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GURPS Alternate Earths – Cover

You can find an index of all the GURPS bibliographies we have online here. If you spot any broken links or other problems with this page, please report them to

Bibliography for GURPS Alternate Earths

By far the best bibliography of alternate histories is maintained on the Internet by Robert B. Schmunk. At last glance, it could be found on the World Wide Web here.

Alternate Histories

Alternate Histories (AH) that do not relate directly to any of the ones in this sourcebook, but that the authors respect and admire, include:

Anderson, Poul, Time Patrol (Tor 1994). A collection of some of the finest time-travel stories ever written; only one or two are "pure" AH, but they are all invaluable.

Benford, Gregory and Martin H. Greenberg, eds., What Might Have Been? Volumes I-IV (Bantam 1989-1992).

Squire, J.C., ed., If It Had Happened Otherwise: Lapses Into Imaginary History (Longmans, Green 1931). Includes stories by Hilaire Belloc, Winston Churchill and G.K. Chesterton! The classic AH book.

Stirling, S.M., Marching Through Georgia (Baen 1988), Under the Yoke (Baen 1989), The Stone Dogs (Baen 1990). This trilogy of AH novels includes an impressively detailed AH background. The most recent addition, Drakon (Baen 1996) is only marginal AH.

Turtledove, Harry, Agent of Byzantium (Baen 1994), A Different Flesh (Baen 1994), Kaleidoscope (Ballantine 1990), Departures (Ballantine 1993).

Waugh, Charles G. and Martin H. Greenberg, eds., Alternative Histories (Garland 1986). Includes a number of classics and a starter bibliography, with an essay on AH construction.

Actual History

To build a convincing alternate history, real history is a necessary foundation. The following sources highlight important aspects of real history or are just plain excellent.

Crosby, Alfred, Ecological Imperialism: The Biological Expansion of Europe 900-1900 (Cambridge Univ Press 1986). The consequences of the spread of European ecosystems into the New World and Australia.

Lamb, H. H., Climate, History and the Modern World (Methuen 1982). A good overview of the history of climate and its impact on a surprisingly wide range of developments.

Langer, William L., An Encyclopedia of World History (Houghton Mifflin 1972). One volume, no waiting, all the pestiferous details you could look for in fifty other places right here at your fingertips.

McNeill, William H., Plagues and Peoples (Doubleday 1976). How diseases shape historical development.

McNeill, William H., The Rise of the West rev. ed. (University of Chicago 1991). Still the best one-volume world history.

Toynbee, Arnold, A Study of History (Oxford Univ Press 1934). Skim it for its scope.

Trevor-Roper, Sir Hugh, "History and Imagination" (Clarendon 1980). A great historian on the necessity for historical imagination. Also available in History and Imagination: Essays in Honor of H. R. Trevor-Roper, edited by Hugh Lloyd-Jones, Valerie Pearl, and Blair Worden.


Moore, Ward, Bring the Jubilee (Farrar Straus 1953). The classic "South Wins" AH.

Poyer, David C., The Shiloh Project (Avon 1981). Nuclear thriller in the Confederacy.

Thomas, Emory, The Confederate Nation 1861-1865 (Harper & Row 1979). Excellent one-volume study of the CSA as a nation.

Turtledove, Harry, Guns of the South (Ballantine 1992). Time-traveling AH; Robert E. Lee with AK-47s.

Wilson, Charles Reagan and William Ferris, eds., The Encyclopedia of Southern Culture (Univ of North Carolina 1989). A handy source for what it means to be a Southron.


Benford, Gregory and Martin H. Greenberg, eds., Hitler Victorious (Berkley 1987). Anthology of AHs about German victory in WWII.

Dick, Philip K., The Man in the High Castle (Putnam's 1962). Axis victory in the absolute best AH novel ever.

Harris, Robert, Fatherland (Harper 1992). A solidly written AH about the biggest murder investigation of all time.

