Alternative History

This is the hub for all of our wiki's official policies, conventions and rules. In order to keep the wiki focused and functioning, it is important that all users follow them.

See How to make articles for general information on using wikis.

Organizing the Wiki


Because there are many timelines on this wiki, a page name such as "Mexico" could create confusion. Which Mexico is referred to? The one in the Toyotomi Japan timeline? The one in the Greater Colombia timeline? One of several others? As a result, a convention has been adopted to mark every article with a tag indicating its timeline. This may be the full name of the timeline, or a shortened form. For example, all files of the Toyotomi Japan timeline are marked by (Toyotomi), thus, Mexico (Toyotomi) indicates Mexico in that timeline.

Note: Due to the naming conventions, titles of articles are longer than what you normally see on other wikis. When naming articles try to keep it as short as possible. For example, if you are creating an article on a nation and its full name is the Glorious Eternal Republic of Genericstan, just title the article Genericstan (Name of Timeline).

Timeline link templates

To make linking easier, templates can be used. For example, if you type {{TJ|Culture}}, you'll get the equivalent of [[Culture (Toyotomi)|Culture]] - that is, the wiki will show the link as being "Culture", but it will take you to the page "Culture (Toyotomi)". Other examples can be found at this list of linking templates.

To create a template for your timeline, first make a short abbreviation for your timeline. For example, Toyotomi Japan's abbreviation is "TJ", and 1983: Doomsday uses "1983DD". Once you've decided which abbreviation you're going to use, create a page "Template:X" where X is your abbreviation. When the page opens, type:

[[{{{1}}} (Name)|{{{1}}}]]

Where "Name" is the tag for all the page titles in the timeline. To use this template, you merely type {{X|link}}. So to link to Utah (1983: Doomsday), you can type {{1983DD|Utah}}, and the link will display as Utah.


Make a category for your timeline by putting [[Category:X]] (where X is the name of your TL). at the bottom of each of its pages.

If you plan to make many pages, don't throw them all into the same category. Use subcategories like [[Category:Nations (X)]], [[Category:Wars (X)]], [[Category:Rulers (X)]]; put images into [[Category:Images (X)]] or [[Category:Flags (X)]]. These subcategories can be put into [[Category:X]], just like any other wiki pages. A category shouldn't have much more than 30 entries.

Then, edit your timeline category to put it into Category:Timelines. That category is huge and is not divided by topic because a timeline can be hard to classify.

Duplicate images

See main article: Files and Duplications

Look for existing images, like maps and flags, before uploading your own. If you need a basic map, a flag, an emblem, or a photo of a prominent person that's exactly the same as something from real life, it is very likely that these images already exist on the wiki. An easy way to find them is to look in country categories. To find images related to Bhutan, for example, look in Category:Bhutan. Also try the wiki's search function, which can search the titles of existing files and may help you find the image you need without uploading anything new.

Duplicate images will be deleted. Users who are constantly careless about this may face blocks.

This of course does not apply to images that are your own original content. Please feel free to upload and share these!


When you upload an image, there is a box to enter "Destination filename:" the name that the file will have on the wiki. It defaults to whatever name it had in the device that you are uploading from. But give it a name that is meaningful. "Photo_Kwame_Nkrumah.png" is a meaningful name; "3309BA52-B4D4-DF71FE270C0A.png" or "Download(28).png" or "Screenshot_2019-09-21_12.50.52PM.png" are not. Meaningful names make your files easier for you to use and categorize. They also allow others to search for your file and reuse it, which helps prevent unintentional duplication.

Alt-History Content

Future History is Not Alt-History

Thinking about future events is interesting, but it is not Alternate History. History is in the writer's past. This is why Heinlein's future history would not be considered Alternate History now, because when he wrote it, it was in his future. We do not accept future histories here because they fall outside the scope of the AH genre. The Future Wiki, Constructed Worlds Wiki, Alternate Future Wiki, or The Road of Time wiki would be appropriate places for this kind of content.

Derivative Works

Derivative works are anything based on previously published material. This can take the form of fan fiction ("What if Darth Vader didn't die?") or fleshing out a published timeline ("Europe in Turtledove's Timeline-191"). Derivative Works are not allowed on this Wiki even if only parts of a timeline (such as characters) are involved. There is a Fan Fiction Wiki and many other places online for content like this.

We Are Not Wikipedia

Wikipedia is there to house all the world's information. A given timeline, by contrast, doesn't need millions of articles, because unless things are specifically different, we can assume they're the same as in real life. Don't create articles just to have them: instead create them to explore what's different in your timeline.

Another thing to keep in mind: yes, Wikipedia articles can be a useful model for pages here because everyone knows the format, and our wiki software encourages the comparison. But there are other ways to write alternate history. Consider creating narrative fiction, news and media reports, primary documents, photo essays... as long as it presents an alternative timeline, the format can be anything you want.

Deletion Policy

See main article: Alternative History:Deletion Policy

This page explains how the deletion process works and what constitutes grounds for deletion. Briefly, pages that violate the policies of this wiki will be deleted. Pages will not deleted simply for being "bad". To request deletion, add Template:delete - {{delete}} - to the top of the page.

Adding to timelines

Every timeline on the Wiki is owned by the author or authors who originally created that timeline. Generally speaking, a timeline can only be changed or added to with permission from its owner. Obtaining permission to edit a timeline depends on how that project is organized:

  • Community Timelines and Map Games are sub-communities which can be edited by any member of that sub-community. Sub-communities organize their own policies on who is allowed to contribute to what articles.
  • Solo or Semi-Open Timelines always require permission from the timeline owner(s).

Minor corrections such as grammar/spelling or coding bugs do not require any permission. Likewise, the TSPTF can edit a timeline if it violates Wiki conventions or behavior rules.

Adoption Policy

If a timeline is abandoned, ownership can be transferred to a new user using our adoption policy. This does not give the new owner license to change the timeline however they want, but they must respect the same vision and ideas of the previous author, under the principle of QSS.

Rules for behavior

Wikia Guidelines

As part of Fandom (formerly Wikia), we abide by the Community Guidelines for matters of behavior and the Terms of Use for legal matters. In short: respect others, respect the purpose of this wiki, be appropriate, be at least 13 years old, and don't steal copyrighted content.

Prohibited actions

The following actions are not allowed on this wiki. TSPTF members are empowered to enforce them through warnings and blocks. The Rules page describes them in more detail.

  • Using multiple accounts (sockpuppets)
  • Doxxing
  • Sexual harassment
  • Racism
  • Bullying
  • Vandalism
  • Trolling
  • Impersonating
  • Spamming

Sub Communities

The portal page for the Map Games has the list of active games. Each game has a different set of rules for joining and playing, and it's important to familiarize yourself with them before you join. Presently, we are only running one map game at a time.

Community Timelines also have their own rules for behavior and organization.


Our wiki has several ways to reward good work.

You automatically earn badges on this wiki by editing pages, uploading photos and leaving comments. Each badge earns you points. You'll find the badges you've earned on your user page. The Badge system is meant to encourage constructive contributions to the wiki. Unconstructive contributions and edits, made only to get badges, will earn warnings and then blocks if they continue.

Next, Barnstars are awards that users can give each other to show appreciation or gratitude. Anyone is free to give one at any time.

The annual Multiverse Awards honor many different categories of writers and content. We normally make nominations in December and vote in January. The rules are explained at the awards page.

Most rare and prestigious of all is the Featured Timeline status. Users with 100 edits may make a nomination at any time on the Featured AH nomination page, where you can read an explanation of the nomination and voting process.