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Alternative history - the best books: list of popular and rating
Alternative history - the best books: list of popular and rating

In the genre of alternative history, the best books tell about the amazing journeys of the main characters in the eras of the future or the past. After they arrive at their destination, all events change, hence the name of the genre. Such works can captivate for hours.


Introducing the ranking of the best works in the alternative history genre:

1. "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court."

2. "Terror".

3. "It's hard to be a god."

4. Fahrenheit 451.

5. Time Patrol.

6. Wolf for Wolf.

7. Cloud Atlas.

8. “West of Eden.”

9. "God's Warriors".

10. Inferno.

Let's take a closer look at all 10 masterpieces.

Classic for everyone

In the direction of alternative history, the best books are not so easy to find. Authors do not often join this type of work. However, Mark Twain decided to test his strength in an unusual literary direction and did it more than successfully. A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Courtdraws you in while reading and differs from other works in several ways. This book is filled with a lot of humor. Under the top layer of history, the writer skillfully ridicules the feudal community, the behavior of representatives of the highest social strata, chivalric dogmas and many other aspects.

The plot is typical for the genre - at one moment the main character somehow falls from his 19th century into the 9th. He does not understand what happened, and his clothes attract the attention of all the inhabitants. After questioning, it is possible to find out that he is in medieval England. The Yankees were not taken aback at a difficult moment and decided to change the whole course of history. He began to show the society of the 9th century all the charms of the future, which greatly intrigued the king. At the same time, the main character is trying to impose new values ​​on people, while human life was not worth a penny.

alternative history best books

Strange expedition

The best books about alternative history touch on interesting topics. In the current realities, this is difficult to do, given the already existing range of similar works in art, but it was not difficult for talented science fiction writer Dan Simmons.

He took the expedition of 1845 as the basis for the plot of the book "Terror". It was commanded by an experienced captain, John Franklin, and the main goal of the campaign was to search for a passage in the northwest that would connect the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. The fate of this expedition is a mystery to scientists. The crews of the ships "Terror" and "Erebus" disappeared, they were looking for a century and a half. Only in 2014 did they find the first ship, andafter 2 years and the second ship. Research on the remains continues to this day, but Dan Simmons' novel came out earlier.

The author offered his own alternative history. The work "Terror" got into the list of the best and most popular books precisely because of the plot. The story begins with how the expedition gets surrounded by ice. The passage to the northwest is not available for exploration, but John Franklin's team cannot return. Their ships were firmly stuck in the ice. From this moment, the author begins to describe the stage of survival of the team, filled with various kinds of passions. Simmons skillfully shows how the real essence of a person comes out in conditions close to death. The situation is complicated by the fact that the researchers swam into foreign territory. They feel that something lives in the water. Fear is clouding the minds of team members, and for good reason.

best books alternative history

Cult work

In the alternative history genre, the best books can capture the reader with an unusual plot, raise sensitive topics, show interesting characters and much more. The brothers Arkady and Boris Strugatsky managed to go even further. In their work "It's hard to be a god" there are all of the above elements. The plot tells about the events on the planet Arkanar. In this remote corner of the galaxy lives a race that is no different from humans. Only here on Earth at this time, development has gone far ahead.

The Institute of Experimental History sends its staff to Arkanar. This planet is stuck onstage that can be described as the late Middle Ages. Mass wars, social inequality, lack of human rights - all this characterizes the living conditions on Arkanar. Terrestrial agents are prepared in the best way, they have technological weapons in stock, not a single inhabitant of Arkanar can compare physically and intellectually with them. The authorities gave them clear instructions to observe and eliminate the most fatal errors that were present on Earth. The employees of the Institute are embedded in different social strata of the society, which continues its struggle.

