Thursday, February 16, 2017

Alternate History by Mary Victoria Johnson, Author of The Ashes and the Sparks

Alternate History

(about the "rules" and "limits" when writing Alt Hist)

by Mary Victoria Johnson

As with most genres, althistory begins with one question: what if? What if Rome never fell? What if the Nazis won World War II? What if the Dark Ages turned into a period of great scientific advancement, or what if dragons really did exist in Ancient China? The possibilities are infinite, which is part of what makes the alternate history such a fascinating topic to explore. My novel takes place in the 1880’s, a period that many would recognize as Victorian. There’s just one key difference: Queen Victoria is dead. Gone. Assassinated. And when you remove such key players, society obviously develops far differently from what happened in our timeline. Really, that’s the core of what althistory is: creating a new, ‘alternate’ timelines.
Few writers enjoy the idea of rules and limits, and as far as genre boundaries go, alternate history offers lots of flexibility. You want the fairies of Irish folktales to be real? Sure. You want massive, gilded airships to be Europe’s primary mode of transportation? Go for it. You want Da Vinci and Michelangelo to be rival vampire-hunting vigilantes? Why not! Time travel, steampunk, and post-apocalyptic dystopias are all totally reasonable subgenres to delve into, but you’ve got to remember to keep the ‘history’ part too. You’ve got to remember that Earth –real Earth- has got to be the basic setting. Even if the magical land of Altoria mimics 3rd century Peru, if there are no connections to reality, then you’re writing straight-up fantasy. There has to be a connection to the real historical timeline. Of course, liberties can be taken; The Ashes and the Sparks involves a completely fictional society based on a mishmash of real Nordic cultures, set on a completely fictional archipelago of islands. But since it’s still set in this universe, with connections to other, real countries, it’s a go.
Another point to remember, is that usually, you only want to shift one major event. It gets way too confusing if the Spanish Armada successfully conquers Britain, leading to a chain of events that make them win the American Revolutionary War, but then a plague wipes out the entire country, so the moon landing never happens, so….lost? Exactly. Keep it simple; it’s amazing how a single event can create a massive ripple effect. Also, don’t leave plot holes. Since you are dealing with real history, your timeline shift has to be somewhat feasible. Nothing irritates readers more than logic jumps.
So go ahead: assemble all your outbreaks and assassinations, and give the past a twist! Set your chain of events in motion.

The Ashes and the Sparks

Mary Victoria Johnson

YA Alt-History Fantasy
Fire and Ice Young Adult Books
October 18, 2016

Welcome to the age of airships. It is a world powered by steam and innovation, ruled by an elusive empress at its heart.

Seventeen year-old Jorun is not part of this world. Hers is one of hidden tunnel networks and lights that dance across night skies, on that has remained separate from the rest of society for over a thousand years. This all changes when a boy appears from nowhere, raving about invaders from a faraway land. Purely by chance, Jorun soon finds herself in the middle of a struggle unlike anything she could have ever dreamed of, and must come to the realization that only she can stop an impending war.

About the Author

Hi! I'm Mary Victoria Johnson, author of fantastical Young Adult fiction. I wrote my first novel when I was fourteen, and I haven't stopped since! Now eighteen, my bibliography includes BOUNDARY, the first part of the Other Horizons Trilogy (Lodestone Books, 2015) and THE ASHES AND THE SPARKS (Fire and Ice YA, 2016). I was born in Cambridgeshire in the UK, and I now live on Vancouver Island where I study Creative Writing at the University of Victoria. 

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  9. "alternate history by Mary Victoria." They suggest checking book review websites, literary forums, or platforms like Goodreads for reviews and information on Mary Victoria's works in the alternate history genre. They also encourage readers to provide more details or questions related to Mary Victoria's works or alternate history in general, and the author will do their best to provide relevant information based on their knowledge. If there are additional questions or topics you'd like to discuss, feel free to contact the author. They are here to provide information and engage in conversations on various subjects, and are happy to assist you further.
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  10. As of January 2022, there is no specific information about a work of alternate history by New Zealand author Mary Victoria. Victoria is known for her fantasy novels, particularly the Tymon's Flight trilogy. If there is a work of alternate history since then, it is not known. To find accurate information on Victoria's works, including new releases or alternate history projects, it is recommended to check her official website, social media profiles, or reliable book databases and retailers. If you have more specific questions or are interested in a particular aspect of Victoria's work or alternate history, please provide additional details so I can offer a more accurate and helpful response.personal injury attorney virginia

  11. Mary Victoria, a New Zealand-based fantasy author known for her speculative fiction series, is not known for a specific work titled "Alternate History." For the latest information on new releases or developments, it is recommended to check official bookstores, the author's website, or reputable book review sites. Additionally, exploring Mary Victoria's official website or contacting her through social media can provide updates. If you have a specific request or need more information, please provide additional details or clarify your question to better understand your needs and offer a more comprehensive response. This will help you better understand your needs and provide you with more relevant information or accidentes camiones va

  12. there is no specific information available about an alternate history work by New Zealand-based author Mary Victoria. However, it is possible that there have been new releases or developments since then. For the latest information on Mary Victoria's alternate history works, it is recommended to check the latest publications, author websites, or bookstores. Book databases, official author websites, and local bookstores or libraries can provide the latest releases and information. Online book retailers and review platforms can also be helpful in finding the specific work you are looking for. If you can provide more context or details, I would be happy to generate more information or lines for you.uncontested divorce new jersey

  13. Mary Victoria, a New Zealand-based author known for her fantasy and speculative fiction works, is known for her "Chronicles of the Tree" series. However, there is no specific information about her writing alternate history novels. To stay updated on her works, check her official website, publisher's website, or reputable book databases. If you're uncertain about a specific alternate history novel or work, provide additional details about the title, characters, or plot. "Alternate history" typically refers to a genre of speculative fiction where the author imagines a different outcome to historical events, resulting in an altered timeline. If you're looking for information on a specific alternate history work by Mary Victoria or any other author, providing more details about the title, characters, or plot could help.leyes de accidentes de motocicleta

  14. Mary Victoria's alternate history book is a captivating and thought-provoking story that explores the possibilities of alternate histories. The author's world-building is well-developed and believable, creating a fascinating new reality with its own rules and logic. The characters are well-developed and relatable, even in extraordinary circumstances. The writing style is elegant and engaging, weaving historical details with captivating plot twists. The pacing is perfect, and the tone shifts effortlessly between moments of suspense and quiet reflection. The overall experience is sparked by the characters' struggles, triumphs, and choices, leaving readers with a sense of wonder and appreciation for the possibilities beyond our own timeline. Sharing your experience and details will help craft a review comment that captures the essence of Mary Victoria's alternate history and inspires others to explore this captivating genre..
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