Dale Cozort's Alternate History Newsletter 

Volume 7: Number 3 --- June  2004


What if France Had Fought On From North Africa? Part IV

Scenario Seeds

Dies The Fire (Review)

Early End To The Ice Age

Best of the Comment Section

Main Alternate History Page

POD is an amateur press magazine and also a forum for discussing AH and AH-related ideas.  A lot of the comments don't make sense unless you've following the dialogue, but a whole lot of AH ideas get thrown around.  




So What Have I Been Up To?

Most of this was written in May and June of 2004.  I also wrote another newsletter for August 2004.  Both print versions were actually on time.  Unfortunately for the on-line versions, most of the print versions were composed of excerpts from a couple of novels I'm trying to finish up.  There really wasn't enough non-fiction to be worth putting up here.  I decided to wait until I finished one last revision of the first of the novels (Char) and then write a couple of scenarios to add in  before I put the newsletters up.  When I made that decision, I thought the novel was roughly 95 percent done--maybe two or three good days away from ready to send out.  I've spent almost all of my writing time for the last six months trying to get that last five percent done.  The novel is enormously better than it was.  It should be ready to send off in another week or two.

I finally just decided to take a break, write some things to add in and make a proper newsletter, then put this and hopefully the August one up.

My writing time has been severely limited in the last three months because one of my uncles recently died of cancer.  He has no surviving children, and enough money that the vultures started gathering months ago as he got sicker.  He left an incredible legal and financial mess behind, and as one of few living relatives I have been trying to make sure his wife doesn't end up pennyless.  That puts me in the middle of a really nasty real life 'adventure', with con artists, victims, a court battle, battles of wits, potential for violence, and all of the stuff that up until recently I've only encountered in books.  I very much wish that this was fiction.   Wish me luck on the real life stuff.

Below you'll find the original (laughably optomistic) comments for the written version of this zine.  

I’ve been working on Char for a long time.  I finally finished a reasonably respectable draft of it and sent off my first query letter.  I want to finish up the rough draft of Mars Looks Different in the next approximately two weeks.  It’s approximately two-thirds of the way written—with a little over 50,000 words so far, but will probably need another revision before it is really ready to go.  The plotting definitely needs work.  I’ve tried to hold back on new starts until I get these two novels finished, so there won’t be a lot other than the current sections of them and my comments on last issue in the zine this time unless my self-discipline breaks down and I decide to write one of the three or four scenarios I’ve been kicking around in my spare time or to finish France Fights on From North Africa.

I put a section of Char on line several issues ago.  Here's a brief summary I recently wrote up on what the novel's about:

One summer evening near a small town in Wisconsin, Char of the Real People walks out of a mudhole that she didn't walk into, wearing a deerskin skirt and carrying a crude wooden spear.  She almost immediately gets involved in a murder mystery and becomes the object of a massive search led by Sheriff Francine Hart.  Her life also becomes intertwined with Rick Blair, a young man who encounters her in the middle of a paintball game.

Sheriff Hart is baffled by some aspects of the case.  Based on evidence from the crime scene, Char doesn't appear to be quite human.  Her footprints are subtly 'wrong'.  Her stride appears to be 'wrong'.  Her blood appears to be primate, but not human in the normal sense.  Is she real, or is the evidence of her existence the result of some kind of elaborate hoax?  If she is real, where is she from?  What is she doing in the Wisconsin woods?

As the hunt for Char continues, another mystery becomes apparent.  While she appears to be a primitive, she also proves adept at using some kinds of technology, including a stolen computer, a rifle, and later a car.  At the same time, she doesn't appear to know how to open a milk carton or how to flush a toilet.

The number of bodies mounts, and the mystery of who Char is and why people are being murdered intensifies.  Is she 'the murderess from dimension X' as one character puts it?  Is she a poor traumatized lost kid, maybe the victim of someone playing 'most dangerous game' as one deputy suggests?  Whoever she is, she becomes more and more difficult and dangerous to catch as she adapts to her surroundings.

Commentary Section: The comment section is pretty good this time, so I will put it on-line. As I've mentioned in previous issues, I don't usually put those on-line because they are more like an off-the-cuff bull session than the stuff I normally put in the on-line version of these zines. The last few have had quite a bit of general interest stuff, so I've included them, but do understand that my comments there are not necessarily going to be fact-checked as well as the rest of the zine.




This page has had hits since I posted it on January 30, 2005.


More Stuff For POD Members Only

What you see here is a truncated on-line version of a larger zine that I contribute to POD, the alternate history APA.  POD members get to look forward to more fun stuff.