“Artifacts from Alternate Worlds”
was a fun cover to do. I basically just made up some, well, artifacts
and stuck them together on the cover. I've done this before, of course, but it's still fun (so I'll probably do it again).
Anywho, there's eight artifacts from eight different AH's here, so starting at the upper left we have:
1) A snapshot from a world where Las Vegas didn't
become a major tourist/gambling destination. Maybe someone figured out the whole “Indian Gambling” thing much earlier, and thus there was never any reason to drive hundreds of miles out into the desert to play cards and roll dice. So Vegas
remained what it started as: A railroad stopover town in the middle of the desert. And as time went by, it pretty much suffered the fate of most such places.
The sign is sort of my take on the original “Welcome to Vegas” neon sign, but done by people who had nothing at the time but plywood and paint to advertise their town...and less later on to maintain that advertisement.
The road and building's are actually in Yuma.
2) World's Fair poster. This one is actually just a minimally modified 1939 World's Fair poster, mostly in the slightly more modern font and replacing the silhouette of the “Pan Am Clipper” with one of the never built, but really, really cool Boeing 306s (seaplane version). Then I promptly half covered the poster up with other stuff so you could barely see it..
3) A Newsweek
, as mentioned by Peter in chapter three. Check out the mailing address. I actually spent more time on that
than the magazine itself.
4) A book, The Witchgirl of N.A. 1518,
which is obviously some of Leigh Brackett's work from one of Dale's “Snapshot” worlds – probably US-1953. The cover's mostly from an 1886 Waterhouse painting “The Magic Circle” and I assume that, like in most adventure stories, the real
NA-1518 only vaguely resembles the one in the book.
5) Another book, The Wright Sisters.
Hey, why couldn't
two women from Ohio build the first successful airplane? It's hard to see, but they are actually sitting in an airplane in that tiny picture.
6) Now we go for a 1950s comic book, from one of those inevitable “the South Won” worlds. You can bet in such a world, Northern comics would set a lot
of evil villains in and/or from the South (and vice versa, of course). It's also a good bet that, even in this AH, the fact that it's a white
slave will be more “shocking” in the 1950s...
It's a modified issue of Manhunt
comics from 1952 and – no – I have no clue what it's actually about.
7) The seventh is actually quite interesting. Way back in 1863, French author Henri Dron made a prediction of what the borders of Europe would be like in the far distant 20th
Century (it appeared on Strange Maps
). I redrew the small scan, made it into a couple of atlas pages, and now it's an AH where Europe really did
come out like that, as a bunch of more or less equal-sized empires.
8) The last is a driver's license from a world where “Jefferson” really did become a state.
And it's got lots of cool details that you can't really see on the cover, so here's a close up: