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About Tom Anderson
My day job is science, but I have always had an interest in writing fiction and in history, and it’s probably not surprising that those all end up crossing over. Alternate history is a genre devoted to exploring the ‘what ifs’ of history, a recent high-profile example being the Amazon adaptation of Philip K. Dick’s seminal “The Man in the High Castle”. However, much of the interest to me comes in areas rather more obscure and subtle than the now-overdone ‘the Nazis win WW2’ type scenarios, and in exploring how different the world can become from a tiny change, as in the ‘For Want Of A Nail’ poem. My longest AH scenario, “Look to the West”, is about a king tripping on his coronation carpet, which ultimately leads to America staying British, industrialised Maori New Zealand and a steam-driven French Revolution, for instance. Straightforward science fiction and fantasy also remains a major love of mine and an area I am increasingly writing more in. Most of my works have been published by Sea Lion Press (please like their page as well!). In 2018 my co-writer Bruno Lombardi and myself were nominated for the prestigious Sidewise Award for Alternate History for our short story “N’Oublions Jamais”, about a very different First World War, which was published in the Martinus anthology “Altered Europa”.
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The year: 2139. Faster-than-light travel has saved humanity from the dwindling resources of an Earth subtly different from our own, but old rivalries have not faded.
Heinrich Adler had a promising career in the European Space Agency, before he threw it away over the death of the woman he loved thanks to the corruption of his captain. Now he is called back toservice as the one man Admiral Walker can trust. A distant new world has been discovered, one which does not fit the Earth-clone pattern of the other colonies. Only by joining forces with the United States and ASEAN can Europe’s Magellan beat the Russians’ own long-range mission there.
But intrigue stalks the corridors of the Magellan, and Heinrich must decide whom he can trust. Because on that distant world, he—and all of humanity—is about to get a lot more than he bargained for.
“Well Met By Starlight” is set in the universe of “The Surly Bonds of Earth” (also available from Sea
Lion Press) but can be read as a standalone story.
What if they weren't? What if Canada had won its independence in 1837? What if the Taiping rebels had formed their own country in China? What if Trinidad revolted against the British in the 1930s? What if a Socialist Commune arose in East Sussex?
In this collection of 13 short stories, the authors of Sea Lion Press explore the revolutions that never happened.
In this EU-themed collection from Sea Lion Press and edited by Tom Black (Agent Lavender, Shuffling the Deck, Zonen), you will find some worlds very like our own, and others very dissimilar indeed. Questions as simple as “what if Maastricht failed?” are posed, along scenarios as complex as an ideologically-reversed Cold War or a federalised British Empire.
A group of Sea Lion Press' most imaginative authors comes together to present a collection of stories all born out of the shock Leave result in 2016. It seemed a very good time to consider how history might not have turned out as it did. Sea Lion Press now invites you to do so.
What if Rome had never fallen?
What if the Soviet Union sent a man to Mars?
What if the Austrian Empire reigned supreme?
What if Ireland had fought for their independence in the 1860’s?
What if World War III had struck in the 1980’s?
These and many more scenarios are explored in Altered Europa!
Featuring stories by William Rade, Sam Kepfield, Dan Gainor, Dave D’Alessio, Bruno Lombardi, Tom Anderson, Cyrus P. Underwood, Alex Shalenko, Charles Wilcox, Tim Moshier, DJ Tyrer, Deborah L. Davitt, Mark Mellon, Ryan McCall, Mike Jansen,
Murray Braun, Sergio Palumbo, Ben Prewitt, Martin T. Ingham, & Michael McAndrews Bailey.
There’s a whole genre of literature devoted to Alternate History, where all these questions of “What If?” are addressed. There’s one What If question that hasn’t been addressed.
“What if I decided to write an Alternate History book? How would I go about that?” That has been a question without an answer.
What if, in the summer of 1940, Nazi Germany had invaded the United Kingdom? Nearly eighty years on, images of swastikas on Whitehall still resonate and horrify in the popular imagination.
But what would that invasion look like, even if it were doomed to fail? What sacrifices would occupation mean for the people of Britain, and what might be the lasting cultural effects of collaboration?
In this collection of stories, the authors of Sea Lion Press explore some of the many 'might have beens' of the infamous Operation Sea Lion.
The Unreformed Kingdom explores a very different, yet oddly familiar, Britain of a 2015 in which you can download an app to watch public executions, many MPs still represent rotten boroughs, and your religion determines your right to vote. Along the way, we meet some surprising figures from our own world, such as Jacob Rees-Mogg, the dangerously modernising Leader of the Tory Opposition, the intellectual patrician American Ambassador George W. Bush, and Jeremiah Clarkson, the controversial Mayor of Doncaster. Will the attitudes of the past rule over this land forever, or is there hope for the cause of liberty from a very unexpected source?
This edition includes a new appendix describing the historical background to the setting and the events leading up to the world of 2015.
“I read this all the way through in one go because I couldn't stop. A really interesting timeline with some good points about how history works and lots of moments where I nearly fell off my chair.”
“A superb thought-experiment counter to historical determinism.”
“Really engaging and a very well-crafted universe defying established ideas.”
“A wonderfully witty read.”
This is the calm before the storm, the age of remembered glory, the beautiful time. But all good things must end.
But some things are inevitable. America is still politically divided, tensions rising between the slaveholding Confederation of Carolina and the northern provinces. Tensions mount in Europe over the question of German unification. Charismatic leaders lead revolts in India and West Africa. One spark in restive California ignites the Great American War. For America is not the only great power in the New World; the United Provinces of South America is drawn into the vast, bloody conflict that will reshape the world.
And down there in the UPSA, a man named Pablo Sanchez writes of the absurdity of war and the united destiny of humanity, and finds he is making converts…
Look to the West Volume IV: Cometh the Hour… comes complete with over a dozen maps, flags and other graphics to accompany the story, as well as full appendices and an accompanying chronology.
But know this: as Sir Isaac Newton wrote, every action must come with an equal and opposite reaction. As nostalgics try to dial back the clock to the ancien régime as though the French Revolution never happened, pressure is building from below. The fires of revolution are rising once again, and this time it will truly be a people’s battle, a global struggle: The Popular Wars shall begin. As men fight beneath flags not for the legitimacy of their rulers, but for the spirit of their nation and the welfare of their people, the world will never be the same again…
Now, Sea Lion Press authors both old and new consider how that history could have been different. What if Corporal Hitler had died in the trenches, or the war really had been ‘over by Christmas’? The poppy petals are scattered to a new pattern by the tides of ‘what if?’ Includes the Sidewise Award-nominated 'N'oublions Jamais' by Tom Anderson and Bruno Lombardi.
Fourteen tales of the Great War as it wasn’t – but could have been.