Full record for alternate world n.

Definition one of many possible universes, which may have different physical laws or a different history than our own
OED requirements antedating 1944
Earliest cite Fritz Leiber, 'Business of Killing'
Comment Jeff Wolfe submitted a cite from a 1988 reprint of Harry Turtledove's 1988 "Agent of Byzantium". Matthew Hoyt submitted a 1984 cite from Brian Stableford, in David Wingrove's "Science Fiction Source Book". Jeff Prucher submitted a 1977 cite from an article by Brian Aldiss in "The Visual Encyclopedia of SF". Keith Stokes submitted a 1979 cite from the Nicholls' "Encyclopedia of SF". Enoch Forrester submitted a 1975 cite from James Gunn's "Alternate Worlds". Jeff Prucher submitted a 2002 cite from a Kim Stanley Robinson interview in Locus. Katrina Campbell submitted a cite from a reprint of Brian Ash's "Who's Who in Science Fiction"; Mike Christie verified the cite in the 1976 first edition. Jeff Prucher submitted a 1986 cite from Gary Wolfe's "Critical Terms for Science Fiction and Fantasy". Jeff Prucher submitted a 1977 cite from an article by Brian Aldiss in "The Visual Encyclopedia of SF". Cory Panshin submitted a 1954 cite from Anthony Boucher's book reviews in F&SF. Jeff Prucher submitted a 1990 cite from Gardner Dozois' "Slow Dancing Through Time". Jeff Prucher submitted a 1986 cite from Joan Gordon's "Gene Wolfe" reader's guide. Jeff Prucher submitted a 1989 cite from Norman Spinrad's book review column in Asimov's. Jeff Prucher submitted a cite from the entry on Howard Waldrop, by Peter Nicholls, in the 1995 edition of the Nicholls/Clute "Encyclopedia of SF"; Mike Christie verified the cite in the 1993 edition. Mike Christie submitted a 1944 cite from Fritz Leiber's "Business of Killing".
Last modified 6 July, 2008

Citations for alternate world n.

