This is what the ‘Alternate History’ genre is all about. Alternate History looks at history – this is applicable in any country of the world – and asks the question: ‘What If?’ What if British India hadn’t occurred? What would have happened if the British capital city had been built elsewhere – say, where Newcastle-upon-Tyne is today? Would that have altered the course of history? Alternate history can ask and answer so many questions – and sets your thoughts chasing off on all sorts of trails!
Alternate history is often alluded to as allohistory. To those aficionados of alternate history, it is frequently referred to as uchronia or uchronie which is what the French call alternate history; as parallel worlds; or even as abwegige geschichten. Regardless of which name alternate history is known by, it involves past events with their outcomes ultimately altered – and then subsequent events evolving from the altered perspective. Robert Sobel used alternate history as the primary plot in his book ‘For Want of a Nail…If Burgoyne had Won at Saratoga’. Similarly, Peter G Tsouras wrote ‘Gettysburg: An Alternate History’.
Alternate history has also been referred to as ‘counterfactuals’ which is not completely accurate: counterfactuals really relates more to academic historical research than it does to the genre of science fiction. You will find a good selection of these kinds of books in our alternate history section: One book I would particularly recommend is that written by Professor David Krasner, entitled ‘Unmaking the West: What-if?’ I am not going to say a word about this book – you will have to read it yourself!
Magic, the supernatural and Middle Earth: stories such as ‘The Middle Kingdom’ and the series of ‘Lord of the Rings’. Fantasy as a genre avoids the nasty and macabre …