What’s Coming up in Alt Hist Issue 6

We’re still working busily on the production of Alt Hist Issue 6 – all coming together nicely with final proofs being checked and the cover being designed. If you’re intrigued about what to expect then here’s a draft of the back cover copy for the next issue. Issue 6 should be available by the end of January/start of February at the latest.

Alt Hist Issue 6 includes four wonderful alternate history stories, plus a great “straight” historical fiction set in 1914 about a teenage girl accused of war crimes. The alternate history stories cover some classic areas for speculative fiction and of interest to alternate history buffs: what if Hitler one the war, what if the Germans invaded Britain in WW2, who really killed JFK and what if the Cold War turned hot? But none of these tales are just speculation on alternative versions of history. They all share what you have come to expect from Alt Hist: a strong story and engaging characters.


Alt Hist is the magazine of Historical Fiction and Alternate History, published twice a year by Alt Hist Press.


Stories featured in Alt Hist Issue 6:


  • “B-36”by Douglas W. Texter
  • “ Battalion 202: Worm in the Apple” by Jonathan Doering:
  • “The Iceberg” by Andrea Mullaney
  • “When Shots Rang Out” by Lynda M. Vanderhoff
  • “Hitler Is Coming” by Martin Roy Hill


Set in a world in which the early Cold War grows very hot, “B-36”by Douglas W. Texter  tells the tale of what might have happened if the Soviet Union had taken Berlin during the Berlin Airlift. In this world, Secretary of Defense James Forrestal orders a B-36 piloted by Lieutenant Colonel Joseph Drummond and a very special mission commander to fly to the Soviet Union with a secret “gimmick” on board.  The results of the mission are world-changing.

The next instalment of Battalion 202 by Jonathan Doering: “For all I know, you’re dirty as well.” Christopher felt his chest flare. “Alright then, if you don’t believe me, shoot me.” A worm enters an apple. It is seeking food, shelter. It is only acting on its nature. But sooner or later the apple will turn rotten. Everything will explode. There is a traitor in Pontefract Auxiliary Unit. A traitor who places his own survival and success in the new Nazi state ahead of everything – even the lives of his comrades….

On Boxing Day, 1914, a teenage girl sits in an Edinburgh prison awaiting trial for a war crime. Her lawyer finds himself captivated by her as he tries to establish the truth of the case, whose roots lie in the Titanic disaster two years before. ‘The Iceberg,’ by Andrea Mullaney, is based on an extraordinary true story.

In “When Shots Rang Out” by Lynda M. Vanderhoff JFK was a well known ladies man, but his family has suffered under a curse that is nearly Shakespearian in scope.  Could it be that Kennedy upset the wrong person with his philandering, putting in motion the death and bad fortune that would see his family destroyed?

What would the United States be like if Hitler won the Second World War? In “Hitler Is Coming” by Martin Roy Hill protagonist Paul Klee is an OSS veteran and police investigator on temporary assignment to the post-war American SS to stop a plot to kill a victorious Adolf Hitler on his first visit to the U.S. From fascist cabbies to corrupt Party gauleiters, Klee wends his way through an America most Americans today never knew once existed.


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Get all back issues of Alt Hist

As well as being able to subscribe to Alt Hist, and buy individual issues, you can now purchase all 5 back issues at a discount. The offer is for all 5 printed issues and includes free copies of the eBook for each issue as well as free shipping in the US – all this for only $44.95 (each print issue normally costs $9.99, so with free eBook and shipping taken into account that’s quite a good saving.

If you want to take advantage of this offer then either go to the Subscribe page or hit the PayPal button below:

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Offer only available at the moment for US customers.

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Alt Hist Issue 6 – News

For those of you eagerly awaiting the 6th issue of Alt Hist, I have some news.

First off the good news is that it should be a bumper issue – we have more words and pages in the next issue than ever before. Secondly, it’s probably not going to be out before Christmas. Currently its in editing stage and I anticipate that process will take the rest of December. So its likely that Alt Hist Issue 6 will be out in early January to rid you of those post-Christmas blues!

Here’s a sneak peak of the stories that will appear in Alt Hist Issue 6 (in no particular order):

  • “Hitler is Coming” by Martin Hill (Alternate History – Hitler in America)
  • “When Shots Rang Out” by Lynda M. Vanderhoff (JFK)
  • “B-36” by Douglas W. Texter (Cold War alternate history)
  • “Battalion 202: Worm in the Apple” by Jonathan Doering (German invasion of Britain)
  • “The Iceberg” by Andrea Mullaney (First World War spies)
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Interesting Video – how Video games rewrite history (Assassin’s Creed IV)

Interesting idea this – looking at how video games rewrite history and create alternate history. This 40 minute video is the first in a new series from History Respawned.

The first episode is a 40 minute look into the world of Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, with Dr. Bryan Glass, a professor at Texas State University who teaches a class on piracy, discussing the historical realities of high sea adventures and swashbuclking with host Bob Whitaker.

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Historical Fiction Short Stories – the Long and the Short of it

Like fantasy, historical fiction often seems to favour the epic mode where authors (and readers) can get to grips with extensive world-building and a deep setting. That’s at least what you often hear these days on online forums and discussion groups.

