Alternative history novels take a moment in history and change one critical aspect. Usually asking a what if question like: What if the South won the Civil War? See Harry Turtledove’s 1992 classic, The Guns of the South. Or what if an entire town in the year 2000 is transplanted back in time to central Germany in the midst of the Thirty Years War? See 1632, a novel by Eric Flint.
Here’s a list of some new alternative history novels you might enjoy. Let me know in the comments what you think. Remember, these are new alt history novels (within the last year of so), not the classics. Most follow the What if? proposition, though some lean towards historical thrillers with sci-fi and time travel elements.
By Robert Masello
A chilling curse is transported from 1880s London to present-day California, awakening a long-dormant fiend.
While on routine patrol in the tinder-dry Topanga Canyon, environmental scientist Rafael Salazar expects to find animal poachers, not a dilapidated antique steamer trunk. Inside the peculiar case, he discovers a journal, written by the renowned Robert Louis Stevenson, which divulges ominous particulars about his creation of The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. It also promises to reveal a terrible secret—the identity of Jack the Ripper.
Unfortunately, the journal—whose macabre tale unfolds in an alternating narrative with Rafe’s—isn’t the only relic in the trunk, and Rafe isn’t the only one to purloin a souvenir. A mysterious flask containing the last drops of the grisly potion that inspired Jekyll and Hyde and spawned London’s most infamous killer has gone missing. And it has definitely fallen into the wrong hands.
By Drew McGunn
After the explosion, Will didn’t expect to wake up again, especially in the past. Alive is good. Except he finds himself at the Alamo in 1836 in the body of another man doomed to die. If history repeats itself, Santa Anna is coming soon and the Alamo will fall, along with himself and 189 others.
In a race against time itself, Will uses his knowledge of the future to change the past. He will use every means necessary, even if it means abandoning the fort.
He is determined to forget the Alamo!
By William Peter Grasso
France, August 1944. In this alternate history WW2 adventure, American and British forces struggle to trap and destroy the still-potent German armies defending Normandy. But the Allies face another formidable obstacle of their own making: a seething rivalry between generals leads to a high-level disregard for orders that puts the campaign in the Falaise Pocket at risk of devastating failure—or spectacular success. That campaign unfolds through the eyes of two American brothers—one an idealistic pilot, the other a fatalistic tanker—as they plunge headlong into the confusion and indiscriminate slaughter of war.
By Stephen King
Following his massively successful novel Under the Dome, King sweeps readers back in time to another moment—a real life moment—when everything went wrong: the JFK assassination. And he introduces readers to a character who has the power to change the course of history.
Jake Epping is a thirty-five-year-old high school English teacher in Lisbon Falls, Maine, who makes extra money teaching adults in the GED program. He receives an essay from one of the students—a gruesome, harrowing first person story about the night 50 years ago when Harry Dunning’s father came home and killed his mother, his sister, and his brother with a hammer. Harry escaped with a smashed leg, as evidenced by his crooked walk.
Not much later, Jake’s friend Al, who runs the local diner, divulges a secret: his storeroom is a portal to 1958. He enlists Jake on an insane—and insanely possible—mission to try to prevent the Kennedy assassination. So begins Jake’s new life as George Amberson and his new world of Elvis and JFK, of big American cars and sock hops, of a troubled loner named Lee Harvey Oswald and a beautiful high school librarian named Sadie Dunhill, who becomes the love of Jake’s life – a life that transgresses all the normal rules of time.
By John Dreese
For two million years, Mars has hidden a ghastly secret. Two hours ago, the Curiosity Rover found it. With less than a year to prepare, four modern-day astronauts are forced to leave their families behind and risk their lives on what will become the most important expedition mankind has ever launched. With time running out, the fate of humanity rests in the hands of four doomed astronauts.
By Herb Sakalaucks
What if the colonization of a large portion of North America had been dominated by one of Europe’s small nations instead of, as actually happened, by the great powers of France, Britain and Spain?
Specifically, Denmark. In real history, Denmark did have a few small settlements in the Caribbean, but they never amounted to much. But what if, given the very different parameters of the power equations produced by the arrival of Grantville, Denmark had been able to dominate a large portion of what is today called “Canada”?
By James D. Prescott
For over a decade, archaeologist Dr. Martin Anders has searched in vain for proof of the fabled continent of Atlantis. After raising a puzzling artifact from the ocean floor, Anders gets more than he bargained for. It is a piece of modern technology thousands of years old.
To unlock its origins, Anders and a small team of scientists and Ex-Special Forces will travel to a distant land shrouded in mystery and surrounded by creatures long extinct.
But they aren’t alone. An ancient order is close behind. And they’re determined to hide a secret they believe man was never meant to know.
The stakes for the human race couldn’t be higher. What awaits could answer one of humanity’s oldest questions, or lead to its extinction.
A fast-paced archaeological thriller that will make you question everything you think you know.
By Andrew Mayne
When a giant airship descends on New York City in 1892 and threatens destruction if the world doesn’t submit to the Martian flag, it’s up to the mysterious Smith, inventor and adventurer to find out what forces are at work.
From the dangerous basement fan-tan parlors of Chinatown to the top of the Statue of Liberty’s torch, Smith and his brilliant assistant, April Malone, will have to unravel the clues and avoid danger lurking behind every corner. To stop the menace they’ll need to enlist the help of Theodore Roosevelt and other early twentieth-century heroes.
The second book in The Chronological Man series, The Martian Emperor combines mystery, airship battles and backroom Tammany Hall politics against the backdrop of a world on the verge of war.
Geophysicist Jack Greer believes he may finally have found the resting place of the meteorite that wiped out the dinosaurs sixty-five million years ago. A few miles off the Yucatán coast, Jack and a team of scientists tow an aging drilling platform over the impact crater with the aim of securing a sample. But buried deep beneath the earth lies a shocking discovery that threatens to shatter everything we think we know about the origins of our species.