The main character Anton, who took the name of Don Rumata of Estorsky on the planet, is trying to save talented people. They could lead the society along the right vector of development. Meanwhile, First Minister Don Raba managed to climb over the corpses to his post. He has power and a “gray” army in his hands, obeying him in everything. Soon he begins to take more active actions.

alternative history

Meaningful dystopia

The best and most popular alternate history books sometimes make it into the bestseller category. This is what happened with Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451. World fame suddenly fell on him, because in his work he raised current topics about the life of society. The plot shows a model of the development of the world that could exist. The title of the work hides its meaning. The specified temperature is sufficient to ignite a piece of paper.

The post-industrial era has begun in the world, in which works of art have become prohibiteditems. Books are actively destroyed by a special squad of firefighters. There are severe pen alties for keeping them. Interactive television should entertain society. All programs in it contribute to lowering the level of intelligence, but this should not bother anyone. When revolutionaries appear on the horizon, electric dogs descend to hunt them.

Against all this, the story of the protagonist is told. He works in a fire brigade and has seen a huge number of burned books in his life. Each time he asks questions about why to do this, because these works are beautiful. A series of events and chance encounters changes his mind, he will no longer be the same. Fahrenheit 451 is included in the list of the best books about alternative history for its deep philosophical overtones and original thoughts.

alternative history list of popular books

Temporary Operations

Alternative history and hits in the best books of the genre are connected, because the course of events often changes under the influence of man. The famous science fiction writer, cult writer in his direction, Paul Anderson, in 1955, began a whole cycle of work, which are united by the name "Time Patrol". He was able to complete it only in 1995, after as many as 40 years.

The story is told from the perspective of the protagonist Mance Everard, who has received a tempting offer. In 1954, people from the Time Patrol organization got in touch with him. They told a story about how in the distant future people will enter a new stage of evolution. The descendants of the current race will be called Danellians. Themintelligence and capabilities exceed human thousands of times. The only danger is that history may change. Then the Danellian society will never form. To protect themselves, they created the aforementioned organization.

Paul Anderson formed his own dogma about the passage of time. He presents it as more plastic, in which small events can be mutually replaced without loss in the future. In the future, time travel has become commonplace, and each branch of the Time Patrol must deal with the dangers associated with it. For example, deliver lost travelers to their destination or capture smugglers from another era.

alternative history books best list

Unpleasant outcome

Photos of the best books of alternative history will not convey the full depth of the plot that the authors tried to convey. This also applies to the work of Ryan Grodin "Wolf for a Wolf", in which events are developing at the time of 1956. The Second World War is over, but it was won by Germany and its allies. The Third Reich on one side of the world and the emperor in Japan on the other side govern all people on Earth. Their power is undeniable, unshakable, and their power is regularly increased.

In honor of their victory, the two camps of power have come up with a way to celebrate annually. From Berlin to Tokyo, a race is organized using motorcycles. The winner is honored to attend the ball, where Adolf Hitler will be present as a guest of honor. This is a clear opportunity to kill the Chancellor and weaken the dictatorship thattake advantage of Yael. A girl with Jewish roots spent a long time in a concentration camp, where various experiments were carried out on her. After them, the representative of the Resistance had the opportunity to take the form of any woman. She took advantage of this for the upcoming race. Yael became Adele Wolf - the winner of last year's race. The main character had a clear plan, only at the start it turned out that the twin brother Felix Wolf was also on the track, like Luca Leve. It is he who is the main competitor in the race, and the man makes it clear that something important happened between him and Adele.

top 10 alternative history books

Clash of archetypes

When it comes to top 10 alternate history books, you can't beat Cloud Atlas. This work must be read in complete silence with maximum immersion in order to understand what is happening in history. Author David Mitchell is a recognized genius and has been shortlisted for the Booker Prize multiple times, and Cloud Atlas is no exception. In it, the author harmoniously intertwines six stories that at first glance do not depend on each other. Mitchell draws subtle parallels in the course of human development, emphasizing archetypes.

