03 November 2011

What If?

What If?, edited by Robert Cowley
Another collection of alternate 'What if' scenarios (or as the dustcover says "a collection of counterfactual essays") this time across a range of timelines - from Antiquity to the Cold War.

I must admit that about half of them did not interest me too much, but some of those that did:
- The Persians win the naval battle of Salamis, 480BC
- The Romans win the battle of Teutoburg Forest, 9AD
- The Spanish Armada triumphs, 1588
- Napoleon wins at Waterloo, 1815
- Alternate American Civil War endings
- The Japanese trap the US Pacific Fleet at Midway, 1942

Overall, this book is similar in style to "If the Allies had fallen" in that it is broad but shallow coverage for each alternative and what could come afterwards, but I quite enjoyed those sections of interest to me.

See it at Amazon here


  1. I have this and it's sequel, good book.

  2. Looks good. One of my favorite short story collections is "What might have been" edited by Gregory Benford.. fun stuff. One of my favorite 'what if?' moments to follow the effects of is What if Charles Martel had lost the Battle of Tours.

  3. I've got this too, its a great read!!

  4. The persians winning salamis..? Not really so important. They were overstretching themselves and even then, due to the disperate make up of the empire it would have colloapsed prteey soon (in historical terms soon that is)
    The teutoburger forest..now that would have been something. The effect of the romans never loosing..by having a better commander and having therefore not been at the wrong place..that would have altered the balance massively..the markomannen as proxy´s for romae would have effectively controlled the western borders and pushed any expansionism back...making rome massively strong and then able to deal a blow in the middle east..maybe big enough to hold the empire together much longer under one emporer and therefore not have to "give in´" to christian edicts which weakened the empire eventually.
    But basically, they had to loose otherwise i wouldn´t have my Avatar :-D