Stealth fiction redux: history hacking

Just a quick extension to my ideas about stealth fiction from a little while ago.

Alternate history is form of (genre) fiction that seems to be particularly amenable to stealthing. Take as an example a blog that is publishing the letters of William Henry Bonser (“Harry”) Lamin, a soldier of World War One, exactly ninety years after they were written.

According to Reuters, people are engaging with it in a very real way:

“Many are braced for the dreaded telegram from the army notifying relatives of a soldier’s death.”

Because he’s not a famous historical figure, Lamin’s fate is uncertain, and people engage with him as a real person.

It doesn’t take a great leap to imagine doing something similar, but with a totally fictional character. The course of the war could start subtly shifting away from historical facts after a while, couldn’t it?

Of course, there are nefarious uses this could be put to. But it’s also another way to hide the fiction-ness of fiction and get the buggers hooked, isn’t it?

[tags]stealth fiction, writing, marketing, fiction, internet, alternate history[/tags]

One thought on “Stealth fiction redux: history hacking”

  1. interesting idea – I’ve a friend on livejournal doing a similar thing with an old relative’s diary, and did wonder if I could do something similar as a fictional diary of one of my characters.

    Perhaps I’ll give it a try.

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