But is that really the case? Of course at Alt Hist we don’t think that is true as we publish a magazine dedicated to short fiction with an historical setting. In the case of Alternative History, with its links to the Science Fiction genre, the tendency to write short stories is much more ingrained – Alternate History stories often focuses ideas and these can sit naturally with the short story length.

But I really think there is a place for the short story for historical fiction as well. Just because the tendency of historical fiction authors is to write epic tales of romance/adventure, doesn’t mean that you can’t fit historical fiction into a short story. After all in Science Fiction the author may have to create whole new worlds that they reader may never encountered before, so what would prevent the writer of historical fiction from portraying an historical setting, which might be much more familiar to the reader? I would suggest the tendency is more about tradition and commercial pressure. Short fiction today is strongest in Science Fiction, Fantasy and Mystery because it always has been and its often a good starting point for writers in those genres. But the same tradition isn’t the same for historical fiction – as far as I know there weren’t any pulp magazines dedicated to historical fiction unless you include Westerns.

Commercially the emphasis is always on the novel length work. Short stories tend not to be a commercial format for most publishers. So if you’re a historical fiction writer and you want to make a living then its only natural to turn to the novel. Interestingly it seems that some authors once they’re established do then turn to short stories – especially for characters that run through their novels – there’s some tales that fit better into a short story rather than a novel.

So maybe it is possible to write and read historical short stories, but are there many of these rare birds about? Well yes actually. Check the reviews on the Historical Novel Society website and you will find reviews for 72 collections of historical short stories – and most of these were published in just the last few years.

If you have a favourite historical short story then please post a Comment and tell us about it.

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Review of Alt Hist Issue 4 at SFcrowsnest

Apologies for not posting anything here for a while, things have been busy. You should hopefully see more regular postings now though – about once a week. Also I am working on the next issue of Alt Hist. A number of stories have been selected already and I just need a couple more to round things off. That should mean that I will be working through the Alt Hist submissions pile a bit faster over the next couple of weeks.

At the start of October Geoff Willmetts from SFcrowsnest emailed to report that they have now published a review of Alt Hist Issue 4. The reviewer generally liked the issue, although they preferred the alternate history pieces a bit more. However, they liked the varied nature of the stories on offer.

SFcrowsnest has had a makeover, so I recommend that you go and check it out. It looks great and there’s some interesting material there.

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New Book Review by Seamus Sweeney of Resistance by Owen Sheers

Resistance by Owen Sheers is not a new title, but we thought that it would be a good book to review as the subject matter is similar to Jonathan Doering’s ‘Battalion 202’ stories for Alt Hist 4. Both Resistance and ‘Battalion 202’ are about an alternate history where Great Britain was occupied by the Nazis in World War 2 and the resistance to their occupation. (By the way there should be a new Battalion 202 story coming out in Alt Hist 5 at the end of 2012.)

The review of Resistance is by Séamus Sweeney, who wrote Dublin Can be Heaven for Alt Hist 3.

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New Review of Alt Hist Issue 4 at Edi’s Book Lighthouse

Edi’s Book Lighthouse has just published a rather good review of Alt Hist Issue 4. Here’s the concluding part of the review:

A well done magazine which delivers exactly what the editor promised:
Well written and entertaining stories set in different period of times and an informative editorial.

If you want to discover alternate history beyond all the well known authors then you should give a Alt Hist try. You will get an entertaining and well written bunch of stories. Even you do not like all stories (who loves all stories and books) like me, you get a lot of impressions and ideas how history could have been.

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Alt Hist Issue 2 – currently free at Amazon.com for Kindle

Amazon.com are currently running a free promotion for Alt Hist Issue 2 Kindle Edition. So if you haven’t read that issue yet, now is a good opportunity!

Here’s a reminder of what’s in Issue 2 of Alt Hist:

Long Nights in Languedoc’ by Andrew Knighton
The Apollo Mission’ by David X. Wiggin
Son of Flanders’ by William Knight
In Cappadocia’ by AshleyRose Sullivan
The Orchid Hunters’ by Priya Sharma
Death in Theatre’ by Jessica Wilson
The Scarab of Thutmose’ by Anna Sykora
The Watchmaker of Filigree Street’ by N. K. Pulley

And reviews of:

Historical Fiction Writing: a practical guide and tool-kit by Myfanwy Cook
Ruso and the River of Darkness by R. S. Downie
Rome Burning by Sophia McDougall

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New Book by Ian Sales reviewed by Ian Shone for Alt Hist – Adrift on the Sea of Rains

Adrift on the Sea of Rains by Ian SalesIan Shone has reviewed another new alternate history book for Alt Hist.

Ian’s latest review is of a new novel by Ian Sales called Adrift on the Sea of Rains. This novel is about the Cold War and astronauts – a combination of alternate history and hard science fiction.

Ian Shone’s review of Adrift on the Sea of Rains is in the Book Reviews section of our site.

Ian Sales has also written two stories for Alt Hist: ‘A Light in the Darkness’ and ‘Travelling by Air’, and we also have a free story on the site by him: ‘Disambiguation’.

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