The countdown is on until the launch of Tales From Alternate Earths 3 - and this page will act as a press kit, with more material being added the closer it gets to publication.
Book link: mybook.to/AlternateEarths3
About the book
Have you ever asked the question “What if…?”
What if things had turned out differently, what if history had taken another turn, what if our world had gone another way?
That’s the question at the heart of the genre of alternate history – and that powers the stories in the new Inklings Press anthology, Tales From Alternate Earths 3.
Alternate history has had quite the renaissance in recent years – from TV shows such as The Man in the High Castle, an adaptation of the Philip K Dick novel, to the HBO series Watchmen, and more light-hearted adventures through history such as Timeless or Legends of Tomorrow. Even Disney is getting in on the action with their “What If?” series looking at what might have happened if key moments in the Marvel Cinematic Universe had gone differently.
That’s the fun of it – there’s so much range in the genre, but all so close to home that it could just be the slightest difference that takes us there.
That difference is usually called the point of departure, the moment when history departs from our own. That can be something huge – an alien ship arrives, say – or it can be a tiny difference. In one of the stories in the new anthology, it hinges on a man having a pair of boots.
Stories in the book span the world, from Hitchcock directing Titanic to a hunt for Jack The Ripper, from Cold War chicanery to a Roman Empire that never ended, from mythological beings turned real to post-World War Two genetic experiments. It’s a big canvas and it’s great to see what the authors involved bring to the table. And that's not even getting into stories where we wouldn't want to ruin the surprise!
There are stories by Alan Smale, Daniel M Bensen, DJ Butler, Minoti Vaishav, Brent A Harris, JL Royce, Jeff Provine, Ricardo Victoria, Rob Edwards, Matthew Kresal, Aaron Emmel, Christopher Edwards, EM Swift-Hook, Jane Jago and Leo McBride.
The book is out in paperback and ebook format from September 3, and available from Amazon at mybook.to/AlternateEarths3
Here, then, are the graphics announcing the first authors to appear in this, the next alternate history anthology from Inklings Press.
Meet Alan Smale
For his Tale, Alan takes us to an alternate England where the Gunpowder Plot succeeded in all its horror and devastation. Recent analysis has shown that if the 2500kg of gunpowder placed beneath the Houses of Parliament had really gone up, the cataclysm might have been even more devastating than Alan describes. Had Guy Fawkes witnessed what he’d wrought, he might have had a few mixed feelings.
Mary Frith (aka Moll Cutpurse) was a real woman of her times, though her life proceeds rather differently in this newly transformed London.
Alan’s novella of a Roman invasion of ancient America, “A Clash of Eagles”, won the Sidewise Award, and his associated novels Clash of Eagles, Eagle in Exile, and Eagle and Empire are available from Del Rey (and received a second Sidewise nomination as a trilogy). His Roman baseball collaboration with Rick Wilber, The Wandering Warriors, appeared recently from WordFire Press, and Hot Moon, his alternate-Apollo thriller set entirely on and around the Moon, will be released by CAEZIK SF & Fantasy in 2022. Find him at www.alansmale.com, Facebook/AlanSmale, and Twitter/@AlanSmale.
Meet Matthew Kresal
Matthew Kresal is a writer, critic, and podcaster with many and varying interests. He’s written about and discussed topics as wide-ranging as the BBC’s Doctor Who, Cold War fact and fiction, and the UFO phenomenon. He has appeared on podcasts including Spybrary, Dead Hand Radio, The 20mb Doctor Who Podcast, and The Saucer Life. His prose includes the non-fiction The Silver Archive: Dark Skies from Obverse Press and short fiction including The Aurora Affair in Belanger Books’ A Tribute to H.G. Wells and The Light of a Thousand Suns in in D&T Publishing’s After the Kool-Aid is Gone. He was born, raised, and lives in North Alabama where he never developed a southern accent.
Matthew’s story so very nearly came true in real life. He was indeed hired by David O. Selznick, having agreed to work on a film about the Titanic disaster, but there our worlds part. Instead, he made Rebecca, and from there went on to make a catalogue of films so famous you know them already.
You can find Matthew on Twitter, as @KresalWrites. He also has a novel, Our Man On The Hill, available through Sea Lion Press.
