What If? Alternative History

Fantasy fiction is not all concerned with elves, orcs and mysterious moons in deep space! Here are novels that start with the known history of the world in which we live, and then spin off from it in unexpected and fantastic directions.

Fatherland

By Robert Harris

Go to catalog
What if Nazi Germany had won World War II? This mystery thriller is set in 1964, on the eve of Der Fuhrer's 75th birthday. After a decades-long Cold War between the USA and Germany (not Russia!), President Joe Kennedy (JFK's father!) is set to visit Berlin -- when a murder complicates things.
Reserve this title

Darwinia

By Robert Charles Wilson

Go to catalog
What if evolution had proceeded along different lines? In 1912, history was changed by the Miracle, when the old world of Europe was replaced by "Darwinia," a strange land of nightmarish jungle and antediluvian monsters. To some, the Miracle is an act of divine retribution; to others, it is an opportunity to carve out a new empire. Leaving an America now ruled by religious fundamentalists, young Guilford Law travels to "Darwinia" on a mission of discovery that will take him further than he can possibly imagine...to a shattering revelation about mankind's destiny in the universe.
Reserve this title

C.S.A.: Confederate States of America

By Howard Means

Go to catalog

What if the South had won the Civil War? This author pictures North America at the dawn of the 21st Century divided into two parts, a Northern disaster area called the Industrial Zone, and a Southern Confederacy ruled from Richmond, where the races are equal but very, very separate....

Reserve this title

1945

By Newt Gingrich and William R. Forstchen

Go to catalog
What if Hitler had never declared war on the United States? The former Speaker of the House of Representatives pictures a world where the USA -- victorious over Japan -- and Nazi Germany -- victorious over continental Europe -- leer uneasily at each other in 1945, and worry about atomic weapons....
Reserve this title

The Difference Engine

By William Gibson, Bruce Sterling

Go to catalog
What if the computer age had begun a hundred years earlier than it actually did?
This "alternative history" imagines a Victorian England run by steam-powered computing engines, and governed by an intellectual elite led by Prime Minister Byron. When an ambitious young paleontologist comes into possession of a dangerous set of program cards he begins running for his life....
Reserve this title