Questions tagged [alternate-history]

For questions that ask what might have happened if history had taken a different path.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
2
votes
0answers
57 views

How to Make Columbia from Bioshock a Reality [duplicate]

This is Columbia, the city featured in the video game Bioshock: Infinite. It stands out in that this city floats in Earth's atmosphere. How? Some sci-fi handwavium called "the Lutece Particle&...
15
votes
18answers
7k views

How plausible is it for nuclear power to be invented but not nuclear weapons?

I don’t need a super detailed answer here, so this is definitely going to be pretty opinion-based. For context, let’s say you have a world where WW2 was ended by an all-American superhero punching ...
2
votes
4answers
324 views

What plausible history allows a society to adopt Dark Age weaponry and reject “modern”-ish weapons?

Let's consider some highly civilized/organized, free-thinking world akin to the Medieval/Dark Ages: Technology is fairly rudimentary, reduced to — for the most part — two-handed swords, halberds, and ...
10
votes
7answers
856 views

Would it be possible for Tsar to escape execution and form a great power elsewhere?

I was imagining the scenario for a story where the USSR still forms and will later fight in a Cold War with the USA. However, I am imagining a scenario where the tsar escapes, goes with some loyal ...
7
votes
5answers
276 views

Uses for a 1950s-era nuclear-powered land vehicle?

I have heard of the Chrysler TV-8 design, an amphibious armored vehicle powered by an onboard nuclear reactor...basically a nuclear-powered tank. The TV-8 never made it off the drawing board; the ...
12
votes
11answers
4k views

The internet without computers - 1940s era

Alternate 1900s Imagine that we are in an alternative Earth in the early to mid 1940s. There has been no World War 2. In this world there are analog computers used rarely in laboratories for ...
16
votes
11answers
2k views

Could a world without borders and immigration restrictions exist? [closed]

I’ve heard a few people imagine an alternate history where people are completely free to live in whatever country they choose to. Countries/city states would have to maintain a high standard of living ...
3
votes
2answers
114 views

How do I write a fictional alternate history to handwave in a higher predilection for firearms among world cultures?

I'm not a fan of the word "handwaving" it just makes me sound like I'm bullshitting something I want into my story with various excuses. Essentially I want to have all of the world's ...
6
votes
2answers
107 views

How do I strike a balance between real-world inspiration and purely fictional design, especially for alternate cities? [closed]

My primary question comes from a fledgling animator's perspective. I'd like to capture the general look and feel of a lot of South Florida's cities, while also combining it with my urban-fantasy/...
18
votes
4answers
3k views

How would human civilisation develop with little iron?

Imagine a planet that's identical in pretty much every aspect (including Homo Sapiens) to our own current Earth, with only a single exception - the continental crust has, for whatever reason, much ...
-1
votes
4answers
263 views

How could a fascist/far-right party have risen to power in 1930s USA? [closed]

In the real world, while the Great Depression hit the United States quite badly, several factors meant that fascist parties and organisations never really gained the traction they did in the US, as ...
8
votes
4answers
138 views

Minimum tech for agricultural desalination

I'm trying to figure out a realistic setting that depends heavily on desalinating sea water for desert agriculture. Specifically, I'm trying to figure out exactly how early in the tech tree, this can ...
1
vote
2answers
218 views

Hypothetically or Theorethically can ancient to medieval periods technology make non biodegradable plastic bag?

To make it clear, I mean the period or timeline, so this include the entirety of the world during up to 1500, not just specifically the technology of ancient/medieval Europe, ancient/medieval Japan, ...
4
votes
0answers
91 views

What kind of simple typo would change the course of the history the most? [closed]

Obviously the cases where the importance of a message or data is acknowledged, the relevant people would probably triple-check it several times, so something like "wrong latitude/longitude ...
24
votes
8answers
5k views

Before the advent of satellite imaging, what would have been the easiest place to hide a secret civilization?

Imagine that you're an adventurer archaeologist in the early to mid-20th century, like Indiana Jones. One day you find a lost civilization in an underexplored corner of the world. However, instead of ...
2
votes
3answers
200 views

What would present day society be like if people were much more intelligent on average [closed]

My earlier question was closed because I didn't follow the rules properly. Truly sorry about that. I hope I'll do better this time. My question is, what would a society be like today if people had ...
-8
votes
4answers
390 views

would black people still exist as a population if clothes were invented earlier? [closed]

As a population, would dark-skinned humans exist in a world where clothing was invented earlier in human history? Like way sooner, as soon as the first human ancestors.
11
votes
2answers
1k views

Terra Australis: How can I minimize the effects of its existence on the climate in the rest of the world?

