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Alternate History

Literature (1983: Doomsday)

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The following is an incomplete list of literature that was published after Doomsday.

Fiction

Southern Cross Trilogy

The Southern Cross trilogy is an alternate history/techno-thriller series by Australian author John Birmingham. The novels focus on a world in where Doomsday never happened. Instead, the Soviet Union has become the world's sole superpower as the United States of America has fallen apart due to internal infighting. To prevent Communism from spreading across the entire world, Australia takes up the mantle as defender of the free world. Birmingham uses various characters of different backgrounds to showcase the action taking place in the book.

  • Island Getaway (2004): Australia intervenes in a civil war in Indonesia between the Soviet backed Communist guerrillas and the Indonesian government.
  • Tropic Thunder (2005): The Soviet Union convinces Argentina to launch an attack on Australian controlled Falkland Islands.
  • Summer in Oceania (2007): Soviet and Australian agents race to take control of a rogue American nuclear submarine.

The series has spawned a large amount of controversy. Many critics find the novels to be a "dangerous fantasy" and warn people that it is not healthy to read novels that showcase a world in where the greatest tragedy in world history did not happen. Others, however, have found the novels to be well-written and an excellent portrayal of the little known sub-genre of science fiction that is alternate history. The series is also responsible for the explosion of alternate history novels that have been written since 2004.

As of 2009, Birmingham has not returned to alternate history, though he has stated in an interview that he has a new idea called a "double blind what if." He describes the process of people in an alternate history attempting to guess how history would have turned out if things had actually happened as they did in our reality at the divergence point.

L'ombre de Demain (The Shadow of Tomorrow)

The Shadow of Tomorrow (2009) is a horror-thriller by French writer Jean Burnel; sometimes called "Lovecraft's successor." It is a bestseller in the Francophone territories although a fanbase is growing especially in both the ANZC and the SAC.

The novel is focused primarily on a covert squad of French soldiers sent to explore old Paris. Initially sent to catalog and recover any relics and documents, they soon find strange signatures within the Louvre ruins: survivors of a pre-Doomsday experiment. The soldiers however, witness more than they bargained for. The experiment, as it's revealed, turned out to be an attempt to weaponize ancient relics from the Old Ones recovered in the years leading up to Doomsday while unveiling a particular secret tied to France itself. Vivid descriptions are presented on how the researchers shut themselves in their demented work; so obsessed that not even the bomb stopped them ... at least not immediately. What follows is a journey into the dark bowels of madness as they attempt to seal and escape the titular "Shadow of Tomorrow."

French-language publications - both in print and in emergent REM boards - hailed the novel as a masterwork of horror, and "hopefully" the first in a wide spanning series. Already "fan debates" are emerging between those of Burnel and Lovecraft. Criticism, however derives from a slightly twisted take on the French memory of Doomsday despite the honorable nature of the protagonists.

The novel is currently distributed internationally, primarily in English and French. In mid 2010, Burnel announced plans for a sequel, which would focus on the soldiers, now part of a covert division of the French government, as they investigate strange anomalies in the "Hungarian wastes." Following the author's sudden decision to find another publisher in 2012, he revealed that the novel, tentatively titled The Vanishing Shadows is still in progress, albeit with some altered details regarding the plot.

Survivors

The Survivors series is an alternate history/sci-fi techno-thriller by Hawaiian author Ioni Wilson. Set in 2012, where the remnants of the various nation states, having known that war would one day nearly wipe out mankind, joined together to build a series of arks designed to ferry a group of chosen nucleus of survivors to Alpha Centauri. Wilson uses an assortment of characters from various nations to showcase the action taking place in the book.

  • Leaving Home (2005): Knowing that with recent global tensions rising, World War 3 and Doomsday could be just around the corner, a secret plan is put into action by a group of the major powers. They gather together a selected group of scientists, doctors and a selection of civilians and pout them on a series of arks designed to ferry a group of chosen nucleus of survivors to Alpha Centauri. The five arks leave Earth just as Doomsday begins.
  • The Old Ways Remain (2006): The arks continue their journey to Alpha Centauri. On board Ark 3, a soviet agent tries to hijack Ark 3 and return it to Earth to rescue any surviving soviet leaders. The hijack is foiled but at a high cost.
  • Memories Of Times Past (2008): The Ark fleet stumbles upon the Voyager probe launched from Earth years before Doomsday. It is decided to take the probe on board Ark 2 for scientific study.
  • Home and Away (2010): The damage to Ark 3 forces the captain to attempt a landing on the first planet in the Alpha Centauri system. As Ark 3 descends to the surface, it is destroyed by a missile strike. Much to the shock of the other Arks, there are colonists already on the planet, HUMAN colonists. And they are NOT pleased to see the Ark Fleet.

