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Science Fiction & Fantasy

That’s what the “alternate history” type is all about. Alternative history looks at history – and this applies to any country in the world – and asks the question: “What if?” What if British India didn’t come along? What would have happened if the British capital had been built elsewhere – say, where is Newcastle upon Tyne today? Will this change the course of history? Alternative histories can ask and answer many questions – and let your ideas chase down various paths!

alternative history
Alternate histories are often referred to as heterologous histories. For those aficionados of alternate history, it is often called uchronia or uchronie, or what the French call alternate history. As a parallel world; even abwegige geschichten. Whatever the name of alternative history is, it deals with past events, the results of which will eventually change—and then subsequent events that evolve from the perspective of change. Robert Sobel used alternate history as the main plot in his book “If There Was No Nail…If Burgoyne Won at Saratoga.” Likewise, Peter G Tsouras wrote Gettysburg: An Alternative History.

Alternative histories are also called “counterfactuals,” but they’re not entirely accurate: counterfactuals are actually more relevant to academic historical research than to the science fiction genre. You’ll find a good selection of these types of books in our alternate history section: one book I particularly recommend is the book by Professor David Krasner, titled “Destroying the West: What If?” Books say one word – you have to read it yourself!

Magic, the supernatural and Middle-earth: stories such as the “Middle Kingdom” and “Lord of the Rings” series. Fantasy as a genre avoids the geeky and creepy—and it avoids science. Fantasy is—well, pure fantasy! This is what dreams are made of. Tolkien’s book follows the fantasy theme perfectly. Add parallel kingdoms and you have “Tenth Kingdom”, now available on DVD – well worth a look! Add the magic and you have John W. Campbell Jr. and the stories he wrote for Unknown magazine. Add fate and you’ve got George RR Martin’s Storm of Swords: You’ll find the book on page 5 of the Fantasy section under the Sci-Fi tab of our website. This is a great read and volume 3 of the six-part epic novel A Song of Ice and Fire.

Gaming has really come into its own since the advent of multimedia and the Internet. In fact, gaming software must be one of the more and more products sold, even in a recession. Trust me, once you start the game correctly, you’ll be hooked! It’s probably one of the safer addictions anyway! Today Games Workshop Group plc is one of the most prestigious wargaming companies, listed on the London Stock Exchange. It sells wargame software and games around the world from its base in the UK. A completely different company, Game Designers’ Workshop, which closed from 1973 to 1996, was also in the business of selling role-playing games and war games.

The vast majority of this game software is based on science fiction of one kind or another—time travel, myths and legends, magic—and any other tendencies that involve a combination of one or the other group. In 1977, Game Designers Studio first introduced Voyager: the game is now carried forward by Mongoose Publishing. In almost all cases, games are drawn from imagined events that take place in the distant future. Rules are set for players to follow, and players progress through the different levels, buying and selling equipment and weapons to further enter the game’s imaginary realms. As a player, I can understand the appeal of having players undivided, but unless you’re a gamer, you don’t really understand how a tie game affects you.

Arguably one of the most respected sci-fi films has to be The Contact, directed by Robert Zemeckis and starring Jodie Foster as Dr. Ellie Arroway. Released in 1997, the film is taken from the book “Contact” by Carl Sagan, which you can find on our website, as well as his various other books: “The Cosmos” ; “The Pale Blue Dot: Visions of Humanity’s Future in Space”; “A Demon-Infested World: Science Is Like a Candle in the Dark”; and “Dragon of Eden: Speculation on the Evolution of Human Intelligence” — all of these books, and more Books, all available on our website, under the Science Fiction banner.

In the media section you’ll find David Llewellyn’s Doctor Who: Take Chelsea 426 – plus Babylon 5, Batman, Black’s 7, other Doctor Who vignettes, Camera Man, Red Dwarf, Star Trek, Star Wars, Raven, X-Files and Xena

Science fiction
Filed under the science fiction umbrella, you’ll find anthologies; classic science fiction; cyberpunk; science fiction encyclopedias; graphic novels; high-tech science fiction; adventure; history and criticism; science fiction series; and short stories. There are some delightful books in this section: here you’ll find “Orbus” by Neal Asher. The book has echoes of the Star Wars-Deep Space 9 crossover, though it tells its own story. Another fascinating book is Tom’s Midnight Garden by Philippa Pearce – a “garden that shouldn’t exist”. Do you find this as funny as I do? If so, you’ll love this read – a true and classic sci-fi novel that makes you lose yourself in reality.

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