Liesel Schwarz, steampunk queen

My guest today is Liesel Schwarz, writer extraordinaire of steampunk adventures. Her heroine reminds me a great deal of Karen/Carina: young women who know their minds, courageous and who try to make sense of the different (to us) worlds they live in. A life-long fan of 19th Century Gothic literature, Liesel is a hopeless romantic […]

Historically logical or completely bonkers? The sliding scale of alternative history

Basically, alternate history is a type of speculative fiction where stories are set in a world where historical events have unfolded differently from the way they did in the real world. The event that changed history (point of divergence or PoD) must be in the past from when the story is set and have affected […]

The Alternation of Rome

Rome fascinates us, bewitches us even in the high tech 21st century. It stretched for over 1229 years, it reached the heights (occasionally depths) of military achievement, produced the social, cultural and legal framework for the entire Western world, gave us its engineering genius and left us a richness in architecture, power politics, literature and […]

Roman dating essentials

Julius Caesar (He’s the one on the plinth.)

Watching the countdown calendar to the publication day of INCEPTIO on 1 March reminded that the first of the month in the Roman system – the Kalends – ended up as our word for measuring the whole thing.

In my Roma Nova thrillers, I use the […]

So, alternate history?

What if the Nazis had won the Second World War (Fatherland – Robert Harris, The Man in the High Castle – Philip K Dick) or England had remained Catholic (Pavane – Keith Roberts, The Alteration – Kingsley Amis) or if Alaska rather than Israel had become the Jewish homeland (The Yiddish Policemen’s Union – Michael […]