Meet Rob Edwards
Rob Edwards is a British born writer and podcaster, living in Finland. His podcast, StorycastRob, features readings from his short stories and excerpts from longer work. His work can also be found in the anthologies published by Inklings Press and Rivenstone Press.
His greatest geek pride is his entry on wookieepedia, the result of writing several Star Wars RPG scenarios back in the day.
He is also a published novelist, with his debut novel The Ascension Machine published by Shadow Dragon Press, and a sequel, The Crossover Paradox, due in March 2022.
You can find him on Twitter as @StorycastRob, or at his website, storycastrob.co.uk.
Meet Brent A. Harris
Brent A Harris is a two-time Sidewise Award finalist of alternate history. He writes about dinosaurs, fantasy, the fears of our future and the mistakes of our past. While he considers Southern California home, he currently resides in Naples, Italy. You can learn more by visiting www.BrentAHarris.com.
Other books by Brent include: A Time of Need: A Dark Eagle Novel (an alternate history of the American Revolution); Alyx: An AI’s Guide to Love and Murder; and Dickens Meets Steampunk in: A Twist in Time and A Christmas Twist: A Twist in Time Book II.
You can find Brent on Twitter at @brentaharris1.
Meet Minoti Vaishnav
Minoti Vaishnav is a short fiction author who has had five short stories published in print anthologies this year alone. She is also a television writer most recently staffed on The Equalizer on CBS, a former pop star with three albums under her belt, and a documentary television producer who has created shows for Netflix, NatGeo, Travel Channel, and Discovery Channel among other networks. Minoti also has a Masters degree in Creative Writing from Oxford University and is an alumna of the ViacomCBS Writers Mentoring Program.
Meet Christopher Edwards
Christopher Edwards retired from the oil and gas industry having spent twenty years on several production platforms in the Northern North Sea. Before retiring he also spent time on assignments in Bolivia, Azerbaijan, Iran and the United Arab Emirates. He always enjoyed making up stories for his children and now his grandchildren but was only recently persuaded to start writing.
This Tale considers the fate of Louis Bonaparte, who in our world was killed in a skirmish with a group of Zulus in 1879 while serving with British forces, his death bringing with it an end to thoughts of a restoration of the House of Bonaparte. Of course, other worlds have other possibilities...
Meet Aaron Emmel
Aaron Emmel is the author of more than fifty published short stories, as well as the Midnight Legion gamebook trilogy, an historical fiction graphic novel and dozens of articles and essays. He grew up in the mountains of New Mexico and graduated from high school in Central America, before cofounding and selling a record label and an online music store. Aaron lives with his wife and two children in Maryland. His story “The Sword of Bone” appeared in the Inklings Press anthology Tales of Magic & Destiny. Find him online at www.aaronemmel.com.
Meet Daniel M. Bensen
Daniel M. Bensen is an American-Bulgarian author of science fiction, alternate history, and fantasy. His work includes the speculative-biology novel Junction and its sequel Interchange, the optimistic post-apocalyptic comic-book First Knife (with Simon Roy). and the Sidewise Award-winning alternate history short story “Treasure Fleet” (in the Tales from Alternate Earths anthology). These stories have been called “clever, entertaining, and thoughtful” (SFBook Reviews) and “at times poignant” (Big Comic Page).
You may also enjoy his other alternate history short story, “The Goose’s Wing” in the Tales from Alternate Earths 2, his novella Petrolea, and his self-published novel Groom of the Tyrannosaur Queen. Daniel is represented by Jennie Goloboy of Donald Maass Literary Agency.
Daniel classifies his work as “speculative aspirational fiction,” which means that he explores other, better places, and the doors that lead to them. He loves learning about real life and extending from it to build plausible and surprising worlds. At odds with themselves and each other, the people in these worlds struggle to turn themselves the right way around, and so generate stories.
Daniel studied biology and history, teaches English as a foreign language, and has survived cancer. After growing up in Chicago, Maine, California, Montana, Japan, and Boston, he followed his then-fiancée to Sofia, Bulgaria, where he has continued to grow up. He now teaches, writes, and resides with his wife, daughters, and in-laws in the Balkan Tower of Matriarchy.
