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Teaser: “Twilight Emperor”

While this project is still in its early stages, I’ve decided to reveal it on the grounds I may turn it into a multimedia project, as vaguely hinted at the last time I did a teaser for a book I’m writing.

Twilight Emperor is currently set to be my third novel. Compared to the First Contact Is Bad For You series, it’s going to be more realistic – it takes place in an alternate 1930s Europe, with some jaunts to the United States of America and perhaps other parts of the world. The point of divergence is close enough to when the book takes place that Europe is slowly but assuredly sliding towards cataclysmic war. In the middle of this is Lawrence Walker, the main protagonist; a foreman at a Coca-Cola bottling plant in Georgia who makes the mistake of vacationing in in Belgium when the French are crowing about nationalism and the restoration of their country’s glory.

Currently, there are two side-projects I am seriously considering in addition to the novel (which is currently at approximately 12,500 words):

  • A mod for the game Hearts of Iron III, which is a strategy game where players take control of countries during World War II and attempt to rewrite history in their favor.
  • An academic paper relating in some way to the actual historical events that inspired me to write this book. By engaging in research to make this book more detailed and plausible, I’ve acquired enough texts to get started. The academic work of Robert O. Paxton is playing a major role here, and I would recommend his book, The Anatomy of Fascism to anyone who is interested in understanding interwar Europe.

To be fair, Twilight Emperor is (in its current form) driven primarily by its protagonist’s exploits – were it not for his touristy tendencies, the setting would be a backdrop at best. Prospective readers should be happy to know that they won’t need to be familiar with the actual history to enjoy this book.

It might take quite a while to get this out – this depends on a variety of factors, such as the progress of Second Contact Is Worse, my out-of-creative-lifestyle workload, and my overall interest in this project. Keep watching your maps, folks.

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  1. 2013/10/15 at 06:20

    Would the mod relate to your novel? A fascinating concept. Are there any other hoi3 mods based on alternate history novels? I used to play it a lot, but not recently

    • 2013/10/15 at 11:37

      The way I see it, the mod would start out at some point in the 1930s with the historical setup as it occurred in the novel, and have various events and decisions built in based on important events, up to a point. However, I’d try not to make it too deterministic – part of the fun of HOI3 is seeing what sort of ahistorical situations you can create.

      I’m not familiar with any alt-history mods for HOI3 of any sort, although I know that there’s a fairly comprehensive one for the game’s predecessor called Kaiserreich. It’s not based off any one book, but it should be interesting if you’re into alternate history scenarios for your games.

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