Alternative-History Science Fiction


What strange fate awaits you … beyond tomorrow?
This collection of short stories and novellas includes visions of alternative history, where alterations of events and technology have produced worlds eerily different from our own.
From a traumatized Spiritualist medium trying to redeem himself in a bizarre Steampunk London, to sinister angels that haunt the trenches of World War I … from a team of super-powered vigilantes fighting to keep order in a seventies New York City gone mad, to a TV evangelist preaching to an environmentally devastated Europe … these stories will propel you from one reality to another, like a giant cosmic pinball machine!

Kindle and paperback available here.

Six of the stories are also available as ‘e-shorts’ on Amazon, under the series title of The Futurist Manifesto.


#1: “The Invention of God”

Mr. Gregory was the most renowned Spiritualist Medium in Victorian Britain – until the agents of the Ottoman Empire ordered him killed, and he was forced into a hunted, vagrant existence in the most squalid parts of London. Now Lady Florence Padbury, head of Imperial Counter Intelligence, wants to bring Gregory back to serve the Crown on one more mission: to contact the soul of a murdered inventor … a man who held the key to a revolutionary new technology that could give the British Empire’s airships and steam-walkers the winning edge in the Crimean War.

Available here!


#2: “Dulce et Decorum Est”

Ypres, 1917: the height of the First World War. Captain Martin Blake and his squad are trapped in a nightmarish maze of flooded trenches and barbed wire on the Passchendaele Ridge. Amongst the bombs, bullets and gas, however, an unearthly menace is lurking, threatening reality itself. The Angels of Mons have returned … and they’re not Angels anymore.

Available here!


#3: #The Elements of War”

December, 1940. Frank Cooper is working as a medical orderly at St. Bartholomew’s Hospital, while trying to survive the London Blitz. It’s coming up to Christmas, and he’s saving up up his cash and coupons to buy an engagement present for his girlfriend, Liz – but bombs, blackouts and rationings are the least of his problems. The mysterious figures that haunt his dreams and nightmares have begun to invade his daily life, and are walking the streets of London … and they may be more powerful and terrifying than anything in Hitler’s war machine.

Available here!


#4: “Jimmy Diamond and the Girl from Venus”

London, 1965. The city is a swinging, futuristic metropolis filled with Mods, Rockers, robots, moon rockets, laser pistols and flying scooters. Jimmy Diamond is a young Private Investigator struggling to make ends meet; when a gorgeous dolly bird walks into his office, asking him to find her missing scientist father, he jumps at the chance to take the case. He doesn’t know that soon he’ll be on the run from MI5 agents, British Venusian Society cult members, and a gang of killer robots.
Things they do look awful cold … seems like Jimmy’s going to die before he gets old!

Available here!


#5: “Nightfall In Utopia”

July 13th, 1977: New York City is paralyzed by a mysterious blackout, cutting off all electrical power. NYPD Lieutenant Luke Cambridge and his men are trying to keep order in the streets, but lootings and muggings are the least of their troubles. Max Jankovitz, Director of E.A.G.L.E. (Executive Action Group – Law Enforcement) has ordered the NYPD to assist the city’s Over-Heroes … billionaire genius Lewis LeBeau has just kidnapped the Vice-President of the USA … and an eerie, impenetrable cloud has enveloped the top floors of the Empire State building.
The temperature is rising … the darkness is falling … after tonight, Manhattan will never be the same again!

Available here!



#6: “Skin Condition”

The year is 1992 in an environmentally devastated, dystopian Britain. The wealthy and controversial TV evangelist Howard Hopgood lies in a London hospital, dying of a rare skin cancer. He is preparing to make a deal with the shadowy XPT-Meditech Coporation, who possess a dangerous new technology that can restore him to health … but at what cost?

Available here!



# 7: “City of Reflections”

February, 1937; Venice. The city is in the middle of Carnival festivities, but behind the masks, fireworks and gaiety, a nameless evil haunts the shadow-filled streets. What are the insane theories of the renegade scientist Professor Danilov? How will they influence Hitler and the Nazi’s march to European supremacy? Who are the mysterious Plague Doctors watching Danilov’s every move?

Available here!

A Talon MTRS (man-transportable robotic system) robot that is used by the US Navy (USN) Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit 6 (EODMU-6), Detachment (DET) 10, to safely inspect ordnance and situations unsafe for EOD tech personnel, at the site of an Improvised Explosive Device detonation. A US Navy (USN) technician is controlling the Talon from one of the High-Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles (HMMWV) in the background during Operation IRAQI FREEDOM.

#8: “Fast Falls The Eventide”

October, 1987. A British Army EOD unit is frantically trying to defuse an armed nuclear bomb in the center of London. Their best man, Senior Explosives Officer Christopher Owen, is on site. He is working without food, without rest, and without fear … because SEO Owen is no longer human.

Available here! 





About J P Catton

Speculative storytelling and skewed fiction: the blog and website of author John Paul Catton.
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