Alternative History – True Alternatives

In many ways, Steampunk fiction is often a kind of alternative history setting. Basically 1890’s tech sci-fi. I mentioned this before, the alternative history ends at the tech level in many cases. You still get the usual global players of the day:

  • The British Empire
  • France
  • The German Empire
  • The Russian Empire
  • The United States of America

*sigh*

It could be so much more… Right now, the only novel I read actually mentioning an „Exotic Place“ is Camera Obscura which gives some remarkable insights into a Steampunk version of China and an alternative American continent that never saw widespread decimation of the native population by European settlers.

In every other novel I read, it seems to be that only the usual suspects (see above) have Steampunk/Dieselpunk technology, the rest of the world… usually gets not even mentioned. But there are so many opportunities. Think about the following scenarios based on historic battles but with a twist:

2. September 1898, Battle of Omdurman:

The British Empire vs. The Zulu-Abyssinian Federation

16–19 October 1813, The Battle of Leipzig (Battle of the Nations)

France and Allies vs. Mongols and Allies

February 23 – March 6, 1836, Battle of The Alamo

Texas and the Pueblo People vs. The Aztec Empire

Aztec Seal of Sorts

21 October 1805, Battle of Trafalgar

France vs. The Danes

It is all a question of when and how you want to change history. Why not go a little bit further and add a little more spice to the fiction. It does not always have to be the usual suspects who are in charge.

How many of you have even heard of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth? During its Golden Age, it had a pretty advanced form of goverment and something like a lineral constitution, alas, it was eventually devided between Russia, Prussia and Austria. But just imagine if they had lasted a little longer…


3 Responses to Alternative History – True Alternatives

  1. You’re absolutely right.

    Also: May I suggest the book PASTWATCH: THE REDEMPTION OF CHRISTOPER COLUMBUS, by the American writer Orson Scott Card (ENDER’S GAME, SPEAKER FOR THE DEAD, SEVENTH SON)?

    It is not part of the Steampunk lore, but it’s definitely an alternate history work.

    Thanks for the article.

  2. Hey Miguel, good to see you here.
    Thank you for the suggestion, I will have a look into PASTWATCH: THE REDEMPTION OF CHRISTOPER COLUMBUS.

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