The series has earned a large amount of criticism. Many critics find the novels to be a "pure fantasy" and “totally unbelievable”. Others, however, have found the novels to be well-written and an good portrayal of the science fiction genre of alternate history. As of 2012, Wilson has not returned written any further books in the survivor series, though he has stated in an interview that he is working on the first in the sequel series to Survivors.

A Back Step In Time

The A Back Step In Time series is an alternate history/sci-fi thriller by Japanese author Akashi Murakami. Set in the year 2150, LoN Astronomers have discovered that in three years, an asteroid will enter the solar system and six months later, the asteroid will hit Earth, thus all life on the planet is being threatened with extinction. Knowing that they have only recently achieved space flight equal to that of pre-Doomsday levels, they realizes that they can not stop the asteroid from impacting Earth and wiping out the Human Race. Beneath the remains of the old US military facility in Nevada code-named "Area 51", LoN scientists have created a top-secret project, code-named “Backstep”. Backstep opens a door allowing people to travel back to prehistoric times.

  • A Back Step In Time (2003):

The Susuki family (father Takeshi, his wife Miyabi, and their three children Souta, Airi and Mai) join the tenth pilgrimage of settlers to use Backstep, but something goes wrong and the latest group of settlers are not sent to prehistoric times, they are sent to the American mid-west. Realising that the “backstep” has sent them to the wrong time, they decide to try to live their lives without affecting the future.

  • Time For Change (2004):

After an attack on their settlement by Native Americans, the settlers discover they are in the year 1859. After the settlers repulse the attack, the leaders of the settlement decide that they would try to change the future so to as avoid Doomsday.

  • Time For The Devil You Know (2006):

The settlers try to alter the course of US history by averting the American Civil War by some of them going undercover as US Cavalry and heading to Washington to inform the White House of the impending Civil War. They succeed and the Civil War is averted, only to be replaced with an even more vicious war with the Native Americans.

  • A Time For Threats (2007):

As the war with the Native Americans heats up, President Lincoln authorizes that no-quarters be given to the Indians in regards to surrender. The US Cavalry then begin systematically exterminating any Native American they find, be they man, woman or child, and regardless if they are combatants or not. This wholesale slaughter of the Native Americans prompts the British Empire to threaten Washington with war if they do not stop the extermination of the Native Americans.

  • Time of War (2009):

As the war with the Native Americans escalates, another group that says they come from a different future where the Nazis won World War IV, thanks to the British Empire declaring war on America twice, and World War III goes very badly. The second group from the future say that the British base across the border in Quebec must be taken out to avoid the future that they come from. They succeed, the British base in Quebec is taken out, forcing the Canadian government to recognise Quebec as part of the Union.

  • Time for a Solution (2010):

The war with the Native Americans reaches its climax when General Custer and General Tashikawa launch an all-out assault on the Native Americans. Five tribes are totally wiped out, while the rest are reduced to such low numbers that within a generation, they will be extinct. Not wanting to risk the remaining tribes and tribal remnants gathering together, Washington orders that all Native Americans be shot on sight and orders the US cavalry to hunt down and exterminate the remaining tribes and tribal remnants.

  • Time of Endings (2011):

With the last of the remaining Native American tribes and tribal remnants have been hunted down and exterminated, Washington begins its push west, this uniting the US "from sea to shining sea". Their march eastward is halted by a visitor from the future bearing news, and it is not good.

As of 2012, Murakami announced Time for Endings would be the last in the "A Backstep In Time" series.

Return of Gundam

Return of Gundam (2010) is a science fiction/future history work by Victorian writer Paul Robertson, based on Yoshiyuki Tomino's 1979 animated TV series. According to interviews, he was inspired to write to novel, itself the first of different stories, after watching tapes of the show as a child, as well as coming across works allegedly from Tomino's surviving staff via the Recovered Media from the Far East.

