e-book Alt Hist Issue 5: The Magazine of Historical Fiction and Alternate History

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Lewis Out of the Silent Planet , Perelandra have explored a specific histalt or alternate history, in his case those rooted in the fall of humankind from grace. His Narnia series posits a very different world, but accessible through a special "place between the worlds" one that potentially gives access to many alternate timelines or worlds, which share much in common. Modern alternate history specialists such as Harry Turtledove focus on military history and how the outcome of a single battle, campaign, or wartime decision could have produced an alternate timeline or timelines.

This is a favourite for alternate history buffs, for there have been many history-changing events that hinged on the outcome of a single battle improbably won. Second World War alterations provide numerous alternate history scenarios. Such alternate histories are more of the "what if" type, with no interchange or direct comparison between two co-existing alternative timelines.

Rick Sutcliffe's alternate history fiction has elements of both a specific alternate history but that also interacts with our own universe. Focused on moral decision making throughout, from the initial nexus decisions through to the daily lives of its "current" characters on the various alternate earths, it also features alternate military history.

The alternate worlds are only partially independent, and there is some interaction between them. Not all choices lead to a nexus, but some, including those related to both morality and critical technologies, definitely lead to one path taken and another not--one history before, two alternates after. This alternate history, like some others, is also Science Fiction, in the sense that scientific and technological choices shape the alternate societies he posits, and in turn are shaped by them.

After all, it was in exploring the interaction among ethics, society, and technology that these stories were born. What if we as a society, made different technological choices? How would those choices shape us? What can Christians say about such issues? So, what if there are several alternate earths, other worlds with a differing alternate history than our own Tirdia beyond some critical nexus points such as those described above? What if some could go there, meet the people, live their adventures, describe them for the rest of us? What if a few people knew of the alternate timelines and could travel among them?

What if Summary: Alternate history fiction posits a world where some key decision s or battle s went a different way than in our familiar history a "nexus" or "point of departure". However, the histalt of an alternate world encompasses the resulting differences in culture, technology, national boundaries, the economy, and the people themselves. Picture Hitler as a used car salesman, a rabbi, or a best-selling author.

The alternate history author must to some extent account for the alternate history in a comprehensive way, hence a "histalt". In some alternate history timeline scenarios, there are several co-existing earths, with occasional leakage or travel between them. Rick Sutcliffe's alternate history fiction takes place on several such worlds joined via a medium called the Timestream , each alternate earth distinguished from the others by a decision or group of decisions nexus triggers that radically altered subsequent history.

Moreover, "adjacent" alternate worlds in the timestream tend to affect each other's history, so that major events may be similar on, say, Tirdia and Hibernia see the links to the Timestream and The Interregnum. At some times during their respective histories, some adjacent worlds may influence each other so strongly that their alternate histories converge back to a common stream after a time Prime and Meta by A.

In Rick Sutcliffe's AH, the focus is on ethical decision making, particularly with respect to the appropriate technology, so this alternate history fiction is also science fiction, though that is not necessarily always the case with alternate history. Must not be simultaneously submitted to another publication. Must be an original work that has not been published elsewhere. Reviews and articles about historical fiction, alternate history books, genres and writers are welcome and criteria 2 and 3 above also apply.

We would love to have your artwork to illustrate the magazine and website. Please let us know what rights you are granting us and be aware that the magazine will be published as an ebook and printed book. Please submit using our online submission system provided by submishmash. You will also receive a free PDF copy of the issue. We are looking for First English Language serial rights, which means that we have the right to publish it first before it appears anywhere else. Once published you could then publish the story elsewhere if you wish, such as an anthology for instance.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed. Horror Tree is a resource for authors providing links to publishers with open markets, writing advice, news from the industry, and more! Voss is an adequate logical detective, but the mystery here is less subtle than the Parks.

Abby has lived all her life on a house above the sea, but she has never been to the water. When an enthralled flying messenger arrives at her house, she offers to set it free if it will carry her down to the sea. A lift of a wing and their circle encompassed the whole of the house. Suddenly she was dropping nearer, nearer, and then they dove and landed flat in the carved hollow in one pillar just a foot above the tide.

Alt Hist, no. 5

The stryke set her down, upright, and she ignored the trembling in her legs as she crouched at the edge and dipped her fingers in the water. Violet has always known she was different, but when she was fourteen her faery mother came to her and she understood she was a changeling. When the faeries begin to make war on the humans, she believes she knows what side she is on.

Alt Hist Issue 3 The Magazine of Historical Fiction and Alternate History

Because she was a faery and had no heart. Intentions mattered nothing; and her nature was that she had always been a traitor.

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But now that she knows she has no soul, she is driven to understand what effects the soul has in humans. When Abe is trampled into goo by a herd of elephants, the nearby wizard Philoneous reassembles him. Most of him. The wizard keeps a few bits for his own purposes. Nothing essential, I assure you. Philoneous also wants Abe to do a small task for him: retrieving his stolen hat from the merchant Vangelin.

Itet is caught up in conflicts among the gods. She has been raised as a sacrificial wife for Lord Sun, but instead she is [almost] drowned and possessed by the spirit of the river, who speaks through her. She also becomes the confidant of Ant, who lets her in on a lot of godly secrets, such as the fact that Lord Sun is only a human puppet of the real god, who has imprisoned most of the others. But Butterfly escaped and remained free, with the help of rebellious Ant, and is now plotting a rematch. That one remaining, whom I am forbidden to name, older even than the river, capricious and chancy, ravenous in one season, abstemious in others, beautiful and deadly dangerous: she forced the interloper to meet her in open battle.

