Pure Alternate History is where the events of an alternate timeline diverge from our history via Points of Departure, the Butterfly Effect, and Chaos Theory. Changes in actions lead to a world increasingly divergent from our own, but relying on the same basic science and technology that we do.
A lot of alternate history stories rely on some science fiction event to get going, but these are listed here under the Science Fiction tab on the menu. The stories on this page are ones where a change of events at some point in the past has had knock-on effects to create the world that the story is written in. These are stories that exist in a world whose technology and science we might recognise, but whose political structures, wars, and nomenclature we might not.
Another strand of pure alternate history is the history textbook from another world. This is the approach that Ten Naval Battles by Grey Wolf takes, as well as the bulk of background material for the unfinished story Tsar Michael The Great. Here we see articles from professors and historians of the alternate world, writing about their past, and listing publications from the alternate world that might have carried these essays.
Many alternate history stories focus upon the Point of Divergence, and essentially show the early years of the world spun off. Grey Wolf instead tends to write novels set decades or centuries after such events, where the changes have echoed down the years and created a vibrant new world of its own in which to set the story.
Also included here are Grey Wolf's essays on writing alternate history, given the name "How To Write Alternate History" by the publisher. These are in a new 2021 expanded edition, and the history of the book can be read in the Writing Blog on this website.
Based upon Constantinople, the Roman Empire has endured for millennia, and now in the modern age of airships and steam trains stretches across Central Asia as far as the exarchates of Persia and Afghanistan, bringing it into conflict with the globe-spanning British Empire.
Set in 1895, this alternate history book is written from the perspective of the officers and administrators of the Greek-speaking Roman Empire. We follow such characters as the commander of an airship, a courtesan in the capiral, and the retinue of the Exarchos, or governor, of the Eastern territories of the empire.
The British have been expanding within India, spreading their rule over the Mughals, and now threatening the Sikh Empire in the North, and beyond. As their ambition leads to bloodshed and war against Constantinople, we see how these clashes play out in the further reaches of central Asia.
After a world war against the combined might of the German and Russian empires, agreeing the peace is a task unto itself. How will Lord Wolfe navigate the varied twists and turns of fate? Once the darling of the old British emperor in his role as Governor of the vast South African dominions, he finds himself shunned by the new monarch in London, relying on his Spanish connections for attendance at the peace conference. Together with his daughter Carlotta, Wolfe must adapt to a new reality, one that takes him home to Britain where his wealth might buy him land and house, but can it ever work to restore his lost influence in the affairs of men?
The Shifting Sands is available to buy in paperback, and in Kindle, and epub retailers such as Barnes and Noble for Nook, iBooks for Apple, Scribd, and Kobo:-
The second novel in The Shifting Sands series picks up the story as Lord Wolfe and Carlotta leave Tsingtao, having concluded a treaty with the Japanese, and head for Seoul in the Kingdom of Korea.
Travelling across the Pacific, they enter the vast British North American colonies and traverse the expanse by train, to the East coast where interesting news awaits. An Atlantic liner awaits, and they make a welcome return to Harcourt Hall after so many months away.
As Carlotta begins to assert her independence, and receives a gift of alpacas from the former governor of the Argentine, Lord Woife takes decisions on how to invest a proportion of their fortune, including in the rising automobile industry. The publication of Carlotta's diary of the Tsingtao negotiations is a sensation that brings unwelcome attention, and not long after an unexpected confrontation that shatters the usual peace of Monksbury.
At the same time, the machinery of foreign diplomacy, occurring behind the scenes, and behind the backs of the politicians, increasingly draws Lord Wolfe into Russian affairs. Do they really have to travel to Saint Petersburg? What of the lives they are making back home?
The Steel Heart will be available to buy in paperback and ebook formats later in 2023.
How many ways are there to tell a story? Wreaths of Empire is set in a more violent world than ours, diverging some time in the early 19th century. Revolutions and unstable monarchies are more frequent, if generally less effective in changing the underlying establishment of a state.
Prussia still exists as the world moves in the 20th century, the CSA has secured its independence, and the Mughals continue to rule in Delhi, whilst the British consider themselves pre-eminent on the planet, rivalled mainly by France and by Russia, and later by a slowly growing Japanese Empire.
From the 1890s to the 2010s, we follow the story of the world, seen largely through the eyes of rhe British royal family, and the machinations of power within the country. Ship launches, royal reviews, and the constant development of warships set alongside this viewpoint. From ironclads to what we would think of as dreadnoughts, to super battleships mounting 21" guns, and through the development of aircraft carriers, cruisers and submarines we see how naval technology, and technical advances in general, drive foreign affairs.
From mad kings to sad kings, scheming aristocrats to old-timers enjoying their retirement, Wreaths of Empire paints a picture of a very different age of modernity from that which we know.
Half of London was bombed in the last war, a primitive nuclear bomb, but has now been recreated as a national memorial park. The jolt to Britain's governance was severe, though, and now a dysfunctional ruling family occupies the throne. Criminal entities abound, employing children or young people as their eyes and ears. Sapphire is one of these...
To Soar Like Icarus is available to buy in paperback, epub, and Kindle as part of the Little Books range from Scimitar Edge.
Ten Naval Battles tells the story of an alternate history from the mid 18th century to the mid 19th century through the eyes of a historian of that world writing about the ten most decisive naval battles of this period. Read about the Egyptians defeating the French, events in the North American colonies, and the formation of a federal Germany. Also includes the start of Ten Great Leaders with the Duc d'Andorra.
Presented as in a textbook from an alternate world, Ten Naval Battles narrates the ten battles of the title in sequence, and the reader can see how the world is being shaped and how it is evolving due to their repercussions.
Ten Naval Battles is available to buy in paperback, Kindle, and at various eBook stores:-
How To Write Alternate History is a book looking at how to write within the genre. It is illustrated throughout with examples, designed to inspire and open the writer up to exploring similar ideas for their own stories.
Grey Wolf's articles on how to write alternate history include what to look out for, considerations to bear in mind, and ideas for progression. The articles cover a wide range of related subjects, such as creating small but noticeable changes in things like the brand names which are popular, the activities which are to be found at the local pub, or the names of sports teams.
Developing Points of Departure (Divergence) and realistic alternatives in areas such as music, sport and dynastic marriages are also covered.
This updated version includes articles on aristocracy, colonies, logistics and "Who is the boss of who?", important elements that writers need to take into consideration.
How To Write Alternate History is available to buy in paperback, Kindle, and at various eBook stores:-
Various of Grey Wolf's stories have been serialised in magazines. Other potential novels are unfinished, but progressed a long way. Among these two categories are included the following alternate history stories:-
The first part of Slain, The Lion will be published in issue 5 of Infinity Wanderers magazine. It is a short series of chapters, set in a world where Britain has lost the Great War, and is experiencing revolution, social unrest, and potential disintegration.
A Feast of Eagles is a novel, about two-thirds complete, set in the aftermath of a Great War which has seen France and Russia defeated, and the Bonaparte and Romanov monarchies struggling to hold onto power. Featuring characters from real history, the reader can follow the alternate careers of people such as Winston Churchill, Admiral Milne, and Grand Duchesses Maria and Anastasia, whilst other developments from the mid 19th century Point of Divergence have a young British king, scion of the ill-fated (in our reality) Albert Victor.
An image from Slain, The Lion, where a minister of what remains of the government addresses revolutionaries, whilst militia watch on nervously
(Image by Robin Stacey)