“Reading alternative history makes me feel normal and answers my craving for “What If” answers.” Amber Polo
Here’s my top Five – Each a favorite for different reasons.
- Man in the High Castle – Philip K Dick (also a TV series)
- 11-22-63 – Stephen King
- The Eyre Affair – Jasper Fforde
- Underground Airlines – Ben Winters
- Never Let Me Go – Kazuo Ishiguru
Five Recent books show a genre that’s alive and evolving:
- American Hippo by Sarah Gailey What if Congress thought bringing hippopotami to Louisiana would solve the country’s food problems.
- The Clash of Eagles Trilogy by Alan Smale (Clash of Eagles, Eagles in Exile, Eagle and Empire) What if the Roman Empire survived and invaded the North American city of Cahokia in 1218 CE.
- Empire of Lies by Raymond Khoury What if the Ottoman Empire never fell?
- American Royals series by Katharine McGee A rom-com that supposes George Washington took the offer to become America’s king and what if the White House is now filled with his millennial descendants.
- Lent: a Novel of Many Returns by Jo Walton What if Girolamo Savanarola’s life was a miracle?
Sample some early alternative history stories:–
- The Best Alternative History Stories of the 20th Century edited by Harry Turtledove
- What Might Have Been (vol.1 Alternate Empires; vol.2 Alternate Heroes) edited by Gregory Benford
- Roads Not Taken: Tales of Alternate History edited by Gardner Dozois
- A Different Flesh by Harry Turtledove
- If the South Had Won the Civil War by MacKinlay Kantor
- The Lost World by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
- It Can’t Happen Here by Sinclair Lewis
Another List – The Most Unusual Alternative History Novels Ever Published – Emily Stamm
“Alternative Histories of the World” by Matthew Buchholz – a hard to classify, beautifully illustrated, delight of a book depicting a history slightly changed to include dinosaurs, zombies, and monsters. Imagine the Great Chicago Fire started by a Martian flying saucer, a monster tipping the Tower of Pisa, a metallic robot-Cortez meeting Moctezuma, and more.