A nicely complex tale in a well-imagined world full of magical creatures involved in plots and conspiracies. Itet is the narrator, but she has forgotten too much; the real protagonist here is Ant. It was sudden, shocking news that the current publisher of this print magazine has decided to pull the plug for financial reasons. The last issue was posted almost immediately online. The quality of this fiction makes me regret its passing all the more. In Portuguese Angola at the turn of the 20th century, the narrator sets out into the interior looking for her missing missionary father.

She was raised among the Umbundu, who gave her the name Kayela as a child. Her guide is frightened at the thought of her destination, for there the fierce Kanguellas reputedly dwell, although the Portuguese say they are only a myth. On their journey, they come to a village that has summoned the Mavumbula, a fearsome witch hunter. In order to save the accused witch, whom she believes to be innocent, the narrator challenges the witch hunter to the poison test.

Perhaps now, such minutiae were no longer beneath my notice, being as they were the last things I might ever perceive. Or perhaps, I thought, this was merely a symptom of the poison washing through my veins. She continues her journey through many more adventures and misadventures, but at the end she has earned her adult name. The author writes with great authority; the narrative voice is strong and authentic. For it is an ambiguous fantasy; it is possible to read this account as a realistic journey through late colonial Africa. When ghosts whisper to her in dreams, these may merely be dreams, the voice of her own subconscious.

And her father might have gone mad. Or she may be the one gone mad. There is certainly a deep mystery about her identity, which would seem to require that either someone is insane or supernatural forces are operating. A fictional landscape is the consensual creation of the reader, using the materials provided by the author. Encountering an error of fact or assumption can cause the entire setting to collapse.


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But in fiction, what we always see is a landscape of the imagination. Marie sang whenever she was alone. The store had an enormous collection of old sheet music, and she loved learning new songs. Once when her father went to Missouri for a funeral, she sang all day and all night, the entire time. She stood up straight and breathed deeply, smelling the dust and the brass polish.

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The shadows contained hidden listeners to whom she sang as beautifully as she could until her heart ached with the effort, until they were weeping, laughing, falling in love, shouting bravo! But when her father insists, for some reason, that she learn to play the banjo, he gives her an instrument inlayed by her mother with hummingbirds, who speak to her and teach her songs. Marie becomes a star on the radio, singing, but this enrages her father, who is determined to stop her and destroy the hummingbirds who defy him.

Lovely story. But this may just be me. Marja has the Mark of a witch, although in other days such women were prized for their power. A solitary witch has little power, without her mother or daughter, and bearing a daughter would certainly attract the attention of witchhunting priests. She marries a man who promises her a home, but his mother has always complained of her. Now she is pregnant when her husband dies, and she knows she has to escape before her daughter is born and reveals her secret. This scenario is too contrived to be credible, which is unfortunate as it would otherwise be well done.

Part of her soul was already in there. Would she get it back if she deleted it? More to the point, did she want to? The photo was a work of art. And what good was a soul, anyway? If her parents were right, and apparently they were, then it was a ticket to eternal boredom on one hand or eternal damnation on the other. So Mary decides to take all the advantage she can and sell her soul to the Devil. Cleverly done. This one makes an interesting contrast with the very sincere and moving Danvers story.

I gotta hole in me. I first noticed it when I was eleven. The hole pulls me backwards. Little pieces of me smaller than dust mites get sucked through my back and float away, dissolve somewhere on the air. Not my skin, or my bones, mind you. There seems to be a curse on the men in his family; they meet early and violent deaths.

Virgil finally begins to understand why when his father discovers a hidden attic in their house with a bunch of old papers hidden there, including a strange diagram showing a line of men with a ribbon running through them. It is the ribbon that makes the holes, through which their essence drains backwards in time. According to the author, the story is based on events in her own life, for which she felt compelled to construct an explanation, invoking the ghosts of her own forebears.

It is a very strange explanation, which give it an aura of veracity, just because it seems so unlikely that anyone could have made such a thing up.

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This is not a conventional or obvious ghost story but the product of a strong imagination. The man who calls himself Bumblethorn is living in a very creepy city where the buildings are alive. The windowshade crept up and disappeared into its pouch above and Mister Bumblethorn confronted the naked window — was it an eye?

Was it looking back at him? Mister Bumblethorn looked away, held his breath, tried to determine once more if the walls were breathing, were expanding and contracting rhythmically, ever so slightly. He has forgotten who he really is and how he got to this place, and to make sure he forgets, he smokes some kind of narcotic weed.

But more than the weed, he needs water, and in Fleet City water can only be purchased in blood. Here is a nightmarish vision inhabited by grotesques. They appear at first to be rather benign characters, but eventually Bumblethorn is made to recall why he has come to this place, and the scene turns ominous as we see the true nature of the place. This is strong stuff. For a brief moment, it skirts the edge of conventional heroic fantasy but rapidly turns darker.

Bumblethorn has good reason to want to forget.

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Two entities on spaceships, escaping from their respective worlds or leaving them to explore, merging in some manner. It is possible that one has eaten the other. The point is what they have in common, not what divides them, which is not exactly a novel concept. Then I awoke, here on the ship, and I was two, I was more than two, I was the sum of a drowned world.

There is a monster in me. I am a monster in him. The rest is apparently left to the imagination of the reader.