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Alternate History

3,312 subscribers a community for 6 years, 3 months

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Welcome to /r/althistory, the alternate history subreddit! Here you can discuss alternate history matters, whether they be books, essays, TV shows, movies, or podcasts.

Common Acronyms and Phrases:

  • AH stands for Alternate History.
  • WI stands for What If.
  • OTL stands for Our Time Line, history as it happened.
  • ATL stands for Alternate Time Line
  • POD stands for Point Of Divergence or the point at which a fictional timeline diverges from OTL.
  • ASB stands for Alien Space Bats, referring to alternate history so implausible it would have required the intervention of "alien space bats."
  • ISOT stands for Island in the Sea of Time, the S.M. Sterling novel which popularized the idea of transporting people and places to a different time period. ISOTs are, by their nature, always ASB.
  • DBWI stands for Double-Blind What-If, where OTL history is examined from an AH perspective. ex: "What if the Soviets put the first man in space?" asks a character from a timeline where the USA put the first man in space.
  • The butterfly effect, where small changes accrue over time to significantly alter events.
  • Counterfactual histories, the scholarly version of alternate history.
  • Wank, refers to when a nation is made unrealistically powerful.
  • Scew, the opposite of a wank.

Related Subreddits:

  • /r/HistoryWhatIf: An alternate history subreddit dedicated exclusively to answering traditional what-if questions.
  • /r/AskHistorians: Direct any questions about actual history to this excellent sub.

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