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Table of Contents

  1. How do I join/What are the rules?
  2. What do I have to contribute?
  3. Why can't I pay or get it for free?
  4. What does the Editor do/Can I be an editor?
  5. How Frequently does the Ezine come out?
  6. What are the different categories of Alternate History ?
  7. How do I submit Work to the Editor?
  8. What is the Yahoo Group used for?
  9. What do these acronyms mean?
  10. Who is Harry Turtledove (HT)?
  11. Are there any Banned Subjects?
  12. What is the Gang of Four?
  13. Do you make Suggestions?
  14. Can I write Fan Fiction?

  15. Can I write Social Comments?
  16. What about Future History?
  17. Are there any rules regarding submissions?

  18. Where can I find other AH?  Why don't you post many extra-CTT links?

  19. Who Holds Copyright on a POD?

  20. Can I copy material from the CTT site?

  21. Why does the mailing list seem to be behind the times?





How do I join/What are the rules?

You join by sending an email and a sample of your Alternate History writing to the current Editor.  He will read your work and approve your membership.  

The rules are simple:                                    

DO NOT copy from published Alternate History
DO be as original as you can
DO make constructive comments about others work
YOU MUST send at least one piece of work (complete or a serial), at least two A4 pages long to the editor, every three months or thereabouts.


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What do I have to contribute?

You must contribute at least one AH essay, story or timeline every three months.

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Why can't I pay instead of writing or get it for free without effort?

Because it is not fair on the writers if I get all the profit and they get nothing.  IF enough regular contributors appear, I MIGHT consider accepting money and using it to pay for an award to the best writer.

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What does the Editor do/Can I be an Editor?

The editor has to read though and accept submitted material and to keep track of submissions.  He may make spelling corrections if necessary.  The plan is for the editorship to be passed around, so if you want to be editor next, say so in your email to the editor.

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How Frequently does the Ezine come out?

Depending upon submissions, once per month.

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What are the different categories of Alternate History ?

Alternate History is a type of fiction in which a certain event in history, for some reason, goes differently from the Original TimeLine (OTL).  One example of this would be the Germans winning the Battle of Kursk or General Lee winning Gettysburg.  

The main types are as follows:

COULD: Could Hitler have invaded Britain?  Here is when a writer tells you how he could have.

WHAT IF: If Hitler had successfully invaded Britain, what might have happened then.  This is not a place to put forward reasons for the success or failure of the Invasion, only for discussions of what might have happened if he succeeded

TIMELINE: A timeline, like the one in the sample issue, showing the general progress of events if something had been different.

BOOKS AND OTHER MEDIA: Essays and reviews of Alternate History novels.  An essay could be an 'Armchair Fleetlord' (Harry Turtledove's WorldWar), how could the Lizards have won?  Put your ideas here?

ALIEN SPACE BATS: Alternate History involving alien intervention, magic or anything paranormal.  WorldWar is a prime example of this.

WHAT MIGHT EFFECT AH: An essay on anything that might affect an AH story.  Tank details, Biographies, etc.  

EDITORIAL:  The editor might just have something to say, and he is where he says it.

How do I submit work to the Editor?

You can email work in three forms, MS word, Notepad, or directly in an Email.   Please check other formats with the editor before sending them.  Email them to 


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What is the Yahoo Group used for?
The Yahoo group is used for basic discussions of CTT material.  You may subscribe to the group at any time.  

What do these acronyms mean?

ASB: Alien Space Bats

ISOTs: Island in the Sea of Time

OTL: Original Time Line (Our real history)

ATL: Alternate Time Line

TTL: This Time Line


Who is Harry Turtledove (HT)?


Are there any Banned Subjects?

There are no banned topics in general, but certain types of discussion are not permitted here or as Alternate History, as they will cause offense.

  • Claims that the Holocaust never happened,
  • Claims that wars were lost or won because of the race/religion/sex of the people involved
  • Claims that Nazi rule was good for Germany and similar topics

What is the Gang of Four?

Loosely, I regard the Gang of Four (or should that be five?) as:

·        World War Two

·        American Civil War

·        American Revolution

·        Alternate US presidents

·        Roman Empire

Needless to say, these are among the most thought-provoking areas of history, as they have defined the shape of the world.  World War Two has many possible outcomes, some of the ‘allies win’ outcomes are most interesting than the ‘Germany wins’.  The American civil war defined the face of the United States for a generation at least, the American revolution broke British power in America, while cementing it in India.  The US president may not have always been the most powerful man in the world, but many of them have stamped their mark on parts of it.  Lincoln abolished slavery, Butcheen allowed the civil unrest to develop and FDR led the allies to victory – until his death – in the Second World War.  The Roman Empire defined many of the borders in the west that we live in today. 

There are many other common themes.  The Napoleon wars offer many possible outcomes for history; what if he had not invaded Russia? Or if he won the battle of Waterloo?   The British Empire, the Aztecs and World War One all offer many possible outcomes for the world.  Indeed, after WW1, every border in Europe changed, what might have happened if Germany had lost East Prussia? 

Unlike a lot of people, I don’t believe that the Gang of Four/Five are mined out, but in the interests of reading something new and different, I have listed a few non-GOF ideas.  You have my full permission to use these if you want to.  A couple of them are outcomes of GOF periods that I think have never been satisfactory explored. 

Do you make Suggestions?

Sometimes, see the list here or though emails.  If you're stuck for an idea, just pick up a history book and look for some, or post it on the Yahoo Group. 


Can I write Fan Fiction?

There are a number of rules regarding Fan Fiction

  1. The work MUST include a disclaimer as to the real source of the ideas

  2. No money must be made from the ideas

  3. Should not include original characters from the original book.  (decided on a case by case basis)

  4. Should be alternate history based.  For Example: What if the Humans lost Independence Day, or the Borg assimilated Earth in Star Trek?

Can I write Social Comments?

 Depends on the nature of the comments, but must be Alternate History based.

What about Future History?

So So.  Send it to me and I'll decide.  

Are there any rules regarding submissions?

Please send them in HTML, Doc, RFT, or something similar.  

Where can I find other AH?  Why don't you post many extra-CTT links?

Basically, CTT is an archive, rather than a collection of links.  I find constantly updating links to be a pain in the posterior and therefore I only post links if a) they belong to a CTT member, b) I'm using material from that site and c) if the site is particularly good and recently updated.  

If you want more, go to http://www.alternatehistory.com/webguide.html, http://www.alternatehistory.com/ahdirectory.html, http://www.suite101.com/links.cfm/alternative_history


Who holds copyright on a POD?

Practically speaking, no one.  There are dozens of public sites, such as http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Troy/5799/ww2.htm, which list PODs in greater or lesser detail.  Even if you, like Harry Turtledove, use a common POD, its hard to prove where you got the idea, particularly if the outcome of your AH is very different.

I have no intention of stifling creativity by declaring massive amounts of history off limits.  The Trent Affair POD was done so badly by a published author that any CTT writer could have done better – one hopes one will.  That said, if the newer AH follows the path of the older AH, I may ask for it to be altered. 


Can I copy material from the CTT site?

Under three circumstance:

1) Its got my name on it and I'm already copying stuff from your site per agreement.  If so, keep my name on it and a link to my site

2)  If its got my name on it, email me and ask.  My name and a link to CTT must stay on it.

3) If it belongs to another writer (if you don't know, ask me), email him and ask if you can copy it.  If he says yes, keep his name and a link to CTT on it.  

Why does the mailing list seem to be behind the times?

Two reasons:  I don't want to overload people's inboxes and I want to tinker with the site once published.  I send out update notices when I've done most of the changes and its fit for the viewing public.  




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