22 March 2013

Friday Flag - Sul Aliança

Here is the first in an ongoing series. I've always loved flags, especially ones with great stories behind them. Flags evoke various emotions depending on who views them and what they represent means to that person. This series will focus on flags that never existed in our real world but in alternates.

This first one is for a large nation in South America from a short story I wrote (that story, The Corpse of Mars, can be found on my story blog). In the story I imply some disaster hit the Earth somewhere between 1866 and 2429. Out of the ruins of human civilization came new nations. Sul Aliança was one of the more successful of these new nations.

While Sul Aliança wasn't born until the mid-22nd century at the earliest I had imagined the disaster that struck humanity being a nuclear war in the mid-1980s.

Be sure to check back on future Fridays for more new and interesting symbols of lands that don't exist.

20 March 2013

US Presidential Election of 2012

Back in August 2012 I planned on starting a blog where each month I would blog a year into the future and build off my past predictions. August 2012 would be 2012, September 2012 would be 2013, etc. (and today, being March 2013, I'd be blogging about the year 2019 if I actually started that blog!) The more I thought about this project the less enthusiastic I became. While I try to keep up on science and politics and everything else, I felt it wouldn't be the best use of my blogging time.

While going through my computer cleaning up files I did find the first blog post I was going to make for Blogging to the Future. Here it is since it now fits the alternate history mold.


November 6, 2012

The hotly contested United States Presidential Election takes place. Across the country there are a number of voting irregularities as well as reports of voter intimidation and other problems. Despite this it becomes clear by the end of the night that President Obama has won a second term.

Results of 2012 Presidential Election in the United States

Barack Obama (Democrat) 49.20% 318 Electoral Votes
Mitt Romney (Republican) 47.90% - 220 Electoral Votes
Gary Johnson (Libertarian) 2.10% - 0 Electoral Votes
Jill Stein (Green) 0.55% - 0 Electoral Votes
Virgil Goode (Constitution) 0.15% - 0 Electoral Votes
All Others 0.10% - 0 Electoral Votes

The Libertarian Party has it's best showing in a Presidential election ever, but not nearly as well as they were hoping given the current economic and political conditions in the nation. Too many voters seemed to have panicked pulling the lever against one of the two major parties.

The House of Representatives stays strongly in the hands of Republicans. The Democrats keep control of the Senate by an even more narrow margin. Gridlock is seen for the next four years. Within weeks the major cable news channels begin wasting time discussing options for the 2016 election.

My guesses in August were pretty close for the most part. The only states I was wrong about were Florida and North Carolina. I was also way off with the percentage of the votes which the third parties got.

19 March 2013

The Titanic

RMS Titanic

Laid down on 31 March 1909

Launched 31 May 1911

Completed 2 April 1912

Maiden voyage: 10 April to 17 April 1912. Arrival safely in New York City.


On 7 May 1915 German submarine U-20 fires a single torpedo into the Titanic. Two crewmembers who were near the impact area were killed but the ship remained afloat and made it to safety. This incident further damaged ties between the United States and Germany. In later yeasr it was learned that the Titanic was transporting war munitions in violation of the rules of war.

In spring 1916, after repairs were completed, the Titanic was requisitioned by the Admiralty as a troop transport. After transporting over 50,000 soldiers to the continent and many tons of supplies she was made a hospital ship in 1917.

After a post-war refit the Titanic once again returned to her original role as an ocean liner. From 1920 to 1930 she performed her duties admirally. The global economic collapse and Great Depression caused her to be decommissioned.

Titanic with Returning Soldiers


In 1939 the Titanic was purchased by the Crown and recommissioned as the HMS Titanic, reprising her role as a troop and supply ship. She spent most of the war transporting Canadian troops and supplies form North America back to England.

In 1946 the tired old ship was finally decommissioned again. In 1952 she was sold for scrap.

The painting above is a modified version of Olympic with Returned Soldiers painted in 1919 by Arthur Lismer. I modified the dazzle painting on the Olympic to represent the Titanic in this alternate world. Obtained the original image from Wikipedia.

