By Gary Oswald
Sea Lion Press has published a lot of books (132 currently available) and it can be intimidating for a new reader who has just found us to know what exactly we offer and what different books aim to do, what format they're in, what area of history they cover etc. Hence this guide.
To avoid this just being an endless list of books, I'm going to try and group as many as possible together in little categories in terms of format and style. The categories aren't a science, most books could end up in more than one of them.
Sea Lion Press routinely produces anthologies of alternate history short stories, These normally have around 10-12 stories all by different authors with a total length of 60-70,000 words, with an average story length of about 3000-8000 words. They are excellent if you're looking for numerous interesting scenarios which aren't explored in the depth of a full novel.
10 Leaders Britain Never Had is a collection of short stories about different outcomes in British Politics, mostly post World War II.
Remain means Remain is about different relationships between the UK and Europe mostly set in the last twenty years though often assuming entirely different post war orders.
N'oublions Jamais contains stories set in a version of the First World War.
Fight them on the Beaches is a collection of shorts about a German invasion of the UK during WWII
Comedy through the (P)ages is Alternate History with no fixed subject matter but a primarily comedic tone.
Whereas as a counterpoint Travellers in an Antique Land is Alternate History with a focus on horror.
Alternate Australias is a series of takes on the land down under and contains two Sidewise nominated short stories and one Sidewise Award winner.
Alloamericana is alternate history focused on the myths and legends of the USA.
Grapeshot and Guillotines is alternate history focused on Revolutions.
And The Emerald Isles is alternate history focused on Ireland.
Interlinked Short Story Collections
This is similar to the above except there is only one author and while all the stories are stand alone, they take place in the same universe, allowing you to get a much wider view of the changes.
Reid in Braid by Ryan Fleming. Scotland becomes independent at the end of World War I and remains so to the present day, the stories are told at various dates during the history of an independent Scotland from different points of view.
La Isla Blanca by Jack Tindale. A tongue in cheek reverse Gibraltar scenario in which the Spanish Armada captures the Isle of Wight and British history is affected by this remnant of foreign conquest they can't quite reverse.
Similar to the above in terms of a collection of short content by the same author, but instead of short stories, it is essays, looking at possible counter factuals from a historical rather than literary point of view. If you are looking for well sourced and vigorously researched history with a focus on 'what ifs', rather than fiction, these are the books for you.
Comics of Infinite Earths by Charles EP Murphy. A journalistic look at British and American comics behind the scenes, with interviews of key comic creators asking questions about how various comics could have turned out had different business and creative decisions been made.
Eternal Caesars, Confronting the Barbarians and Caesars of the Bosphorus by Tim Venning. Three books of essays by academic and historian, Tim Venning about what was going on in Ancient Rome/the Byzantine Empire and so how things could have been different.
King Henry IV, King Charles or King Oliver and Bonnie King Charlie by Tim Venning. Three more books of essays about Tudor Britain, the English Civil War and the Jacobites. The time period where the Modern UK was formed and so many other things could have been formed instead.
How to Guide
This is a writing guide, it contains, as examples, essays and short stories such as you would find in the categories above but primarily this is about various of our writers advising how to write like them. It's basically this blog but in a book and people get paid for it.
Faux History Books
It's a mimicry of a history book, so told as non fiction rather than dialogue, but talking about events that never happened. Unlike the Essays this is written from an in universe perspective, the academic is from the AH and talks about fictional events as if they were fact.
Chamberlain Resigns and Other Things that did not Happen by Charles E. Murphy. This is a collection of essays about possible AH scenarios, only it is written from the perspective of an historian in a different world where WWII went very differently. Creating a double blind what if.
Festung Europa by Jon Kacer. A straight forward history of a campaign wherein Germany wins in the Eastern Front of WWII leading to the UK and the USA having to go alone in the Western Front with all the bloodshed that implies.
Walking Back to Happiness by Liam Baker. This book explores British politics in a word where Tony Greenwood rather than Harold Wilson becomes British PM.