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1944 F. Leiber Business of Killing in Astounding Sci. Fiction Sept. 61/1, I am visiting the alternate worlds in search of one that has learned how to do away with the horrid scourge of war, in order to bring back the precious knowledge to my erring co-timers.
1954 ‘A. Boucher’ in Fantasy & Sci. Fiction Nov. 99 Beyond Earth's Gates , by Lewis Padgett and C.L. Moore (Ace, 35¢) is a highly agreeable bit of alternate-world foolishness, in which a sympathetically unheroic hero finds himself drowning in the clichés (from the sinister highpriest [sic] to the fair princess) of the world of Malesco.
1968 K. Laumer Assignment in Nowhere 51 From that beginning grew the Imperium—the government claiming sovereignty over the entire Net of alternate worlds. Your world—which is known to us as Blight Insular Three—is but one of the uncountable parallel universes, each differing only infinitesimally from its neighbor.
1975 J. Gunn Alternate Worlds 213 Science fiction writers, from H. G. Wells through Murray Leinster and Clifford Simak to Ward Moore and Philip K. Dick, have considered the possibility that there may exist, side by side with our Earth, separated from it by time or dimension, alternate worlds split off by moments of great (or small) historic actions or decisions, and that upon occasion, by traveling in time or chancing upon some gateway or crossroads, we can pass from one world to another.
1976 B. Ash Who's Who in Sci. Fiction 12 Alternate worlds , other Earths existing in different space-time continuums. They may vary only marginally from our own and include the same individuals, or they may differ greatly in historical details according to the position of their continuum in what is seen as an infinite progression of such states of existence.
1977 B. Aldiss Future & Alternative Histories in B. Ash Visual Encycl. Sci. Fiction 123/1 The story is set in an America which has been successfully invaded by Japan and Germany and is subsequently divided into three north-south strips. The east is Nazi-occupied, the west Japan-dominated, while the middle remains neutral. In this middle state lives a science fiction writer who has written his own alternate-world novel where Germany and Japan have lost the war!
1977 B. Aldiss Future & Alternative Histories in B. Ash Visual Encycl. Sci. Fiction 122/3 The possibility that man might try to meddle with the time-tracks, as depicted in the Williamson and Asimov novels, led to a new concept in the alternate-world theme, that of policing the worlds.
1977 B. Aldiss Future & Alternative Histories in B. Ash Visual Encycl. Sci. Fiction 116/2 Speaking as a creator of alternate worlds myself, I'm sure that at least it reflects an instinct for the sort of story which can seize you by your curiosity and keep tickling it throughout.
1979 B. Stableford Alternate World in P. Nicholls Encycl. Sci. Fiction 26/1 An alternate world is an image of Earth as it might be, consequent upon some hypothetical alteration of history. Many sf stories use the notion of parallel worlds as a frame in which alternate worlds can be held simultaneously and may even interact with one another.
1983 D. Duane So you want to be Wizard? 112 Is this an alternate world, maybe? The next universe over?
1984 B. Stableford The SF Sub-genres in D. Wingrove Sci. Fiction Source Bk. (1984) 51 The serious attempts to describe alternate worlds which have appeared in the last forty years or so are rather narrowly confined to a handful of favorite hypotheses. The largest number by far deal with worlds in which the allies were defeated in World War II.
1986 G. K. Wolfe Crit. Terms for Sci. Fiction & Fantasy 6 Alternate world‥the term is also occasionally applied, as in James Gunn's history of the genre, to any of the imagined worlds of science fiction or fantasy.
1986 J. Gordon Gene Wolfe 52 ‘How’ is an alternate world story that answers two ‘what-if’ questions: what if World War II had been fought economically rather than militarily and what if Hitler's madness had been benign rather than malignant.
1987 H. Turtledove Agent of Byzantium (1988) 7 This book, then, draws on heavily on my academic background. It's set in the early fourteenth century of an alternate world where Muhammad, instead of founding Islam, converted to Christianity on a trading mission up into Syria.
1988 Locus Apr. 4/1 William Gibson and Bruce Sterling sold their collaborative alternate-world Victorian novel (featuring a steam-driven computer)‥to Bantam.
1989 Isaac Asimov's Sci. Fiction Mag. Dec. 176/2 With Park, you have people called ‘men’ and ‘women’ on a planet they call ‘Earth’ who ride ‘horses’, but by the bye you learn rather casually en passant that the ‘men’ and ‘women’ have tails, and the ‘horses’ are carnivorous, and ‘Earth’ has seasons that last for decades‥. Maybe this is pure fantasy, or an alternate world setting that might as well be fantasy.
1990 G. Dozois Snow Job in Slow Dancing Through Time Afterword 140 I had fun coming up with the details of the alternate-world scams—especially the Errol Flynn movie that was never made on this timeline because of them—and inventing the sardonic, drawling dialogue of the coke-sniffing time-traveller.
1992 Waldenbooks Hailing Frequencies 13/1 Castle Perilous has 144,000 doors, each opening on a strange and magical alternate world.
1993 P. Nicholls & J. Clute Encycl. Sci. Fiction 1293/1 Only HW would have written‥an alternate history (featuring 4 alternate worlds) with time travel from a dystopic future, Amerindian Mound Builders, Aztec Invaders, ancient Greek merchants in power-driven boats and much more.
1994 Interzone Mar. 60/1 The title story is an alternate-world fantasy too broken up by the verisimilitude of its savage premise—the nightmare world into which the protagonist falls is ours—to provide much in the way of theodicy balm, and so fails to soothe in the way we've come to expect our alternate-world tales to.
2001 Locus June 69/2 Each intro chronicles another stage in his‥life (while providing glimpses of ‘alternate worlds’ where things might have gone otherwise).
2001 Locus June 13/1 Madeleine E. Robins sold two more alternate-world ‘Regency’ thrillers to Patrick Nielsen Hayden at Tor.
2002 K. S. Robinson in Locus Jan. 7/1, I thought it would be naive and something like racism in reverse to suggest that if we got rid of Europe the world would have happily put itself together. There are all kinds of double binds in writing an alternative history. Do you make the alternate world better or worse?