The essays in this volume analyse the important sub-genre of science fiction called alternate history - stories set in worlds that have been fictionalized by altering some key event in real history. It examines some of the fanous themes of this literature: the American South winning the Civil War, and the Nazis winning World War II, as well as analysing some fascinating experiments with the form, such as those by Robert Silverberg and Robert Coover. Essays are by scholars including Thomas Shippey, Steven Kagle, Robert Geary, Martha Bartter and Joe Sanders. The book moves from the origins of alternate history to discussions of early examples, and unusual experiments within it, and deals not only with printed literature but with film and graphic novels as well.
General introduction - three stages of alternate history fiction and the "metaphysical if", Edgar L. Chapman; Taine and Leinster and the origins of magazine alternate history - if only, Joe Sanders; the ironical mysteries of time - Ward Moore's classic "Bring the Jubilee", Robert Geary; a dance of apes - Sarban's "The Sound of His Horn", Carl Yoke; toward a theory of alterate history - some versions of alternative Nazis, Willian Hardesty; metafiction and quest for illumination in "The Man in the High Castle" - Dick's alternative history classic four decades later, Howard Canaan; the Aztecs and Incas have it - Robert Silverberg's playful alternate histories, Olena Saciuk; authentic history, alternate history and alternate future history in superhero graphic novels, 1986-96, Darren Harris-Fain. (Part contents).