The House of Stuart Sequence by George Kearton. An epic timeline told in nine volumes (The Year of the Prince, The King Shall have His Own Again, An Ending of Empires, The General European Wars, The Savage Years, The World Turned Upside Down, A State of Unending War, When the Hurly-Burlys Done, and The Longest Road) and now complete. This story tells the history of the world if the Jacobite rising of 1745 had succeeded in restoring the Stuarts.
Decisive Darkness by Paul Hynes. Available in e-book as Parts 1 and Part 2 or in paperback as a single story. This tells the story of a bloody American invasion of Japan in a world where they don't surrender in 1945.
The Legacy of Saint Brendan by Michael Ballif. In a world where the arrival of Irish Monks in North America completely changed the fate of that continent, an historian tries to piece together the various sources they have on those monks to trace their history.
The People's Flag by Tom Black. A state sanctified history of the Union of Britain, a socialist republic on the island of Great Britain, inspired by the Kaiserreich video game mod. Also available in paperback.
Shadow of Montreux by Pablo Portillo. A history of the 'Fascist International' in a world where fascism, never quite destroyed by the catastrophes of its own making in the mid-20th century, lasts longer and maintains a veneer of respectability.
Lists of Leaders
The history of a country essentially told through a portrait of the men in charge. Each leader gets a chapter about their personality and the state the country they led was during their time and so you see how different people in charge result in a different country. Told primarily in the style of an academic summary of a leader with little narrative.
Shuffling the Deck by Tom Black and Jack Tindale covers the UK from 1940 to 2015. You'll see some familiar faces but in very unfamiliar roles.
Decking the Shuffle by Liam Baker and Alfie Steer is a homage to the above which covers a similar period but makes different decisions.
The Curse of Maggie by Tom Anderson. This one covers the UK from the early 90s, with the gimmick that much like Japan or Italy, the UK sees a lot of different leaders.
Tippecanoe and Wallace too by Alex Richards. A homage to the above but set in the USA and starting in the 1940s.
You've always had it so good by Tom Black and Jack Tindale takes things in the opposite direction, with a lot less PMs in post war UK instead of a lot more.
Meet the New Boss by Tom Black. A history of Soviet Britain from its liberation by Soviet troops in the Second World War to the modern day.
Presidential by Martin Concagh. Modern America without Bill Clinton as President, told in the format of a magazine list trying to name the most 'Presidential' moment of each of the modern Presidents.
The Limpid Stream by Jack Tindale. Russian from 1917 to the modern day without Lenin.
Out of the Blue by Austin Ross. What if Ronald Reagan not Richard Nixon had won the 1968 election? This book examines the fallout.
Many a Hero Untold by David Hoggard and Bob Mumby. This looks at Ireland from the 1920s to the 1970s with significant additions to the format in terms of interludes from other perspectives to show the culture and politics of the Ireland the leaders are creating.
The Loud Blast that tears the Skies by Chris Nash. A meteor hits London in 1908, devastating the heart of the British Empire. Through both descriptions of British leaders and interludes from other sources, this book traces the fallout. Also available in Paperback.
A Journalist or other traveller takes a wander through a country, writing about it, talking to people within it and showing the audience what this strange new land looks like through their perspective rather than that of a hands off academic.
Zonen by Tom Black. A look at the Alternate history of a Danish occupation Zone in post WWII Germany told through a series of interviews conducted by an unnamed journalist visiting the area.
The Unreformed Kingdom by Tom Anderson. An American visits a Britain which never fully liberalised its voting laws to cover a Doncaster by-election.
Britain without Beeching by Iain Bowen. Our narrator takes a trip along Britain's railways in a world without so many of them scrapped in cuts. Also available in Paperback.
Bearfish by John O'Brien. An oral history project in which our hero interviews various people about the effect the large scale introduction of African wildlife, in particular Hippos, into North America had on the culture there.
Union, Travail, Justice by Jonathan Edelstein. A journalist visits Gabon, in a world where it is still part of France, to investigate a murder.
In and out of the Reich by Paul Leone. The book consists of three short newspaper pieces about different elements of post Nazi Victory Europe which paint a picture of life in a regime which has defeated all its external enemies and strangled all beauty and freedom out of its internal citizens.
