Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Queen Of Hearts

August 29th, 2007

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Don't forget - Birthday Contest for Steve – November 22, 1967. Send in an alternate birthday for him for us to post!

Changes a-comin' – but not yet! I'm still here. There'll be some design changes to the site starting tomorrow as I surrender the site to Steve. I'll still be posting through the end of the week, though, sobbing over the page as I say goodbye to you all. I will be continuing my work on the web at RATMANifesto, including finishing a lot of the stories that you have seen begun here, so check it out after my tenure here at the Academy has ended.
My reminiscence today is about disagreement with other alternate history fans – some people don't consider alternate history authentic if you're adding things like magic, or aliens, or talented Pete Bests into the mix. They prefer a very tightly and narrowly defined alternate history that springboards from single changes in events within our own timeline. I, of course, like a broader definition. I like to look at it as “What if we added X to this point in history?” To me, that provides a more robust template from which I can draw. The narrower definition has always seemed to strict to me – more like an academic exercise than a jumping off point for great fiction. But that's just what I think – let me know your opinion in the comments!

In 2007, last minute changes were made to the arrangements for the tenth memorial service of the late Princess Diana Spencer.

The Prince of Wales decision not to attend the memorial had been met with widespread approval from the British public. Royal commentators considered it highly unlikely that Princes William and Harry would meet with their father (both have lived with the Earl of Spencer at his home in South Africa for the last decade).

Attendees of the service were therefore shocked to see the Prince arrive with his second wife, the Duchess of Cornwall. They were amazed to see his two sons arrive, and present their father with a wristwatch engraved ASNF (A Son Never Forgets). In his emotional acceptance speech, Prince Charles said he was so sorry, so very sorry for what had happened, but he would set it right or die trying.

The Queen of Hearts continues to remain a positive force for change in this world, even today. Diana taught us that we can wake up with a fresh perspective, and change our world if we really want to. Robbie Taylor once said something was missing in this harsh world, but now it is finally fulfilled. He's right - love conquers all.

~ entry by Co-historian Steve Payne

In 2008, artistic differences brought a sad and premature ending to the children's TV show Jakers. Following speculation in the Irish media, Ferny the badger resigned after a long running dispute with Jakers (the pig).
He just couldn't get himself motivated for piggerley wiggerley time for everyone anymore, and needed a fresh opportunity to move forward in his acting career. A number of British TV studios expressed limited interest in the concept of badgerley wadgerly time for everyone.

~ entry by Steve Payne from Counter History in Context - You're the Judge!

In 1983, the publication of a critical article in People Magazine forced New York Major Ed Koch to cancel Diana Ross' much-heralded concert in Central Park.

Ross had reunited with former Supremes Mary Wilson and Cindy Birdsong for the television special Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever. The three singers performed their 1969 number-one hit "Someday We'll Be Together", although altercations on stage between Ross and Wilson became an issue during the taping of the special.

Wilson conspired with Birdsong to take a step forward every time Ross did. Wilson did not follow the script set by producer Suzanne DePasse which did not go over well with Ross. Ross was to introduce Berry Gordy, however Wilson took it upon herself to do so, at which point Ross pulled Wilson's hand down and said "It's been taken care of." Ross then proceeded to introduce Gordy herself. These incidents were excised from the final edit of the taped special, but still made their way into the news media; People magazine reported that "Ross [did] some elbowing to get Wilson out of the spotlight."

~ entry by Co-Historian Steve Payne

In 1868, in Lee Allred's West of Appomattox US Secretary of State General Robert E. Lee has a clandestine meeting with a powerful but nameless figure in the British establishment. Inside the British Foreign Office he confronts busts and paintings of the executed Confederate President Jefferson Davis. Many of Davis' words belatedly ring true - All we ask is to be let alone and I worked night and day for twelve years to prevent the war, but I could not. The North was mad and blind, would not let us govern ourselves, and so the war came. A tearful Lee finally accepts “he was my President too”.

~ variant from Steve Payne: extensive use of original content has been made to celebrate the author's genius.

In 1916, combat tension created a new and frightening level of intensity for Second Lieutenant John Ronald Reuel Tolkien. Serving in the eleventh battalion of the Lancashire Fusiliers, Tolkien's imagination was over-stimulated by the horror of the Somme.
At night, he saw that most frightening of creatures charging across no-mans land. A creature of the imagination which he would never speak directly. Only W.H. Auden would guess at the depiction of the 1916 apparition. Later in the year, Tolkien was invalided with trench fever. And it was as this time he was gripped by the epic struggle, as Gandalf battled a Balrog, an ancient demon creature, and fell into a deep chasm under the Mines of Moria, apparently to his death.