Imagine that Terra Australis was real, that there really was a vast continent in the Southern Hemisphere like that shown on old maps. It's massive, encompassing what in our world would be Antarctica, ...
6
votes
6answers
214 views

What Point(s) of Departure Would the Native Americans Need to Sail Across the Atlantic and Colonize Europe?

Just a few days ago on DeviantArt, I found this map by MoshiDungo: The title of the map is What if the Americas colonised Europe? As the title explicitly implies, it shows a pre-Columbian Europe ...
4
votes
3answers
316 views

How do we regard Hitler now the Third Reich has “Denazified” [closed]

So Germany has not lost World War 2 and now occupies most of Europe, from France over as far as Poland. It's the 1990s now, Hitler is long dead and Greater Germany has undergone a process of "...
8
votes
7answers
2k views

Humans, except they always find the right solution to the wrong predicament [closed]

Two mothers say a baby is theirs, simple solution, split the baby in two so they bot get half! Lost your family? Find a new one! Your husband cheats on you with your friend? Cheat on him too with your ...
5
votes
1answer
79 views

Society of producers, humans who can produce solid material from their bodies and it is used to make clothes, tools and buildings

In this world humans are kind of like spiders: they can produce their own building material. This substance can be used to make clothing resistant to heat and cold depending on the variation. It ...
1
vote
1answer
73 views

Method of premature change of president and vice president in alternate version of the USA [closed]

I'm working on a world (for a series of stories) not much different from our reality. The laws are almost same to the letter - the timeline diverged ~2013 but with no important changes in the law. ...
2
votes
4answers
122 views

All mammals are now conscious and extremely intelligent. Why does a non-human mammal want to revert it? [closed]

History: Our expirements backfired. We tried to give a couple great apes consciousness intelligence, and sapience and we thought we failed and released them back into nature. Turns out, our ...
6
votes
17answers
3k views

How to find out if someone is guilty of adultery?

Cheaters are considered to be inferior humans with defective genes and just like mentally ill people and individuals born with various handicaps are eliminated from the gene pool. Capital punishment ...
10
votes
11answers
3k views

WW2 Era Soviet Rifle Squad, Time Travels to 1066 England, attempts to take over [closed]

(This part is pretty hand-wavy, and only exists to provide context for a fun thought-experiment/fictional story. Feel free to skip to next paragraph) In 1943, the Soviet Union has developed what they ...
5
votes
5answers
177 views

What would be the smallest change required for the United States to purchase Greenland (time frame: 1945-2000)? [closed]

I have heard there have been multiple instances of this happening prior to the current president's proposal. Could this have seriously happened some time in the 20th century?
4
votes
1answer
88 views

Could Sharks Survive a Longer PETM?

First things first, a little backstory: Sometime between the Paleocene and Eocene epochs, there was a mysterious, sudden, dramatic rise in global temperature. This moment in time was known as the "...
6
votes
6answers
276 views

How soon could the Argentine military have developed any sort of anti-satellite capability?

Try to stick as close to real-life history as possible, but what would be the most logical progression which could lead to the Argentine military deploying anti-satellite weaponry? Ground, sea, or air-...
0
votes
3answers
166 views

How would the Politburo respond to Project A119?

In 1958 the United States Air Force considered a mission to detonate a nuclear device on the surface of the Moon. The endeavour was framed as a booster to American public morale in the wake of the ...
5
votes
1answer
143 views

Is it at all possible to have a populous, formerly colonial nation in the Indian Ocean?

The temperate latitudes of the Indian Ocean and adjacent regions are essentially empty- only the extreme Southwest of Australia and extreme South of Africa dip into the temperate belt. What if there ...
3
votes
3answers
67 views

Would a Longer PETM Save the Creodonts and the Mesonychians?

Some 55.8 million years ago, Earth underwent a really dramatic heat wave known as the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum, or PETM. What happened, exactly? We don't know how it happened, but we do know ...
4
votes
2answers
120 views

What key positions in 1969 USA would aliens need to influence to control the US nuclear arsenal?

