Alternate History and Science Fiction are often bedfellows, though this association can come through a number of different ways. These stories by Grey Wolf illustrate this variation well:
In Time of The Darkness, the story starts as pure alternate history, a pattern which continues long into the future, but because the novel does cover not just centuries but millennia, we see the nations of Earth slowly spreading into space, and eventually coming into contact, and conflict, with other species.
In The Mailed Fist, the alternate history setting is used as the stage to play out a typical alien attack story on. The world is at once similar and different - we can associate with the characters, and understand the actions of the nations of Earth, whilst at the same time seeing the latter freed from all need to conform to the real politics of today.
Never The Dawn is both alternate history and steampunk from the start, but the main science fiction element is in the form of unknown lights in jungle, among the enemies of Albion. That these are some form of alien entity becomes apparent, hitting the science fiction theme of an underhand invasion, perhaps like The Invaders or Invasion of the Body Snatchers.
To Deliver The Future takes a Nazi-American Cold War in an alternate history, and adds to it the idea of the development of essentially science fiction super weapons. Whilst the Americans might have developed the atomic bomb, Nazi Germany has perfected the "bell", effectively a UFO able to travel across continents and land troops directly in the heart of the enemy capital.
Among stories of Grey Wolf that are currently in abeyance, or in line for heavy re-writing, we have the following two novels, which both hit on different science fiction themes:
The Slayer takes the idea of a portal to an alternate world, effectively swapping a council flat resident from our United Kingdom into the place of a Slayer, a modern day gladiator and confident of the Emperor, in a heavily alternate world. This world also has science fiction elements in terms of the Black Death as a recurring event, and in some of the aerial vehicles seen in the story (ram jets and ornithopters).
Beholder, is the first novel in a traditional science fiction trilogy, encompassing Bellerophon and Cerberus as the other two books. These stories take place in outer space, with a star system spanning Earth Empire, and the machinations within it, and the threat from a deadly alien race.
Among the short stories, The Estate, is also typical space-based science fiction, seeing an assault on a planet from above.
Luke is an ordinary university student from a poor background, shown up in one of his papers by a fellow student from a posh background. He blames the university library since the journals he wanted for his research were in storage and he could not access them to bolster his argument.
One day he witnesses someone come out of a room on the main stairway of the largest university building, seeing behind him a library. Eventually he manages to sneak in, thinking this some postgraduate secret, where he might be able to rewrite his paper with the sources he was looking for - or better.
But as he begins to read the books within this library, he becomes more and more confused - wars he did not know about, kings that never existed. As his watch alarm reminds him it is time for dinner, he decides to leave by the opposite door, since it must be nearer to the canteen.
He begins to find himself in a world where people dress for dinner, pay in crowns, and where the car park outside, smaller than it should be, is full of vintage cars of makes he has never heard of. Wandering down the road, he comes upon a pub, The King Frederick II, and heads inside...
The Library is available to buy in paperback, as part of the Little Books range:-
Set on an alternate Earth, with a still-globe-spanning British Empire, it nevertheless has a contemporaneous feel, with its main character, Jay, working as an illustrator in London.
Against this background, an alien artefact appears, drifting across the surface of the Moon and heading inexorably towards the Earth.
How do the people of the Earth react to an unknown situation? What impact does it have on everyday life, on his work, his socialisation, and the love of his life, the fast and loose Sophie?
The Mailed Fist is available to buy in paperback, and Kindle
With the world divided into several competing empires, Albion finds itself at war with more than it bargained for in West Africa. It slowly emerges that this is just a part of a larger pattern, and various agencies and chivalric orders begin the quest to get to the bottom of things.
The story begins in Timbuktu, capital of Albion's vice-royalty of West Africa, and centre of the ongoing war against the native Fulani. Only now it appears that they have gained the aid of much more formidable allies, allies that the Viceroy and his staff cannot begin to understand.
Never The Dawn sees the Empire of Albion confront the mystery of the Lights in West Africa, and the mysterious and sinister Order of the Serpent which lurks in the shadows.
The cover for Never The Dawn was commissioned from London-based artist Derek Roberts. It is a montage of scenes from the novel, including the Lights attacking the tanks of Albion, an airship and a bi-plane, in an African setting.
Never The Dawn is published by Scimitar Edge and is available in the following formats:-
With the Second World War having ended in a draw, a Nazi-American Cold War has set in, but now both sides believe they have the ultimate secret weapon, only it requires one of them to strike first!
From the frozen fjords of Norway to the very banks of the Potomac, from the docks of New York City to Hitler's mountain fastness, the action sees Nazi Germany take the ultimate gamble.
To Deliver The Future is available to buy in paperback, and Kindle as part of the Little Books range from Scimitar Edge.
Time of The Darkness by Grey Wolf is an alternate history and science fiction novel covering 1400 years of history from an alternate 1900 through to 3300 AD when a galactic empire awakens an ancient evil.
In an alternate history, decolonisation of the Americas follows a vastly different timeline, and the British royal family remains pre-eminent in world affairs.
Competing with a Bonaparte Byzantium and a French Empire under the Murats, the Saxe-Coburg British fight on an equal footing for recognition and influence.
Follow 1400 years of history, from an alternate 1900 to the galactic empire of 3300AD where humanity inadvertently reawakens a terror that the elder races believed long dead.
The cover for Time of the Darkness was commissioned from London-based artist Derek Roberts. It deliberately harks back to the classic Science Fiction book covers of the 1950s.
Time of The Darkness is available to buy in paperback, Kindle, and various eBook platforms:-
Various of Grey Wolf's stories have been serialised in magazines. Other potential novels are unfinished, but progressed a long way. Among these two categories are included the following alternate history stories:-
A stand-alone short story, The Estate was published in issue 2 of Infinity Wanderers magazine. The premise of the story is an assault from orbit on an isolated, but high-security, compound on a planet, with the intention of taking possession of a certain personage there resident.
Beholder is the first part of a space opera trilogy, followed by the unfinished Bellerophon and Cerberus. Whilst Beholder is mostly complete (some middle sections were lost on floppy disc), the story needs a heavy edit to properly ease into it. Set on a habitation world, like a large space station, we see the criminal underground at war with the Governor, whilst external events see humanity slide unexpectedly towards war with the alien Delkh.
Beholder is followed in the trilogy by Bellerophon and Cerberus.
Advantage was used as the title story to a short story collection released for a while on Kindle. It takes place aboard two spacecraft, accidentally fused together in a jump-drive accident.
The cover image for Beholder, created by Robin Stacey
The cover image for Bellerophon, created by Robin Stacey