Last updated: 11. December 2010
North Star is an alternate history timeline (ATL) exploring the consequences of a lasting union between Denmark, Norway and Sweden.
In North Star the alternate history starts with a Point of Divergence, in wich Olav IV does not die in 1387.
Some definitions and clarifications
Alternate history is a subgenre of speculative fiction and historical fiction that is set in a world in which history has diverged from the actual history of the world. Alternate history literature asks the question, "What if history had developed differently?" Most works in this genre are based on real historical events, yet feature social, geopolitical, or industrial circumstances that developed differently than our own.
An example of alternate history is Timeline-191 by Harry Turtledove. This series of novels are set in a world in which the Confederacy won the American Civil War.
Where a novel is a prose narrative, a timeline consists of chronological listed events.
Our Timeline (OTL) is our common history as recorded. Basically what you learn, or should have been learned, in school.
Point of Divergence
Point of Divergence (PoD) is simply the point in an alternate history where it first becomes different from real history. An alternate world matches our world up until the point of divergence, which is when it first becomes different and heads down an alternate historical path. Often in alternate history stories and scenarios, the point of divergence is a single and easily identifiable change and all other differences are intended to flow naturally from it.
Chaos Theory or not?
This section is intended for seasoned alternate history fanatics. The casual reader can safely skip it.
Chaos Theory is a field of study in mathematics, physics, and philosophy studying the behaviour of dynamical systems that are highly sensitive to initial conditions. This sensitivity is popularly referred to as the butterfly effect.
Within the alternate history community, many strongly advocate that the Chaos theory also apply to alternate history. I am not one of them.
I do not believe in appliance of the chaos theory and its butterfly effect to alternate history. In my opinion, the flow of history is far too strong for this too be true.
Instead of "the butterfly effect of the chaos theory," I have my own "butterfly effect in alternate history:"
- Must tiny Butterflies cause major changes?
- Could tiny Butterflies cause major changes?
Yes, sure why not?
By abiding to this, you are quite entitled to let many parts of your Alternate Timeline be identical to Our Timeline. This has in my opinion some highly preferable effects.
In addition, the followers of the Chaos Theory can still have an Alternate Timeline were absolutely everything after the Point of Divergence is unrecognisable.