A Century Turns and Night Over the Bosporus by Tabac Iberez. Aleksander van Riebeck is a trader embarking on mercantile adventures across the skies of the late Victorian period. His goods? Anything he can lay his hands on. His vessel? A vast dirigible. These are his stories.
T'Yorkshire Assembly by Jack Tindale. In a travelogue across the region, politicians, academics, and journalists review the impact of fifteen years of home-rule for the ancient capital of, um, Bradford in Yorkshire.
An election night is happening. It is either told through the perspectives of a Journalist reporting on that election or a bunch of activists watching the coverage but the story is the Election and its results and it's a narrative with dialogue and actions rather than dry academia.
The Fourth Lectern and The Fifth Lectern by Andy Cooke. The UK 2010 election goes differently thanks to a different Lib Dem Leader and an earlier UKIP surge. Gripping political drama firmly told from the point of view of the activists and politicians involved in making the decisions that could win and lose these elections.
Making Murder Sound Respectable by Bob Mumby. A British election night in a world where Communist and Fascist militias still clash in the streets from the perspective of a group of students watching the results on television.
President Ashdown is Retiring by Tom Black and Jack Tindale. A Presidential election in a post monarchy Britain told through the journalists and guests on a BBC show.
The Strange Campaign of Jonathan Fortune by Elizabeth Jones. During a General Election, an Agent is sent to a small Scottish Island to ensure his candidate gets elected and stumbles onto a Supernatural conspiracy in a classic horror political tale.
Daughters of Elysium by Adam J Ellison. Election night in a united European Union, live from the European Broadcasting Corporation, told from the point of a view of a bunch of student activist friends.
ISOTs are a trope named after Island in the Sea of Time by S.M. Sterling wherein people from one time period are sent to another time period. These are essentially time travel stories, wherein the arrival of people from the future is the reason why history becomes altered.
Dislocated To Success, Towards the Glittering Sunset and A Pellucid Twilight by Iain Bowen. Britain is ISOTd from 1980 to 1730, these books are the complete memoirs of Norman St John-Stevas, a Tory MP who finds himself caught up in 18th century diplomacy. The first volume is also available in paperback.
Not an English Word by Tom Anderson. In 2015 Nick Clegg summons a Liberal legend from the past to help restore his party's fortune.
The Displacers Series by Simon Brading. A complete five part series (The Pirate's Heir, The Secret of the Ancients, The Whitechapel Plot, The Price of Greed and The Time for Vengeance) about a young man who discovers the ability to, accidentally at first and then later at will, travel in time.
The Sea Eagles by Steve Kingston. A wry alternate technothriller in which a 1990 West German patrol boat is sent back in time to before the World Wars.
Timewreck Titanic by Rhys B Davies. The Titanic Memorial Fleet of 2012 is sent back to 1912 just as the actual Titanic is sinking. Also available in paperback.
These works cover a large area of time and follows the world as it changes from the arc of history of our time line into something new. These books normally are told in a bricolage style, wherein the authors switches format between quoting from faux history books to narrative sections and other literary forms in the service of a greater whole because they try and cover as wide a net as possible to try and show the culture of these new timelines.
With Iron and Fire by David Wostyn. What if the Republic of China had died in its infancy and a new Imperial dynasty rose in its place instead? This book follows the history of East Asia in the 20th century with a stronger more centralised Chinese state. Also available in paperback.
The Drakes Drum series by Nicholas Sumner. A three book series (Peace of Amiens, The Reckoning, Currents of Fate) on Britain's history through WWI and WWII where different results in the first leads to different results in the second. Our most popular and best selling books, all available in paperback.
A Greater Britain by Ed Thomas. A classic AH story which answers what the 20th Century would have been like if Oswald Mosely had stayed with Labour and became PM with them. Also available in paperback.
Fight and Be Right, The World of Fight and be Right and Blue Lotus by Ed Thomas. Lord Randolph Churchill, Winston’s father, becomes PM in the late 19th century and takes the British Empire to both higher heights and a more dramatic fall. 'Fight and be Right' is available in paperback, the other two eBooks add more detail to the World outside Britain.