Set thousands of years after the events of the "Universal Century" (the 1979 TV series) the main bulk of the novel focuses on an Earth (or rather, North America) that has regressed to 1930s levels following a "dark history" shrouded in myth. Soon, the Earthmen find themselves on the verge of an invasion by the space colonists' descendants, having retained advanced technology. Loran, an advance scout that has gone native by the name "Oswald LaSalle," finds himself torn between his adoptive family and his fellow comrades. Things become more complicated as archaeologists discover the titular Gundam buried in a preserved bunker, which could turn the tide of the war. As the story progresses, however, unsettling revelations about the Gundam and dark history are slowly revealed as Earthmen and invader alike begin taking sides. It's revealed that the whole situation was the result of an apocalyptic conflict (akin to Doomsday but on a massive scale) that nearly wiped out life on Earth and an age-old plan by the Zabi family to control humanity's future. Loran's battle ultimately becomes a race to stop the past from repeating itself.

Initial reviews were decidedly positive, especially on how the author manages to create a world at once alien and recognizable while tying it cleverly to the 1979 show. Potential controversy, however, lies on whether the Gundam franchise is still "active" in Japan. It still remains uncertain if Tomino himself survived Doomsday, let alone continued producing works set in that particular universe.

Non-fiction

Biography

The Father Of His Country

The Father Of His Country (2009) is the biography and memoirs of Virginian ex-President-General Thompson. It covers all the milestones in the beloved leader's life.
The Beginning- Thompson recounts, to the best of his ability, his birth and early life.

In the Call of Duty- Thompson's enlistment in the US Army, and pre-Doomsday military career.

Out of the Frying Pan...- This chapter details Thompson and the 101st Airborne's trip from the fort in Kentucky to West Virginia.

...And Into the Fire- This chapter details the Thompson's long, hard campaign to reunite the old state of West Virginia.

The Father of His Country- Details Thompson's service as the first President-General of Virginia, and his retirement in 2009.

From the Sidelines- Details Thompson's work helping President-General Rockefeller bring Virginia back into responsible government.

Though it is hard to verify if it is completely genuine, academics affirmed that it was personally written by Thompson himself. He had initially objected to the title given, but was persuaded by the editors that he was the "father of his country".

The Last American President

The Last American President (2000) is a biographical history of former American President George H. W. Bush, by now critically acclaimed historian William Feston. It is to date one of the most successful books in the former American states of Hawaii and Alaska, and, upon its expansion into the North American continent in 2008, has become a bestseller within the Republic of Superior and Aroostook.

The story itself begins with a brief summary of what could be established as the former President's early life, given that all records had been destroyed during Doomsday, or were unattainable. This was, as a result, largely written from the memories of the surviving Bush family members, and cannot be considered totally nonfiction.

The book itself starts on the first chapter with the George Bush landing in Australia, patiently waiting for next air craft that will never come. Even as he was sworn in, he held out some hope that Reagan was simply secluded upon the Hawaiian Islands, or possibly on an island in the Pacific. Those hopes die hard as the years past, and it has only been recently that he has openly accepted that Reagan was truly dead.

His Presidency would only be surpassed by that of Franklin Roosevelt, though he had only been elected once. His attempts to hold together what was left of the United States of America, though noble in purpose, would ultimately fail. Realizing this, he would formally order the disbandment of the American Provisional Government in 1995.

At the request of George H. W. Bush himself, all proceeds from the books sales, including his own royalties, go to fund the United American History Museum, which details the complete and total history of the United States of America, or at least what can be pieced together at the time.

Geography

With many communities isolated for years or decades after Doomsday, geography has again become a major literary genre as people try to fulfill their curiosity about the Parts Unknown. In the hardscrabble ten years immediately after the war, most exploring was being done by individual adventurers, and their discoveries were written in travel narratives of varying accuracy. Some of these works were read widely by official as well as popular audiences, since they were the only sources of information available. Governments began to systematically explore the world beginning in the early 1990s, but travel narratives of unexplored regions remain very popular.

Travels in the Southwest

Travels in the Southwest, by the otherwise unknown "D. Davis", first appeared in Hawaii around 1988. It was more widely published in New Zealand beginning the following year and is still in print. It describes, in somewhat fantastical terms, a succession of societies and bands that the author/narrator encountered on a trek through the old American Southwest. The early ANZAC explorers carried copies of the book to North America with them, but found little in it that could help them. The authenticity of the author has often been questioned, with many assuming it to have been the work of a Hawaiian charlatan. However, copies later surfaced in the North American Union following contact, giving it a little more credibility. It is now studied by historians as a reflection on North America in the immediate aftermath period.