~ variant entry by Steve Payne from extensive use of original content has been made to celebrate the author’s genius.

"Old Blood and Guts" Part 3 (1944-1945) - On December 9, 1945, in Germany a day before he was due to return to the United States, General George Smith Patton III suffered a broken neck in a road accident on a daytrip to hunt pheasants in the country outside Mannheim.

Their 1939 Cadillac Model 75 was driven by PFC Horace Woodring. Patton sat in the back seat, on the right with General Gay on his left, as per custom. At 11:45 near Neckarstadt, (Käfertal), a 2½ ton truck driven by T/5 Robert L. Thompson appeared out of the haze and made a left-hand turn towards a side road. The Cadillac smashed into the truck. General Patton was thrown forward and his head struck a metal part of the partition between the front and back seats. Gay and Woodring were uninjured. Patton was paralyzed from the neck down.

~ alternate obituary from Steve Payne: extensive use of original content has been made to re-examine the significance of a controversial historical figure.

In 1943, former War Leader Winston Churchill reacted to Generalfeldmarschall Erwin Rommel's release of huge quantities of poison gas at the liberating invasion forces in Dorking, in direct contravention of the Geneva Convention. Speaking from the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City, Churchill condemns the development, ..
.. but suggests the Free British Forces should respond with their own chemical attack. "I do not understand this squeamishness about the use of gas. We have definitely adopted the position at the Peace Conference of arguing in favour of the retention of gas as a permanent method of warfare. It is sheer affectation to lacerate a man with the poisonous fragment of a bursting shell and to boggle at making his eyes water by means of lachrymatory gas. I am strongly in favour of using poisoned gas against the Nazis. The moral effect should be so good that the loss of life should be reduced to a minimum. It is not necessary to use only the most deadly gases: gases can be used which cause great inconvenience and would spread a lively terror and yet would leave no serious permanent effects on most of those affected... "

~ entry by Steve Payne from Counter History in Context - You're the Judge!

In 2127/2003, a dramatic scene is played out in a deep cell of Paddington Green Police .. Paddington Green
Paddington Green Station.
Being interviewed are twenty-second century fugitive Brent and first Asian QC Kim Hollis. Urgent investigations are being pursued in relation to the apparent suicide of the Attorney General Lord Peter Goldsmith.

~ entry by Steve Payne from Counter History in Context - You're the Judge!

Joe 1
Joe 1
In 1949, the Soviet Union tested its first atomic bomb, known as First Lightning or Joe 1, at Semipalatinsk, Kazakhstan. Fearful that the Cold War will turn hot, Western leaders instantly regretted the post World War II conflict.
Desperate attempts were now made to accelerate the progress of the Manhattan Project, which had been stalled by a surprise German attack in 1944. The question was, what could be done in the three-five year interregnum whilst the West developed its own bomb?

~ entry by Steve Payne from Counter History in Context - You're the Judge!

In 1995, on this day NATO launched Operation Deliberate Force against Bosnian Serb forces. The direct involvement of Western Europeans in the Balkans was of course a recipe for disaster, and as soon often, agitated the Pro-Slav Government in Moscow. Pristina
The police involvement in the former Yugoslavia finally ended in a violent confrontation with Russian KFOR forces at Priština International Airport. The Cold War between the two power blocs had finished, the Soviet Union had dissolved, and yet a new Hot War was improbably about to begin.

~ entry by Steve Payne from Counter History in Context - You're the Judge!

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Cascadian_Patriot said...

Dear Reverend Robbie,

I read your alternate history blog and just wanted to ask about the Speaker's Line, which is an alternate history about people who are trying to reach the stars. What happened to it? I can't find traces of it pass 2005 or so. If it has been discontinued, start it up again! If you do, could you find all the events in the timeline and put them into one big post. (I realize that a lot to do, but if you could and have the time to do it, please do so! Thanks for all the work you put into this blog! It's really interesting to read!



Alternate Historian said...

Hi nprtacoma

Just coming back to you about this one, if you email me at we can swap some ideas to make this happen for you

Sincerely AH.

TIAH Editor says we'd like to move you off the blog, if you're browsing the archives - and most people are - more than half of them are already on the new site. We need to be sure the new web site accomodates your archive browsing needs because we don't want to lose any readers. Please supply any feedback or comments by email to the Editor and please note the blogger site is shutting on December 1st.