It is 1969, the conspiracy theorists are all correct and aliens are secretly trying to control everything. But the Reptoids are refugees very limited in number concerned about being exposed Other ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

Could Richard Nixon stop another Nixon from nuking Washington DC? [closed]

A doppelganger of Richard Nixon orders a nuclear strike on Washington DC from NORAD after aliens arrive to make first contact in 1969. The real Richard Nixon is in Washington DC and desires to prevent ...
2
votes
0answers
72 views

What if a meteorite hit Roswell, NM in 1947? [closed]

I have always been interested in alternate histories that dramatically affect the course, duration, or intensity of 20th century spacefaring. One of the issues that has precluded large-scale ...
2
votes
1answer
146 views

How can I get people to put their money where their mouth is? [closed]

When individuals cede their power for effective choice to involuntary institutions, as soon as there's an uncoupling between what the institutions are aiming at and the interests of people, which do ...
4
votes
1answer
98 views

Could Meridiungulates Colonize The World Before the Opening of Panama?

The last time I asked something similar, I asked if it would be possible for xenarthran mammals (armadillos, sloths and anteaters) to be thrown off of South America from life-giving rafts to other ...
24
votes
27answers
9k views

How can I prevent the invention of skyscrapers?

Introduction I want my story, set in the modern day, to have a unique architectural feel. Part of my strategy - no skyscrapers. Wikipedia: The term skyscraper was first applied to buildings of ...
4
votes
0answers
79 views

What if the Triassic-Jurassic Extinction Never Happed? [closed]

The Mesozoic era is mostly known for dinosaurs dominating the majority of the terrestrial niches for nearly the entire duration. Something lesser known is that the Triassic was actually mostly ...
2
votes
1answer
82 views

What key technologies in today's world would not exist if flight was never discovered? [closed]

For an alternate world sci-fi novel, I'm trying to figure out which technologies they have. I would prefer for flight not to exist. Would this interfere with things like computer technology? I ...
9
votes
3answers
278 views

What would be valuable and useable as currency for people traveling between multiple dimensions?

I have a cosmos where FTL travel is via an alternate dimension. The problem is when you return to our universe, you find yourself at the right destination, but a completely different parallel world ...
1
vote
0answers
105 views

What would the world be like if COVID-19 occurred in 1999? [closed]

You could pick whatever start date you feel is most interesting, applying the number and distribution of cases on that date to the same date 20 years ago. For example, imagine if we had the same ...
8
votes
1answer
146 views

How CAN a Wyvern be a Scansoriopterygid Dinosaur?

It's become a popular speculative evolution trope for the likeliest candidate of the mythological "wyvern" to be a Cenozoic family--if not superfamily--of scansoriopterygid dinosaur. Now the first ...
3
votes
1answer
119 views

How Different Would the Outcome of the Fall of the Dinosaur Empire Be if Chicxulub Hit at a Different Season?

After 150 million years, the most successful empire in the history of Planet Earth finally collapsed 66 million years ago. A five-mile-wide space bomb--there's still disagreement as to whether it was ...
8
votes
7answers
519 views

How to prevent the creation of the Atomic Bomb?

The invention of the Atomic Bomb changed major conflicts basically turning them into a nuclear arms race. what I want to know is what single change would have prevent the creation of the Atomic Bomb? ...
11
votes
11answers
4k views

Would human civilization develop at a slower pace if Earth was 5.8x larger?

EDIT: Calculations were incorrect, the earth in my comic is not 5.8x larger, it is 2.4x larger. Its surface area is 5.8x larger but the diameter is 2.4x larger. Anyway I'm working on a comic that ...
7
votes
3answers
277 views

How do I stop Megalodon from going extinct?

A long time ago, the 60 foot long Megalodon roamed the oceans. Fast forward to 2.6 million years ago and they went extinct. In the story I'm writing Megalodon hasn't gone extinct surviving at least up ...
1
vote
1answer
183 views

What would be the repercussions of Megalodon never going extinct? [closed]

A long time ago the 60ft long Megalodon roamed the oceans, fast forward to 2.6 million years ago and they went extinct (and yes they definitely went extinct don't let the discovery channel fool you). ...
27
votes
16answers
7k views

How can I get a library to be seen as neutral territory?

The library of Alexandria was the largest and most important libraries in the ancient world. The library acquired many scrolls in its lifetime, up to 400,000, and was regarded as a capital of ...
3
votes
1answer
145 views

Could a Greater Relative Abundance of Tin Extend a Bronze Age?

Bronze is an alloy of copper and tin, and copper is a significantly more abundant metal in the Earth’s Crust, at about 70 PPM compared to tin at 2 PPM. Because tin was the limiting factor in bronze ...

1
2 3 4 5
13