'Look to the West' by Tom Anderson. A truly epic story told in five volumes and counting (Diverge and Conquer, Uncharted Territory, Equal and Opposite Reactions, Cometh the Hour, To Dream Again) this timeline traces an entirely different world system emerging out of different decisions made in North America by the Hanoverian Kings. The first two books are available in paperback.
Walking through Dreams and The Proxy Dance by Jared Kavanagh. The Sidewise nominated 'Lands of Red and Gold series' depicts the history of an Australia where populations are denser and agriculture much more common.
Reds! by Jane Hill. A tale of ordinary men and women turned to revolution, of a tragic civil war spurred on by reaction, culminating in the death of the old United States and its rebirth in the Union of American Socialist Republics.
Alternate History doesn't have to be set in the past. You can use different choices in the past to speculate upon the future as these stories do. These are narrative stories for those interested in the Future and recommended for fans of Science Fiction.
Ruimtewedloop by Charlton Cussans. The democratic federation known as the Commonwealth of Humanity comes face to face with the nastier parts of both its past and its present in a story about bigotry and how societies deal with it.
The Surly Bonds of Earth and Well Met by Starlight by Tom Anderson. A future history of a world where the assumptions of the 1990s held true, these books trace the route of humanity into the stars and their first encounters with alien races.
Fiction set in the present day, or at least the last few years and often removed from the point of divergence. Told firmly in a narrative style, these characters have their own drama while also showing the readers what their world looks like.
The Plague Policeman by Toby Jones. A Zulu doctor investigates illegal biological research in Paris, the heart of the largest Empire to ever exist, while bio engineered plagues run rampant.
For Want of a Paragraph by Tom Black. A political thriller told not about an election but rather a failed leadership challenge as David Miliband challenges Gordon Brown in 2008.
Boristopia by Tom Black. A look at Boris Johnson as PM written long before that actually happened and so a time capsule of the political assumptions of the time.
Three Days in Yangon by Zachary Lynn. Burma is the newest great power in the world and a team of police investigators try and keep it that way by rooting out a conspiracy against their Empress.
Who Will Speak for England? by Lena Worwood. The slice of life stories of three flatmates and their friends and love interests in a world where devolution in the UK has gone much further. An exploration of how policies and politics effect those on the ground.
The Only Winning Move by Max Johansson. It is 2015. The Cold War rages on. And in a Berlin still divided by a wall, people start dying.
The Darling Buds Express by Edward Feery. The trials and tribulations of a long distance relationship in a world where different British policies effect the lives of the people within it.
Action on the front lines told in classic war story style from the point of view of soldiers only without the wars following where history assumes they'll go.
The Misfit Squadron series by Simon Brading. An Epic collection of steampunk military adventure books (The Battle over Britain, The Russian Resistance, A Misfit Midwinter, The Lion and the Baron, The Maltese Defence, Tales from the Second Great War, The Siege of Gibraltar and The King's Mission) wherein the Second Great War is going poorly for the Kingdom of Britain - the British Isles are under siege and the only thing standing between the all-conquering Prussian army and victory is a thin strip of blue water and the gallant men and women of the Royal Aviator Corps. And in particular the Misfit Squadron, an elite group of pilots who don’t always pay strict attention to military discipline. All books also available in paperback.
A Bright Cold Day by Mark Ciccone. The combat experiences of Eric Blair, better known as George Orwell, in a slightly different Spanish Civil War.
Kansas Troubles by Mark Ciccone. After the American Civil War ends in stalemate, a plebiscite is held to decide the fate of Kansas and Missouri and as Kansas bleeds once more with undeclared war between bands of guerrillas on both sides, a veteran union soldier finds himself dragged back into war.
In the Absence of Powder by Alexander Rooksmoor. Told from the point of view of a messenger at the battle of Waterloo this looks at the tactics of an hypothetical Napoleonic war fought without any guns at all.