Walking Alone On Hell’s Highway

Walking Alone On Hell’s Highway (1993) is a book based off the personnel diary of Larson Miller, as he trekked to a mythical land where America was said to still exist. He must deal with the wild animals that now live within the urban jungle, including an escaped African elephant, and hide from the bandits that still patrolled those areas at the time. It would take him almost three years before he reached the undamaged city, which the inhabitants called Mackinaw.

Many criticize his work as not being plausible, especially considering that he was the only survivor of his town following Doomsday, that he would likely not have had the physical strength to carry out many of the actions within the book, and no way to back up his story. The only part specifically proven was that he entered Mackinaw City on June 8th, 1986, due to existing government records within the Republic of Superior.

Despite these criticisms, the work has gained a large following, considering it a guide or viewpoint into the lives of refugees during the dark first years Post-Doomsday. Though its popularity is mainly confined to the Republic of Superior, it has since 2007 begun publications elsewhere.

World Factbook

The World Factbook (also known as the League of Nations World Factbook) is a reference resource produced by the League of Nations with almanac-style information about the current number of survivor nations existing in the world since Doomsday. It was first published on August 17, 2009. Its purpose is to inform the world population about what is happening in other parts of the world, especially whether any new nations have been discovered in the devastated Northern Hemisphere. It provides a two- to three-page summary of the demographics, geography, communications, government, economy, and military of LoN-recognized countries, dependencies, and other areas in the world. Its meant to be used a reference guide for world leaders, but already their are orders for copies from universities and major bookstores.

With continual reports from both foreign governments and the WCRB, there is concern on the Factbook becoming outdated fairly quickly. Plans are underway to release a second print edition by at least 2010.

History

WCRB Records: Recovered Media from the Far East

Recovered Media from the Far East (2008) is a collection of WCRB journal-reviews and reports on media from Martial Law-era Philippines and Japan. The former concerns the discovery of underground press works - poems, recorded broadcasts and books - that were hidden from Ferdinand Marcos during the "Indefinite Emergency (the post-Doomsday purges)." The works reveal both startling brutality and amazing insight into an awakening Philippine psyche. Annotations are provided by Diaspora scholars and clergymen to provide context on the chaos that preceded the Bloodless Coup of '87.

The latter is derived almost entirely from the notes and sample "recovered material" of Col. Zakharov of Socialist Siberia, during the 2004 Reopening of Japan; later given to the WCRB. The media concerned are a mixture of pre-Doomsday works - including tapes of the unknown 1979 TV series Mobile Suit Gundam - and more contemporary novels and so-called manga. Included are segments of the 1970s semi-biographical manga Barefoot Gen, a traumatic tale of the first atomic strike in Hiroshima; and an early warning of the horrors of Doomsday. This section provides commentary into a culture that, for much of the world, seemed to vanish into oblivion when the bombs fell.

When it was first distributed to bookstores in the ANZC and Tonga, there was little in the way of advertising. Only through word of mouth did it begin to gain attention out of the academe into the mainstream. In 2009, requests were made on a possible Second Volume; due to popular demand. Proposals on media for Second Volume range from the former United States and central Europe to Africa, Taiwan and Japan (again).

Alpine Expeditionary Reports

The Alpine Expeditionary Reports are a series of documents from the Alpine Confederation, published in conjunction with the WCRB. Covering a period spanning approximately from 1987 to 2009, the Reports (which include both declassified and publicly released files) provide detailed information on the surveys and expeditions conducted primarily by what is now the Alpine Militia into the wastelands and territories surrounding their corner of Europe. Included as well are first-hand commentaries of a number of events that had occurred over that timeframe, such as contact with the Kingdom of Prussia.

The most recent editions in particular contain the 2009 expedition into former Hungary by the Alpine Expeditionary Corps. stationed in Sopron. The documentation from that expedition validates the still tumultuous conditions of the land separating the Alpine Confederation from Partium, as well as confirmed the "sea of glass" marking where Budapest once stood.

While the publishing of the Reports has been formally endorsed by Alpine authorities and met with growing attention well beyond the continent, minor controversies have emerged. These are primarily with regards to the material being publicly disclosed as well the possibility of still-classified data that may yield further, valuable insight to the WCRB regarding the situation in Central and Eastern Europe.

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