieties of English. "Alternate history" is the correct title, as this is what the concept is called in American English. - BilCat (talk) 16:19, 2 February 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I have just consulted the Merriam Webster online dictionary (, and the first three definitions of 'alternate' do not have the meaning the authors of this article intended to express, and the fourth definition says alternative means "constituting an alternative". It is on this basis that I'm changing the title from 'Alternate history' to 'Alternative history'. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:55, 28 February 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Just to note that the term was restored just after you reverted it. Using a dictionary to define one part of a phrase is inadequate. - BilCat (talk) 16:55, 9 June 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The issue is simply that using the verb "alternate" when "alternative" is meant is regarded as incorrect for obvious reasons (source: OED) and at best is ambiguous. There's no reason to use a word that's either wrong or confusing when there's a perfectly superior alternative.
Further, the claim that American English is just as valid as British English is completely irrelevant - the point is one word is unambiguous and only used by a subset of English speakers whereas the other is not and is used by all English speakers. It's clear which should be preferred (and that's before pointing out that the use of "alternate" in this article is a novel and minor meaning of a word that usually means something completely different). Turkeyphant 01:47, 12 August 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Did you read the previous discussions in the two archives?--Jim in Georgia Contribs Talk 02:25, 12 August 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I was unable to find anything against this suggestion... Turkeyphant 17:51, 12 August 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Check at:
Talk:Alternative history (genre)/Archive 1#'Alternate' or 'Alternative?'
Talk:Alternative history (genre)/Archive 2#Propose move to Alternative history
Not to mention #Article title near the top of this page
--Jim in Georgia Contribs Talk 18:51, 12 August 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Whatever the position is in 'normal' English, the fact remains that the genre is called Alternate History. That is the accepted convention. Changing it to alternative would actually create confusion by implying something different.Ian (talk) 10:19, 18 August 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Alternate long history?

So alternate history is about fictional worlds in which one or more historical events unfolded differently from how it did in reality, but what about alternate history on larger scales such as evolution of life on Earth or alike?

I guess that's not alternate history anymore but something else and just related. Is there an article for that? Or maybe I'm wrong and that would also be part of alternate history? (In that case however parts of this article would need to be rewritten.)

Basically it's alternate recent history of humanity vs. history of the Earth...and actually also vs. alternate long history of humanity (prehistory and human evolution).

Thinking about this since I wasn't sure whether or not to categorize The Long Earth under alternate history novels. It's not an alternate history novel as outlined in this article, so what to do now?

--Fixuture (talk) 18:46, 22 August 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Alternate vs. Counterfactual History

In the section definitions we read that "Alternate history is related to but distinct from counterfactual history", yet in history of alternate history literature (awful wording and all), we read that "The earliest example of an alternate (or counterfactual) history is found in Livy's Ab Urbe condita". AUC is not fiction, it is history, and therefore the section in question is, according to the definitions section, not counterfactual history but alternate history. And yet the section on the history of alternate history implies that counterfactual and alternate history are the same. (Likewise, the counterfactual history in Machiavelli's Discourses, also mentioned, is not fiction, nor is If it had happened otherwise). Caeciliusinhorto (talk) 21:59, 14 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Notable examples

Anyone willing to help compile a list and add it to this page? I feel that pages that refer here would be my first choice. Perhaps even a table of publication date, accuracy, followed accepted history until when, etc... That sort of thing. One other point of discussion: is Orwell's 1984 in any of these similar categories? Lookmomnohands (talk) 05:58, 24 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

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Schröndinger and the origin

In Dublin in 1952 Erwin Schrödinger gave a lecture in which at on point he jocularly warned his audience that what he was about to say might "seem lunatic". It was that, when his Nobel equations seem to be describing several different histories, they are "not alternatives but all really happen simultaneously". This is the earliest known reference to the multiverse (David Deutsch, The Beginning of infinity)

So they all really happen simultaneously. I wonder if it is possible to include that information to the article...Kartasto (talk) 17:31, 28 April 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

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