Questions tagged [alternate-history]

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

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-1
votes
0answers
77 views

The worlds of Mandela's effect [closed]

I am on the beginning of a novel (or TV show depends on how inspirating i'll be on the stories), short but pretty promising for many novels to follow. The main concept is basic so let me introduce it ...
16
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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
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0answers
58 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&...
3
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4answers
329 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
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7answers
866 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
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5answers
277 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 ...
5
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4answers
401 views

Would the existence of private banks on an interest-free (or almost) economy make sense?

Banks provide many services to the economy, including but not restricted to: liquidity, a safe place to store money, and the ability to move money around and paying bills without having to cart around ...
63
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25answers
17k views

How can I prevent the collapse of the Soviet Union?

During the era of the Soviet Union, Russia was a much scarier nation: The Cold War, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and the Space Race. No one can deny these were major events in Russia's history. Let's say ...
12
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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 ...
17
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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
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2answers
116 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 ...
18
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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 ...
6
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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/...
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4answers
264 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 ...
44
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23answers
11k views

What single change would have given the best chance for the Soviets to win the Cold War?

A common topic in alternate history fiction works is the question what would have happened if a major conflict had been won by the other side. These usually focus on the events after the conflict, and ...
8
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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
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2answers
219 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, ...
55
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13answers
7k views

Crucial and unlikely discoveries in history [closed]

I'm trying to come up with an alternate reality where some specific invention or discovery was never made. Many inventions or discoveries in (mainly European) history were not a 'miraculous event,' ...
4
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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
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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
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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 ...
144
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40answers
34k views

What single change would have given the best chance for the Axis to win World War 2?

A common topic in alternate history fiction works is the question what would have happened if a major war had been won by the other side. These usually focus on the events after the war, and the ...
-8
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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.
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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, ...
24
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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 ...
6
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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
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3answers
317 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
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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 ...
6
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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 ...
5
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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
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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
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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
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6answers
277 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-...
4
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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 "...
10
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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
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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?
8
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4answers
2k views

What would the British have done in Argentina and the surrounding area if they had been victorious in Buenos Aires in 1807?

If the British, under the command of John Whitelocke, had been able to capture Buenos Aires in July 1807 (after a much smaller British force was defeated the year before, following an initial victory ...
2
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7answers
789 views

JFK has clones, is he still safe? [closed]

Premise Human cloning tends to discombobulate our moral compasses; the potential for scientific gain and the potential for abuse are vast. Now, contrast this moral dilemma with the public sentiment ...
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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 ...
4
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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 ...
5
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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
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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 ...
2
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5answers
2k views

Alternative History: If the Hindenburg Incident Never Happened

The Hindenburg Incident was a very famous tragic part of history, much like the Titanic, but what would happen if the famous airship never burned? Would airships continue to be the dominant force of ...
4
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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 ...
7
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10answers
2k views

Could Nazi Germany, Surviving WWII, Survive the Cold War?

In our theoretical alternate universe Nazi Germany--thanks to its scientists that in real history were split and used by the US and USSR--managed to reach the level of nuclear warheads and ICBM ...
2
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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 ...
6
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4answers
363 views

How do I preserve the Megafauna in my world?

Over 100,000 years ago giant megafauna roamed the earth such as mammoths, gigantopithecus, and giant sloths. fast forward to today and most megafauna are extinct (with the notable exception being in ...
2
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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
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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 ...
6
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3answers
514 views

How do I prevent the Soviet invasion of Manchuria?

In an alternate timeline I am working on, I am aiming to keep the Japanese empire not only intact, but also large; a super power rivaling the USA and the USSR. The problem with this is the end of ...

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