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Old 12-12-2009, 11:34 PM   #1
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Alternate history stories like the show 'Sliders'?

I just got three seasons of the show Sliders on dvd for about $20 (total). It was a great deal, I used to watch this show and am enjoying rediscovering it. The premise is basically that they find a way to 'slide' between alternate versions of the same Earth. So on every episode, they are in a version of San Francisco that is identical to ours (every world has a version of the characters, a Golden Gate Park etc.) except that one tiny thing happened differently. So, for example, there is the world where the Russians won the cold war, or the world where they never developed antibiotics. I know there is a genre of sci-fi books like this. Any good suggestions?
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Old 12-12-2009, 11:40 PM   #2
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Best alternate history story ever: The return of William Proxmire by Larry Niven

authors to consider:
S.M Stirling
Harry Turtledove (avoid the Crosstime series)

if you like dystopias, try this one:
The Children's War by J.D. Stroyar
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Old 12-12-2009, 11:40 PM   #3
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Harry Turtledove is generally considered the master of alternate history fiction. He'd be a good place to start. I've read his "World War" series in which aliens invade during WW2 and it was fun. Lots of the battles and political machinations of the real WW2 woven into the story but end up being between humans and aliens instead of between human countries.

As for Sliders, I recently re-watched the show. My suggestion would be stop after season 2. Season 3 is ok but is where it started going off the rails. Seasons 4 and 5 are excruciatingly painful, like intentionally poking your eyes with hot needles really.

Cheers,
PKFFW
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Old 12-13-2009, 01:40 AM   #4
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One book of a related type I can recommend is Replay by Ken Grimwood. It's about a man who dies and awakes in the past in his own teenage body but with all of the knowledge he accumulated in his life. It's an excellent read.
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Old 12-13-2009, 04:19 AM   #5
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And you can't go far wrong with Phip K Dick's *Man in the High Castle*. Works on the idea that Japan and Germany won WW2 war. The US is divied into two very distinct sectors, Japanese and German. Neil
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Old 12-13-2009, 04:25 AM   #6
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I love alternate history stories, but somehow most only revolve around either WWII or the the US Civil War. And both those wars I have little interest of.


What is a "dystopias", Nate?
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Old 12-13-2009, 04:47 AM   #7
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right-click the word, select dictioniary ... oh wait, that's just on my mac

Quote:
dystopia |disˈtōpēə|
noun
an imagined place or state in which everything is unpleasant or bad, typically a totalitarian or environmentally degraded one. The opposite of Utopia .
DERIVATIVES
dystopian |dəˈstoʊpiən| adjective & noun
ORIGIN late 18th cent.: from dys- [bad] + Utopia .
Thanks for starting this thread, fickbot. I remember really enjoying Sliders, not sure when I stopped watching. But I like alternate history movies too, so it's great to get a few recommendations for future reads.

Last edited by mores; 12-13-2009 at 04:52 AM.
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Old 12-13-2009, 05:03 AM   #8
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I'd recommend 'Anti-Ice' by Stephen Baxter.

Also, I recently read a couple of alternate history novels by Adam Roberts - 'Yellow Blue Tibia' and 'Swiftly' - which were both excellent.
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Old 12-13-2009, 05:09 AM   #9
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One interesting set of "alternate history" short stories you might enjoy are H. Beam Piper's "Paratime" series. You can download an anthology of them right here at MR.
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Old 12-13-2009, 05:49 AM   #10
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I'd recommend 'Anti-Ice' by Stephen Baxter.

Also, I recently read a couple of alternate history novels by Adam Roberts - 'Yellow Blue Tibia' and 'Swiftly' - which were both excellent.
Hmm, another story by Robert J. Sawyer, that might not actually be an alternate history one (but could be classified as one) is also a very good read: The Neanderthal Parallax.
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Old 12-13-2009, 05:53 AM   #11
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Another excellent one is Stephen Baxter's "The Time Ships". This is basically an enormously expanded version of H.G. Wells' "The Time Machine", and follows up on the idea that one's actions in the past can change the future. It's available as an eBook from Baen.
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Old 12-13-2009, 05:56 AM   #12
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Another excellent one is Stephen Baxter's "The Time Ships". This is basically an enormously expanded version of H.G. Wells' "The Time Machine", and follows up on the idea that one's actions in the past can change the future. It's available as an eBook from Baen.
Yes, that's an excellent book - better than Wells' original imho.
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Old 12-13-2009, 10:25 AM   #13
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A book I've had for years (but haven't gotten around to reading yet, so I can't comment on how good it actually is) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Years_of_Rice_and_Salt

A trilogy I have read involving an accidental opening to a parallel universe where the Neanderthals survived and the modern humans didn't:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Neanderthal_Parallax

And you might or might not like Pastwatch from Orson Scott Card:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pastwat...opher_Columbus
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Old 12-13-2009, 10:51 AM   #14
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I love 1632, the first in the Ring of Fire series by Eric Flint. The first and second books are available from the Baen Free Library. Here is a link to the first:
http://www.webscription.net/p-379-1632.aspx

Besides the regular books, there is also a series of anthologies with stories based on the characters from the series. Baen has a link to the entire series here:
http://www.webscription.net/c-10-rin...ric-flint.aspx

Also, Fictionwise has a huge anthology, The Best Alternate History Stories of the 20th Century, edited by Harry Turtledove.
http://www.fictionwise.com/ebooks/b5...rtledove/?si=0

Fictionwise has a whole category for Alternate History stories, both multiformat and DRM titles. The cool thing is that you can find a lot of the classic short stories available as individual titles, without DRM:
http://www.fictionwise.com/ebooks/c7...nate-History/?
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Old 12-13-2009, 11:02 AM   #15
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I don't know much about Alternate History books, but I used to love Sliders (stopped after a season or two).
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