Alternate history (New England English as althist) is an abbreviated genre of speculative fiction consisting of stories in which one or more historical events differ from each other. It is an alternative reality genre of fiction, consisting of stories set in a world in which these events unfold differently from the real world.
Alternative history and alternative reality can be considered sub-genres of literary fiction, science fiction, and historical fiction, with different alternative historical works using tropes from each of these genres. The term alternative history is also used in nonfiction books to describe works that offer a different interpretation or take a different perspective on how actual events are understood. Allohistorical allusions in the form of lampshades that hang on or nod at the fourth wall are often used in alternative history literature and in events where people joke that the real story is originally for our timeline (OTL) or mention an alternative timeline (ATL).
The Collins English Dictionary defines alternative history as a “genre of fiction in which the author speculates that the course of history could have changed if a specific historical event had had a different result. Other names applied to the genre include alternative history, allohistory, counterfactual world, uchrony, parallel world, and stories of deviant histories. Since the 1950s, alternative history has largely merged with science fiction tropes that involve time travel; in some alternative stories there is a psychic awareness of the existence of a universe of people, and time travel causes history to be divided into two or more timelines.
A modification of a story, in which a fictional character gets the chance to see how his life might have happened, is limited to the life of his own fictional creation and has no influence on the outside world, so it is not considered an alternative story in the corresponding bibliography. Some alternative stories begin with the transformation of a single historical event (referred to as Point of Divergence or pod) and follow the changes that brought about the greatest change in the world by deviating from our timeline (OTL) and creating a new alternate or parallel world. Wells traversed time with many variations of the universe, as can be seen from the evolution of de Camp in his short story The Wheel of Unknown Fantasy Fiction (October 1940 ), in which the hero switches from one alternative to another story, each further from ours than the last.
Wells described a multiverse of alternate worlds complete with paratistic travel machines popular among American Pulp writers, but his hero experiences only one alternate world in history that is not too different from conventional alternative history. The distinction is clear in the magical versions of our world and history, set in the present day: on the one hand, alternating history and contemporary fantasy that de facto uses a form of hidden history, as in Josepha Sherman’s Son of Darkness, in which disguised elves inhabit New York City. An alternative history is an approach that works by passing junctions in history that have not actually occurred (it turns out that Napoleon won Waterloo, but it was a damn close escape from what you remember).
It differs in that its purpose is to understand real history rather than to create a fictitious world, but it involves the same thought process. A story is a story in which one or more historical events take place outside reality and contain scenarios in which a crucial point in history is represented as the result of an event in an alternative historical record. The Man in the High Castle, an alternative story in which Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan win the Second World War contains an example of an alternative story because one of its characters is the author of a book in which the Allies win the war.
History points to a divergence in history between our world and the time in which it was written. The mention is made to remind the reader that the fate of something important in the real history of the original (our) timeline (OTL) in the alternative timeline (ATL) is insignificant, such as the time taken to determine that a particular Austrian sergeant in the other timeline was killed. Secret History is an explanation of how real history can be used to invent unknown past events that are not the same.
An early example of an alternative (or counterfactual) history can be found in Livysab urbe condita libri, Book IX, Section 17-19. The novel is a secret story because it describes secret events that are never revealed to the public. Some argue that there is magic to the point of divergence that changes history. Historical novelists expose readers to the inner workings of people, times, and places, illuminating untold stories that enable readers to experience complex truths. Since the late twentieth century, physicists and philosophers have put forward theories about the existence of alternative timelines and parallel worlds. In the context of this bibliography, a novel can be considered a secret story.