The first character is a notary who returns to his homeland in the US from Australia, experiencing the shock of the current situation. The second character is a composer trying to find a use for his talent during the difficult period between the wars. To survive, he has to sell his skills and even his body.for a penny. This company includes a journalist who, in the 70s of the XIX century, managed to uncover an incredible scam. The fourth character was a small publisher. He managed to present to the world the autobiography of the crime boss "Strike with brass knuckles", for which he received decent dividends. Now he has to hide from the authorities. The fifth hero was an ordinary goat herder in Hawaii, who is aware of the proximity of humanity to the end. Rounding out the six is ​​a cloned version of a Korean servant who works in the country's fast food restaurant, an example of cyberpunk. Not all the best books in the alternative history genre are capable of presenting so many bright personalities.

Another version of the world

Found in this ranking a place for Harry Harrison with his cycle "Eden". In it, he continues the extensive history of the life of his own universe, but it is better to start acquaintance with "West of Eden." The best books about alternate history and hit-and-runs have their thing, and here it is. The plot occurs at the moment when the Earth went a different vector of development.

Global catastrophe did not happen millions of years ago, and dinosaurs continued to exist on the planet. Over time, they evolved and received intelligence. Thanks to such processes, the reptiles created their own civilization, which is fundamentally different from the human arrangement of life. To improve the organism of offspring, they use operations with genes, matriarchy has taken root here since the beginning of the creation of society, and all lizards are united by a collective mind. Their main opponents were people - other creatures unlike them. ATthem dinosaurs see their main enemies. Race relations are heating up.

Against this background, the reader will learn the story of a boy who was captured by the Yilans. That is what people call the race of reptiles. His eyes show a powerful conflict in which you get involved with your head. That's why West of Eden is on the list of the best alternate history books.

best alternative history books

The constant struggle

Andrzej Sapkowski with his collection "God's Warriors" also made it to the rating of the best books about alternative history. The famous Polish writer became famous not only for the saga of Ger alt of Rivia, but also for a series of works with the main character named Reinevan. This character has magical powers, which is revealed in the storyline.

The year is 1425, the Czech Republic is being torn apart by the Hussite wars. The protagonist flees Selesia to settle in the capital. He was trained as a physician, and in wartime, such skills are worth their weight in gold. Plus, Reinawan has already been recruited by representatives of the Gus movement. He receives an interesting task, from which an incredible adventure begins.

Andrzej Sapkowski is a master of his craft, he skillfully interweaves historical reality with fiction. The history of wars is directed in an alternative direction, and the reader plunges headlong into the story. In addition to Reynavan, other main characters participate in the plot - a janitor at the Samson monastery and a participant in popular unrest, Charley. Each of them has their own goals, but in the course of the plot, the fates of the central characters are intertwined. The author describes wellbattles and introduces a fictional, fantastic part into the narrative: witches, spells, secret rituals, and more.

Brilliant plot

Books of alternative history of the best authors are well remembered, because such works leave a deep imprint in the soul. Dan Brown is undoubtedly one of the masters. The recognized genius of the adventure novel perfectly raises the themes of world confrontation, in the center of which Robert Langdon is invariably. The books from the series about the Harvard professor are all in one way or another related to the genre of alternative history, but in terms of the scale of actions, Inferno should be singled out.

Events begin with the fact that the main character wakes up in the clinic and does not remember the events of the past days. Representatives of some organization are actively hunting for him. A wonderful partner is taken to help remember everything, and it is she who brings him up to date. A deadly danger hangs over the world, which was created by Bertrand Zobrist. This we althy billionaire has taken it upon himself to solve the problem of overpopulation. His virus is ready to break free, and only Robert Langdon can stop it. The professor is waiting for another series of puzzles and riddles related to history, culture and religion. Most of them are hidden on the pages of the Divine Comedy by the legendary Dante Alighieri. Adventures capture from the first pages, after which it becomes impossible to tear yourself away.

The list does not include the best books on alternative history of the Great Patriotic War, as this is a separate narrow category.

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