“What if…?” One of the most powerful and popular questions people will ask when examining the course of history. What if the Union lost the Civil War? What if the Germans won WWI? What if the spork was more popular? The inability to truly know what would happen in an alternative situation enables authors and readers to use their imagination and picture barren dystopias or picturesque utopias. With that being said, there is a lot of alternative history out there and you might want some guidance. Here are six books that are a great introduction into the genre.
1. 1632 BY ERIC FLINT
Starting off this list is a novel that places a small West Virginian town in the middle of the Roman Empire and the Thirty Years War. The townsfolk must find a way to survive their new home while also dealing with the issues of the day. Author Eric Flint uses this anachronism to explore how a sudden influx of modern technology impacts society and the course of history. This imaginative novel allows readers to envision the impacts of modern technology in an older setting.
2. BOMBS AWAY BY HARRY TURTLEDOVE
Bombs Away has us asking what would happen if Harry Truman unleashed a nuke during the Korean War. The majority of the novel deals with the US having to handle with the aftermath of the decision and the horrors of nuclear war.
3. CLASH OF EAGLES BY ALAN SMALE
The prevailing wisdom is that all empires have to fall eventually, but what if they didn’t? Alan Smale imagines what might have been if the Roman Empire had remained intact and discovered the land mass known as America. The Romans expect to conquer the native population and take their treasure, but are unexpectedly defeated. The story follows the lone Roman survivor and his journey in this strange, foreign land.