Linaweaver, Brad, Moon of Ice (Tor 1993). A slightly more bizarre AH, expanded from the short story in Hitler Victorious.

Speer, Albert, Inside the Third Reich (Macmillan 1970). War criminal tells all.

Taylor, James and Warren Shaw, The Third Reich Almanac (Grafton 1987). A decent one-stop encyclopedia of the Third Reich.

Roma Aeterna

Livy, Rome and Italy (Penguin 1982). Contains Books VI-X of Livy's History of Rome; on pp. 238-245 of this edition (IX.17-19) is the first ever AH: what if Alexander the Great had made war on Rome?

Mitchell, Kirk, Procurator (Ace 1984), New Barbarians (Ace 1986), Cry Republic (Ace 1989). Better-than-average "Rome survives" AH.

Scullard, H.H., From the Gracchi to Nero (Methuen 1982)

Suetonius, The Twelve Caesars (Penguin 1957)

Tacitus, The Annals of Imperial Rome (Penguin 1956)


Arendt, Hannah, The Origins of Totalitarianism (Harcourt Brace Jovanovich 1973). Indispensable study used for designing synarchism.

Elison, George, Deus Destroyed: the Image of Christianity in Early Modern Japan (Harvard Univ Press 1973). Standard recent work on Christianity in Japan and why it failed.

Roberts, Michael, From Oxenstierna to Charles XII (Cambridge Univ Press 1991). This book and Roberts' biography of Gustavus Adolphus give historical background on Sweden's Age of Greatness.

Ross, Andrew C., A Vision Betrayed: The Jesuits in Japan and China 1542-1742 (Edinburgh Univ Press 1994). More sympathetic to the Jesuits than Elison.


Crosby, Alfred, The Columbian Exchange (Greenwood 1972). Detailed results of the meeting of the Old and New Worlds.

Diaz, Bernal, The Conquest of New Spain (Penguin 1963). Eyewitness history of Cortez' defeat of the Aztecs.

Reynolds, Mack and Dean Ing, The Other Time (Baen 1984). Time-traveling archaeologist beats Cortez to Aztec Mexico by a couple of days.

Roberts, John Maddox, King of the Wood (Doubleday 1983). Slam-bang alternate America with Aztecs, Arabs, Mongols, and two (count 'em!) kinds of Vikings.

Silverberg, Robert, The Gate of Worlds (Holt, Rinehart and Winston 1967). Aztec-survival AH.


Cheney, Margaret, Tesla: Man Out Of Time (Laurel 1981). The standard hagiography.

Gelertner, David, 1939: The Lost World of the Fair (Free Press 1995). A historical look at the Thirties through the prism of the great New York World's Fair of 1939.

Gibson, William, "The Gernsback Continuum." The inspirational short story, not AH but excellent fantasy.

Kipling, Rudyard, "With the Night Mail" and "As Easy as ABC." Other inspirational short stories, not AH but Future History.

Leiber, Fritz, "Catch That Zeppelin!" Yet another inspirational short story, the only AH in the bunch.

Film and TV

There have been precious few good AH treatments in film or TV; the selections that follow did something to pique the authors' interest or irritation.

Back to the Future 2 (1989). Freakishly enough, the best AH movie so far.

Fatherland (1994). HBO movie based on the better novel of the same name; Rutger Hauer does make a convincing SS officer, though.

Mirror, Mirror (Star Trek) and Yesterday's Enterprise (Star Trek: TNG). Two of the best Trek episodes; also two of the best AH treatments on TV.

Philadelphia Experiment 2. Straight-to-video "Naziworld" sequel to the not bad (and not AH) 1984 Michael Paré thriller.

Sliders. Justifiably cancelled (though briefly revived), this miserable Fox TV series was the first all-AH, all-the-time TV show.

Things To Come (1936). Not AH but Future History; a good source for Gernsback.

The Source of All Wisdom And Knowledge

Encyclopedia Britannica, 13th ed. (Britannica 1926). Contains the complete 11th edition (1910) with four supplemental volumes and a general index.

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