Brainstorming ideas that range throughout history and across the planet.Scenario Seeds=World War II
Lots of mini-scenarios related
to World War II.
Brainstorming ideas that may become scenarios in a couple of issues.Best of the Comment Section
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. Here are some of my general-interest ones.
So What Have I Been Up To? I’m sorry to say that the last year has been a pretty low productivity time as far as my writing is concerned. Life has gotten extremely hectic. As those of you who read last issue know, I’ve gotten myself involved in a nasty legal battle. It’s not really my fight. It’s my aunt’s but as one of the few living relatives I’ve felt obligated to get involved. Hint: don’t ever get involved in a lawsuit if you can possibly help it. They are incredibly time-consuming and costly. The good news is that my aunt won, at least at the trial court level. The other side is threatening to appeal though, so the court stuff could drag on another year or two. Meanwhile legal fees keep piling up and the property involved sits there getting less and less valuable. Hopefully it's over now.
Real life also intruded in another very tragic way. My wife’s mom died this past summer. She was in her 90’s and frail so it wasn’t a big shock, but she was a very nice lady and she had lived downstairs from us for around sixteen years, so all of a sudden the house seems much emptier. I think she was just hanging on until her grand-daughter (my stepdaughter) got married. She wanted to live long enough to see that, and she did. She also lived long enough to see my daughter graduate from eighth grade, which was another thing she was looking forward to.
In any case, writing hasn’t been a top priority for me for the last year and what time I have spend have been mainly on novels. I’ve done about 90 percent of a major rewrite of my novel Bear Country. I took out several major characters and sub-plots and reworked the material so that it is far more a novel rather than a group of semi-related stories. POD members have seen a lot of this material before, but I’ll give them a look at the first few revised chapters.
I'm also trying out something new: Amazon Shorts. Amazon Shorts are sort of like iTunes for short stories. You download a short story for 49 cents, read it, put it on your hard drive, or print it out. So for less than the price of a coke you can try out an author to see if you like their stuff. The author gets a little income and you hopefully get half an hour or forty-five minutes of entertainment. I submitted one of my short stories called The BEMs and it's currently available through Amazon Shorts. Feel free to check it out.
Fair warning, The BEMs is not an alternate history story. It's a science fiction/detective crossover set in a near future Earth which has suffered a rather peculiar type of alien invasion. Like I say, feel free to check it out.
Okay, on to this issue. As I said, I haven't had a lot of time lately, but that doesn't mean that I've lost interest in alternate history. I've had a lot of ideas. I just haven't had time to research them as throroughly as I would like to and flesh them out. Rather than letting another six months go by and hoping that I find time to finish all of this stuff I'm going to make this a brainstorming issue, with dozens of scenario seeds--mini-scenarios presented in a sentence or two or a paragraph or two.
I do a special brainstorming section for this issue. The theme is “Alternate history islands from A to Z.” I challenge myself to find a semi-plausible alternate history scenario involving an island or islands for each of the letters from A to Z. Brainstorming lets you free associate and generally lets me come up with a lot of downright silly ideas, along with a few that have genuine potential. I came up with over forty mini-scenarios for this section, with the quality ranging from "Okay, I had to come up with something for that letter" to "You know, I think I'll use that one for my next novel".
I also present twenty-plus additional mini-scenarios, about half of them World War II related and about half of them looking at a wide range of things ranging from alternate technology, including alternate space programs to alternate literature. The bottom line: this issue doesn't have the kind of in-depth scenarios that I normally do, but it does have over sixty smaller scenarios. I hope you enjoy them.
Other wrting: As many POD members know, I wrote a column for StrategyPage.com several months ago that grew out of one of my answers in the comments section of POD. Feel free to visit StrategyPage.com and just do a search on my name. If you like the column let them know. StrategyPage also has several alternate history scenarios that I wrote for them a few years ago. The search will find them too.
This page has had hits since I posted it on May 31, 2006.
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.