The premise of this alternate timeline is that there was no fire in the coal bunkers of the Titanic and it did not need to make haste through the trecherous waters in the north Atlantic. The iceberg was missed and life continued for the ship. It is probably a bit optimistic to think it would have served in both world wars, but there is no way to really know.

14 March 2013

Confederation of European States

Here is the first alternate history post for his blog. I've chosen the timeline format because it is one of my favorite. The divergence point is mid-1915 and I've roughly mapped out history until 2013. Let's see what happens.

1915: Baron Leopold von Berchtold and Count Istvan Burian von Rajecz are traveling to an important meeting in Vienna by automobile. Their is a terrible accident. The driver and Baron Berchtold are killed while Count Rajecz is seriously wounded. Count Ottokar Czernin is recalled from his duties in Romania and made the new Foreign Minister of the Dual Monarchy.

Later in the year Italy wants Austro-Hungarian territory containing Italians ceded to it in exchange for remaining neutral in the Great War. Germany pressures the Austrians to give in to the Italians. Count Czernin realizes that the millions of troops that would be needed to defend against the Italians would be better used against the Russians. He advices the Emperor to agree to the terms. It is a difficult sell but the potential gains in the Balkans and against Russia win out over border territory.

Ottokar Czernin (image taken from Wikipedia and credited from a book on Gutenberg.org Before the War, by Viscount Richard Burton Haldane; in public domain due to age)

1916: Germany coordinates with Austria-Hungary on attacks against Russia. The show of force by the Central Powers as well as further actions by Count Czernin keep Romania out of the war.

1917: Vladimir Lenin spreads communism in Russia. Revolution strikes the country and it drops out of the war.

The Zimmermann Telegram brings the United States into the war on the Allied side.

Italy joins the Central Powers and invades France with over two-million men. They hope to gain Corsica, Tunisia, and any other land they can seize from the French. The offensive is stopped by the French, but their lines become incredibly weak.

1918: The weakness of the French position forces American troops to be put into French units as soon as they arrive. General Pershing was opposed to this, but the reality of the war forces American men into French commands. Despite the influx of troops the additional fighting on the Italian front makes the French too weak. By October the Germans get their breakthrough and threaten Paris.

The British Expeditionary Force is cut-off during this breakthrough and is forced to evacuate the continent at Dunkirk knocking them out of the land war. France surrenders shortly afterwards.

1919: The peace negotiations continue for the better part of this year. The United States gains nothing from the war except tens of thousands of its young men killed and many more wounded. America becomes much more non-interventionist as a result. President Wilson becomes one of the most unpopular Presidents ever.

1920s: Despite being on the winning side of the war the Ottoman Empire still collapses. The Arab revolt and continued uprisings of other ethnic groups shatters the Empire. The Italians, Greeks, and British gain control of parts of the Middle East from the Turks.

1930s: Spanish Civil War - Franco wins the conflict with the aid of the Germans and Austrians. The Republican forces were supported by the Soviet Union and France.

The Dual Monarch becomes the Triple Monarchy as the people of the Balkans are given more autonomy.

China is in chaos as communist revolution and Japanese invasion begin. Stalin, facing a strong and economically unified Europe give substantial military support to Mao. Japan captures much of eastern China.

1940s: War continues in China. The United States takes a light-handed approach with Japan so long as the Japanese battle communist forces. Combined Russian-Red China forces push Japan almost completely off the mainland. Only southern Korea, Formosa, and several major coastal cities in China remain under Japanese control. When the Nationalist Chinese are finally defeated the communists agree to an end of the conflict with Japan. Japan retains control over the few territories it controls and the communists have time they desperately need to rebuild.

