building has left little time for posting -
- but where are we at with the blog? This blog has accepted that SM Stirling is a worthy successor of Poul Anderson, although it seems that, as an alternative historian, Stirling is an even worthier successor of Harry Turtledove, with whose works I am as yet barely familiar. I would welcome any correspondence comparing the alternative histories of these three authors. Anderson presents several alternative timelines and also discusses prevented divergent histories in his Time Patrol series.
Having read and posted about Stirling's alternative versions of the British Empire and of the inner Solar System, I then followed the latter series into Old Mars, an anthology co-edited by GRR Martin and Gardner Dozois. I expect that this book's fifteen original retro-visions of Mars will coalesce in memory as GRR Martin's Introduction said happened for him with the pre-Mariner fictional versions of Mars.
Allen M Steele's Martians are dark and golden-eyed and Steele cleverly gives the adjective, "artesian," a second meaning. The Martians have an artesian well while they themselves are Homo artesian, men of Ares/Mars. However, these Martian aborigines are technologically primitive and their "canals" are merely diverted rivers. In this respect, they diverge from Martin's composite Martians who were the heirs of many old and fallen civilizations.
I listed Poul Anderson's various Martian races here. Some of these appeared in more than one timeline, for example an owl-like Martian showed up in an unconnected story about the exploration of Mercury.