He says: “This story is dedicated to Emil. Life is full of strange and terrifying choices, but that’s better than the alternative. Da rastem, no ne staraem.”
J. L. Royce is a published author of science fiction, the macabre, and whatever else strikes him. He lives in the northern reaches of the American Midwest. His work appears in Allegory, Ghostlight, Little Demon, Love Letters to Poe, Mysterion, parABnormal, Sci Phi, Utopia, Wyldblood, etc. He is a member of HWA and GLAHW. Some of his anthologized stories may be found at:
‘Not My Monkey’ was a Finalist in the Q3 2020 Writers of the Future competition.
Unit 731 was a real unit in the Second World War, that undertook lethal human experimentation. A number of researchers were given immunity by the United States secretly in exchange for the data they gathered.
Meet Leo McBride
Leo McBride is a journalist, editor and fiction writer. He has been published previously in each of the Inklings Press anthologies, along with collections from the Sci-Fi Roundtable, Rhetoric Askew, Starklight Press and elsewhere. He has also self-published his own short story collection Quartet, available on Amazon, and ghost written and edited a number of biographies. You can find more of his work on his blog, www.alteredinstinct.com, on Twitter as @AlteredInstinct and on www.facebook.com/leomcbrideauthor.
This Tale looks at how things might have turned out differently after the Challenger disaster. There was indeed a description after the disaster that NASA was “throwing junk into space” and the Marshall workshop did take place - though there the hopes of a space elevator ended. At least... for now. There are still talks, still discussions, and still technical hurdles to overcome. At least, in our world.
Meet Ricardo Victoria
Ricardo Victoria is a Mexican writer with a Ph.D. in Design — with emphasis in sustainability — from Loughborough University, and a love of fiction, board games, comic books, and action figures. He lives in Toluca, Mexico with his wife and pets, working works as a full-time lecturer and researcher at the local university. He writes mainly science fantasy.
His first novel, Tempest Blades: The Withered King, was released in August 2019 by Shadow Dragon Press, an imprint of Artemesia Publishing. The sequel, Tempest Blades: Cursed Titans, published in July 2021. He has a number of stories published by Inklings Press, and other indie outlets.
His short story Twilight of the Mesozoic Moon, jointly written with Brent A. Harris, was nominated for a Sidewise Award for short form alternative history.
You can find out more at his website, http://ricardovictoriau.com, or follow him on Twitter, @Winged_Leo.
Meet Jeff Provine
Jeff Provine is a Professor of English in Oklahoma, USA, tackling topics such as Charles Chaplin, mythology and the history of comic books. He collects local folklore and has created three walking tours of ghost stories in the Oklahoma City metro. His fictional works include YA adventure Dawn on the Infinity, steampunk Celestial Voyages, and alternate history Hellfire.
Check him out on Twitter @JeffProvine, follow his updates at http://www.facebook.com/AuthorJeffProvine, and read some of his twists on history at http://thisdayinalternatehistory.blogspot.com.
and Jane Jago
The writing team of E.M.Swift-Hook and Jane Jago has produced a number of books following the characters of Dai and Julia in a world where the Roman empire never faded.
E.M.Swift-Hook has had a number of different careers, before settling in the North-East of England with family, three dogs, cats and a small flock of rescued chickens.
You can find her on twitter @emswifthook, and you can also catch up with her Fortune’s Fools series of space opera.
The term genre-hopper could have been coined to describe Jane Jago and her books, modern-day thrillers sitting side by side with sword and sorcery, wicked dragons, and short stories and verse. You can find her on Twitter at @JaneJago1.
You can also catch up with both authors at workingtitleblogspot.com.
Dave (D.J.) Butler writes adventure stories for all readers. He has been a lawyer, a consultant, and a corporate trainer. His interests include languages, guitar, hanging out with his wife and kids, astronomy, and history.
Sign up to get updates about Dave and his books at: http://davidjohnbutler.com/mailinglist/
The characters in this story are real - Mikhail Lyubimov was a colonel in the KGB, and is also a novelist.
Oleg Gordievsky is regarded as one of MI6’s greatest triumphs, working as a double agent and playing a crucial role in avoiding nuclear Armageddon. He left the USSR in 1985 in Operation Pimlico.