1950s:North Korean forces, supported by China and the Soviet Union, invades Japanese controlled South Korea. Japan is pushed back in the early months until they are able to deploy enough reinforcements. Among the reinforcements are units from United Kingdom and Australia and several thousand American volunteers. Years for fighting and countless thousands of deaths lead to a stalemate and eventual ceasefire agreement. The Imperial government in Japan collapses and more political freedom is given to the Japanese.

Rebellions throughout German Indochina cause much death and destruction. Viet Nam, Laos, and Cambodia gain independence as Germany finally withdraws. To cover their withdrawal the Germans detonate the first atomic bomb on Hanoi.

1960s: Many regions of Africa go into rebellion against European imperialists. Some of the worst fighting takes place in the Congo. American corporate interests want access to resources in the Congo so convince the US Government to intervene. This is the largest scale overseas military operation by the United States since the Great War. It turns into a quagmire lasting five years and costing tens of thousands of American lives and many hundreds of thousands of natives.

The poor treatment of blacks in America combined with this unpopular war in Africa leds to the Civil Rights movement in the US. At times violent it never sparks an outright civil war. Laws are eventually passed to finish what was started a century before.

The Triple Monarchy breaks into three independent republics - Austria, Hungary, and Yugoslavia.

1970s: The Confederation of European States forms. Germany dominates the new Confederation that makes up most of the nations of Europe except for the UK, Soviet Union, and Switzerland.

The Soviet Union continues its decline. It controls a vast international empire but a terrible economy and ethnic strife keep it lagging behind.

Flag of the Confederation of European States in 2013

1975: China breaks away from the Soviet Union. It and Japan both possess nuclear weapons (the Confederation, USA, and UK being the other three nuclear powers).

1980s:The Soviet Union collapses. Civil war breaks out in various regions of its territory.

1990s:Russia itself collapses as nationalist uprisings take place across central Asia.

Japanese and American corporations begin exploiting the cheap labor in China. China's economy begins to grow.

2000s: North Korea nearly brings China and Japan to war. Several hundred on each side are killed in skirmishes. Timely American political and economic intervention help to defuse the situation.

Tensions between India and Pakistan increase as India tests its first atomic bomb.

Struggles between German backed Turks and British backed Arabs & Egyptians lead to wars in the Middle East. Direct European interventions into the conflicts back-fire and turn most of the different factions against them. Events become worse when the Reichstag is destroyed by commercial airliners hijacked by terrorists. The Confederation of European States declares a war on terror as a result.

2013: The War on Terror continues and threatens draw in other nations such as India, Pakistan, the United States, and Japan.

The five largest economies in the world are: 1) The United States, 2) The Confederation of European States, 3) The Japanese Republic, 4) The British Commonwealth of Nations, 5) Peoples Republic of China

It is now a time of growing chaos. The global economy is is a slump, countless small wars threaten to become large wars, and the world continues on into the future.

11 March 2013

Welcome to Other Times!

This will be a place for me to explore alternate timelines. Other Times.

For many years now I have been a fan of alternate history. I'm not sure when this fascination began, but it was many years ago around the time when I first read the Time Travel sourcebook for the GUPRS role-playing game. One of the main sections in that book described a setting that didn't involved time travel but travel to separate alternate Earths.

In college, and beyond, I studied history. My love of history grew over the years. Along the way I started to read more and more 'counter-factual' stories. Then I ran a three-year long GURPS alternate worlds campaign. Each session I had to create a new and interesting alternate Earth for the players to explore.

There are several purposes for this blog:
First will be the review of alternate history books I've read.
Second will be the posting of my own alternate history creations, be it short fiction, maps, or counter-factual news articles.
Third will be to share links to the many other alternate history websites that exist.

Magic, psychic powers, and certain impossible technologies will be avoided here for the most part. I want to focus on the results of changed historical events or alternate decisions by historical figures. Beyond that I'm not sure how things will develop. I plan to let things evolve on their own for now. I'm sure interesting or popular alternate history ideas will be further explored. Using labels and pages I can organize these different series.

I hope that as this blog develops you will find things that are entertaining, thought provoking, and worthwhile.

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