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  1. Pkmatrix

    What Became of Berold of Rouen, the sole survivor of the White Ship?

    While I was aware of the White Ship Disaster, it wasn't until today when I decided to read up on it that I learned there was a single survivor: a butcher named Berold of Rouen. I'd been under the impression that when the White Ship had gone down everyone aboard had perished! Does anyone know...
  2. Pkmatrix

    Earliest Possible Single-Action Flintlock Revolver?

    While we generally associate revolvers with the mid-19th Century or later, there were attempts at revolving guns going back to the 1500s. The immediate predecessor of the famed Colt Paterson in the 1830s was the Collier Revolver invented about 15 to 20 years earlier: These weapons had an...
  3. Pkmatrix

    The Lord of the Sands of Time (Novel)

    On Monday I purchased (and by Wednesday finished) the novel The Lord of the Sands of Time, a Japanese novel by Issui Ogawa translated into English by Jim Hubbert. It was neat! I liked it. ^_^ Summary from Amazon: The story plays fast and loose with the logic of time travel, but I found...
  4. Pkmatrix

    WI No Licensing Act of 1737?

    I was reading up on Restoration and Augustan theatre, 'cause I'm utterly unfamiliar with theatre between the Elizabethan/Jacobean era and the 20th Century, and have discovered the Licensing Act of 1737. Summary: the act gave the British Lord Chamberlain the power to censor any play or stop it...
  5. Pkmatrix

    Turtledove's Videssos Cycle is on Kindle!

    I just discovered that the Videssos saga is available on the Kindle! This is amazing - I've been wanting to read these books for years, but they've been out of print so long they were hard to find. Now I've got them! ^_^ I finished The Misplaced Legion a couple days ago and am now reading...
  6. Pkmatrix

    Harry Turtledove's A World of Difference

    NOTE: Some SPOILERS ahead! I discovered Turtledove's A World of Difference around last Christmas and picked up a copy eight months ago, but only just read it last week. After reading S. M. Stirling's Lords of Creation series last summer, Turtledove's vaguely similar premise had me intrigued...
  7. Pkmatrix

    The Walking Tank

    This is an idea I've had for a little while, and as it's the first real attempt at an AH timeline I'm very much looking for criticism and help here. I know the concept of a "walking tank" is a difficult engineering problem and I'm probably assuming a lot by having the "walking" part solved so...
  8. Pkmatrix

    France rather than Germany as Holy Roman Empire?

    I'm working on a story at the moment, and one of the background details I'd like to include is the Holy Roman Empire being equivalent to OTL France, rather than OTL Germany. What would need to have happened to keep the Roman crown passing through the successors of Charles the Bald rather than...
  9. Pkmatrix

    Gundam 00 Map Challenge!

    My favorite Gundam series, bar none, has been Gundam 00 - specifically, Season 1, which plays out like a globetrotting technothriller with giant robots and space elevators. ^_^ One thing Gundam, at least recent Gundam, has been known for is its attempts at drawing up Future Histories...
  10. Pkmatrix

    SM Stirling's The Sky People

    Just finished reading S. M. Stirling's The Sky People, an alternate history sci-fi/adventure novel in the vein of Edgar Rice Burroughs or Ray Bradbury. For those who've never heard of it, the premise is that Venus and Mars are actually habitable (and inhabited!) worlds, a discovery we don't...
  11. Pkmatrix

    Could the Ottomans Survive?

    So, I've been glancing over the Wikipedia articles on the last years of the Ottoman Empire and I've been wondering: is there any way the Empire could avoid entering World War I and maintain its fledgling democracy? What sort of POD would be needed? How much longer could the Ottomans survive...
  12. Pkmatrix

    Tropico 3!

    So, looks like Tropico 3 is finally on its way, this time from Haemimont Games (the guys behind Imperium Romanum). Here's some screenshots. What do you guys think? Excited? Disappointed? Anything you'd like to see (or not see) in this one? I, for one, am hoping for more political stuff...
  13. Pkmatrix

    The Mormon Kingdom of Beaver Island surviving to the present day?

    So, I was perusing Wikipedia when I discovered the article on Beaver Island, Michigan: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beaver_Island_%28Lake_Michigan%29 I couldn't help but wonder, though: if James Strang had not been murdered, how long could his "kingdom" have survived? Is it even possible for...
  14. Pkmatrix

    DBWI: Marylin Monroe didn't kill JFK?

    I was wondering: how might the rest of President Kennedy's administration played out had he not been fatally stabbed by his lover, Marylin Monroe, when he tried to break off their relationship in August 1962? How might JFK have reacted to the Cuban Missile Crisis when it broke out two months...
  15. Pkmatrix

    C.S. Lewis' Space Trilogy

    So, has anybody around here ever read C.S. Lewis' Space Trilogy? I'd never even heard of it until a few months ago and, being a pretty big sci-fi fan, made sure to pick it up immediately. I've finished the first two books, Out of the Silent Planet and Perelandra, and I'm going to start the...
  16. Pkmatrix

    Tropico!

    I just bought Tropico! The game is great, I really like the concept and the way the game plays out. Just this morning, I played a random scenario where I reached a population of 162, made about $10,000 per year, and won FOUR elections... WITHOUT cheating! :D Of course, then 1972 hit. I was...
  17. Pkmatrix

    Resurgent Roman Senate?

    The Roman Senate managed to survive for at least a century after Rome's fall before finally evaporating, leaving the city under the control of the Catholic Church. What would have been needed to prevent the end of democracy in Rome? Could the Senate have incorporated the Church into itself...
  18. Pkmatrix

    WI Athens won the Peloponnesian War?

    Athens was the world's first major democratic state and, for a time, was a dominant force in the Mediterranean. By the time the Peloponnesian War started, Athens had converted the Delian League into its own personal empire that, according to Wikipedia (admittedly not the best of sources) was...
  19. Pkmatrix

    History of the World, the Board Game

    So, has anybody here played the boardgame "History of the World"? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_World_%28board_game%29 I've had it for about nine months now. It's pretty fun, although I really wish I could play it more often. The game's sort of like Risk, only the map is...
  20. Pkmatrix

    WI the Soviet Union joined NATO?

    I was reading the Wikipedia article on NATO and came across this line: I didn't realize that the Soviets had made an attempt (although, I assume it wasn't a serious attempt) to join NATO. What if, hypothetically, NATO did decide to admit the Soviet Union into NATO? I'd imagine things would...
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