Freedom's Rampart by Katherine Foy. As a result of a series of misunderstandings in the late 19th century, a rogue Russian warship accidentally invades New Zealand and the various residents of an out of the way British Colony must try and fend them of.
The Oregon War by T.T Drewett. When Mt. St. Helens in the Oregon Territory erupts and the UK and USA find themselves at War in Oregon, one family becomes caught up in a new nightmare as they must battle both nature and man to survive.
Hondo this is CFB Cold Lake by Ben Prewitt. Dog fights and aerobatic thrills during a 2014 Russian invasion of Canada.
The Smithtown Unit and Box Press by Colin Salt. Alternate history action-adventure novels in which the titular Smithtown Unit must hunt down threats and enemies in a worlds where the geo-politics are disconcertingly different.
Classic Historical Fiction
Just a straightforward narrative prose style story of our characters overcoming problems in a Historical setting where things are different.
Bombard the Headquarters! by Steven Digena. Mao is assassinated in 1971 and the remaining leaders of the Chinese Communist Party find themselves jockeying for power unexpectedly early, in this 'Death of Stalin' like political thriller.
The Bloody Man and The Fiery Crucible by Ed Thomas. The first two parts of a sadly unfinished trilogy, this is a historical thriller set in the English Civil War combining excerpts from fictional history books with gripping narrative. Except in this world, Oliver Cromwell, rather than rising to power in England has emigrated to America prior to the start of the war. Also available in paperback.
Agent Lavender by Tom Black and Jack Tindale. A combination of spy and political fiction based on the high concept of 'what if the conspiracy theories of the 1960s were true and Harold Wilson was actually a soviet agent?'. Also available in paperback.
Our Man on the Hill by Matthew Kresal. And if 'What if Harold Wilson was a soviet agent?' is too much for you how about 'What if Joe McCarthy was one?' in this tale by a Sidewise award winner.
One Shoe Tale by Jeremy Green. A noir detective is hired to hunt down a Cinderella figure in a steampunk Hungary in this delightfully tongue in cheek retelling of old clichés.
The Red Fuhrer by Paul Hynes. Part 1 is The Red Fuhrer and part 2 is Revolution. The story of the injustices and sufferings of interwar Germany and the charismatic but scary leader claiming to be able to solve those problems told through the eyes of the people on the ground who are caught in his wake. Only in this world, Adolf Hitler is a Communist not a Nazi.
Streseland by Alexander Rooksmoor. A German government agent, in a 1930s Germany where the Nazis never gained power, must go undercover among the far-right to try and keep them out of power.
Byzantium Express by Alexander Rooksmoor. A British spy in 1914 aims to keep the Byzantine Empire out of the war her country is fighting.
CSA All the Way by Wm. Garrett Cothran. Black comedy about the rise of a fascist in the aftermath of the CSA losing a major war.
How tall is the Grass in Germany? by Wm. Garrett Cothran. In a Nazi occupied America a rich ad man has his own dark secrets to hide.
Against the Devil's Men by Alexander Rooksmoor. An unlikely team of Christian clergy and mercenaries are sent into Mongol controlled Europe to try and weaken them by spreading the plague.
The Boy In The Storm by Nick Peel. This moving and personal tale of human survival under totalitarianism chronicles three days in the lives of a family and a government agent in Nazi-occupied Britain in 1957.
Double Play by Richard Comerford. A thrilling dive into the conspiracy theories surrounding JFK's death in a world where everything is different. Johnson is killed and Oswald manages to save Kennedy.
The Blood and the Ghost by Alexander Rooksmoor. Two Danes are sent across pagan Viking ruled Britain to find and destroy the grandsons of King Alfred, who the Vikings had killed many years ago.
Chasing Shadows by Bob Mumby. In Depression era America, a group of conservative businessmen in the United States became concerned that their country is heading towards Socialism and start openly talking about a coup. What happens once they succeed?
The Twilight's Last Gleaming by Tom Anderson. A disaster fiction set in the aftermath an asteroid impact that causes a megatsunami in the Indian Ocean and the eruption of the Yellowstone Supervolcano in the United States. Except this disaster happens in 1886.