Time for a new weekly writer’s roundup of my works-in-progress and those ready to read!
It has been a mixed-bag kind of week. Buying/selling/moving houses is pretty involved, and that combined with providing some added TLC for my household while my wife adjusts to her new job and our good friend and boarder deals with some serious mechanical issues with her car devoured my free time. However, even with those extra demands, I’ve managed to squeeze in some writing.
It’s not specifically fiction, but in working with an artist-friend who is interested in doing some illustration for Allied Section Alpha, my alternate history science-fantasy-superhero story that I’ve been working on since May, she asked for some more clarification on the setting and the characters to assist her in drawing them. It sparked a process this week that grew into five thousand words and growing of consolidated notes and that fleshed-out the backgrounds of many things in ASA. That work and research has been a little tedious at times, but the world, its background, technology, and my cast of characters now have a lot more detail and depth for me to play with. It also helped me answer some questions in the developing plot that have been growing from some time.
It has been time well spent, and I’m going to share some of that work with you now while trying at the same time to avoid dropping any spoilers. ;-)
Allied Section Alpha is set in an alternate history and universe. There are three major things that set this world apart from ours:
1) People, including major historical personalities, may have been born in different eras in time than they were in our continuity.
Example: In this world Joan d’Arc is born in France in 1917 A.D., not 1412.
2) Because of #1 above, and the resulting ripples of “Butterfly Effect” from it, the flow of history in this world differs from ours in minor and major ways. This includes the actions and choices of “displaced” historical personalities… But keep in mind that they are only “displaced” from our point of view. To them, their actions are simply their lives, and the past history of their Earth is just as normal to them as ours is to us.
Example One: Joan d’Arc is born in France in 1917. Her experiences, views, and choices are influenced by being an early 20th century woman and not a peasant girl of the 15th century.
Example Two: The outcome of the Russian Revolution in 1917 was very different in the world of ASA as the Russian Empire managed to survive the war, although it lost a large chunk of its western territories to the communist rebel factions that eventually formed the Federated Council of Socialist Republics that would come under the leadership of Joseph Stalin by 1925.
Example Three: Napoléon Bonaparte becomes an influential general after his actions for France in the First World War. At the beginning of the Second World War, he leads a majority of the French army in a coup d’état as Germany invades France, seizing power and setting himself up as a dictator much like Hitler and Mussolini. This makes France an active member of the Axis powers and changes the balance of power against the Allies compared to how events played out in our timeline (where France was mostly an occupied country in WWII).
3) The setting of Allied Section Alpha has supernatural, superhuman and magical fantasy elements that are absent in our world along with the occasional pieces of technological science fiction (or simple anachronism). Things of this nature are rare rather than commonplace, but have been present for all of known history. Because of these elements, the world of ASA can be considered a superheroic setting in addition to its other aspects.
Example: Joan d’Arc in this world has acquired a magical suit of armor that provides her a level of invulnerability and bullet-proofing.
The three points above are what primarily set the world of Allied Section Alpha apart from our own.
In terms of historical setting, Raid on the Château de la Malartrie opens explicitly on June 12th, 1942. This date is the middle of the Second World War. In terms of our own, real-world history, at this point in time America had only entered fully into the war with the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor seven months prior. The Axis Powers controlled most of Eastern and Western Europe and territories deep into Russia. In the Pacific, Japan was reeling from their stunning defeat just a few days beforehand at the Battle of Midway whereas for the previous six months they had secured a long line of victories.
In setting of Allied Section Alpha, the situation is far worse for the Allies.
Europe has seen Germany overrun the Federated Council of Socialist Republics to the East, the bolshevik cause being lost with the death of Joseph Stalin. But Nazi victory isn’t assured, as even with Turkish assistance and invasion, the Wehrmacht may have bitten off more than it can chew as the Russian Empire throws itself into the conflict.
To the west, England is barely holding on after fighting-off a seaborne invasion and naval armada of Spanish, French and German forces the year before. Having seen the loss of Gibraltar to Axis Spain, and Cairo and the Suez Canal to the German Afrika Korps and the tactical brilliance of Erwin Rommel, these are dark days for the British Empire.
And in America, the United States is dealing with the aftermath of a surprise German firebombing raid that severely damaged New York City the same day as Pearl Harbor in a coordinated attack. Thereafter, a joint Spanish-German invasion of Cuba occurred, with Axis France using the French West Indies as bases for raids and shipping disruptions along South America and the Caribbean. These events and others have shifted American attention away from the Pacific, and the Battle of Midway ended with Japanese occupation of the island after the Imperial Navy suffered few losses.
Thus, Captain d’Arc means it when she looks the members of Section Alpha in the eyes and says…
…We want a victory tonight. We need a victory tonight! After Gibraltar and Cairo and the raid on New York… some have started to talk as if we’re standing in the way of a changing tide… Simply fighting the inevitable. Well, tonight we do something for God and country!
Alright, time for me to stop blogging and get back to writing some more fiction! Take care!