Now Linked to 419 Timelines!
Appended May 18, 2017.
Television • Movies • Books • Games • Comics
Library • Canadian Library
Add to Delicious • Share on Facebook • Share on Google+ • Stumble It • Tweet It
History is a fascinating subject. There is an almost irresistible draw to look at the bigger picture, the overall course of events, in an attempt to glean some insight or approach some greater knowledge.
Peering into the real past is fine, and in fact I enjoy doing so quite often, but it takes a certain amount of panache to hold an interest in fictional history. Gleaning knowledge from a past that never existed--or a future, for that matter--is simply so much more sublime. That is what this site is all about.
Below, you will find links to many online chronologies, timelines, and histories (including a few which I myself have had a hand in creating), and in cases where I am familiar with the subject matter, I have added my own commentary beside the link. They are divided into five media categories:
Most importantly, every one of these links is to a history that never happened. There are only references to actual historical events insofar as they fit into the context of the timeline at hand. Thus, the purity of this pursuit is maintained.
Research is an ongoing project here. Each category mentions a number of general and specific requests for information that are still pending, and the only order the timelines are listed in is roughly by how detailed they are. Feel free to contact me if you can help add to the archives, or if you have a request of your own.
When you're done perusing the fictional history on this site, you can also check out the The Rocklopedia Fakebandica (for fictional musicology).
On another note, you may also wish to take a look at my personal homepage, or look for me on LiveJournal and Twitter, where I should be tracking further developments here for those of you who want to keep up with what happens next.
Finally, this site is dedicated to all the other historians of things that never were, those devoted people who are responsible for putting fictional history on the Internet for all to enjoy. May your quests be fruitful.
By its very nature, television provides a rich resource for the development of timelines. Many series rely heavily on their continuity, now more so than ever. Fans of various shows have taken it upon themselves to trace their internal history, and a heavy emphasis can be seen here on genre series.
Star Trek is the quintessential series for pseudohistorical debate. Despite five decades of canonical material, there is still much disagreement, mostly due to the fact that The Original Series never bothered to tell us when it was set.
Doctor Who, as involved with time as it is, provides any number of difficulties for historians of things that never were, and only the most intrepid dare to try unravelling all of the series' contradictions. If you thought Star Trek was inconsistent...
Highlander, by definition, is the story of those who live and travel through the centuries, leading many different lives...which are apparently difficult to sort out at times. The consensus amongst its fans seems to be that there can be more than one timeline.
All this has happened before, and all this will happen again, but no matter which version of Battlestar Galactica and its ragtag fleet you wish to follow through the yahrens (or years, depending on who you're following) of searching for Earth and fighting the Cylons, there'll be those who chronicle how it happened.
Robotech fans seem to be quite fond of making timelines of the series, due in large part to some major continuity disagreements between the various forms the story has taken.
The similarly sprawling Gundam franchise actually has two separate histories: Universal Century, used by the original series, Mobile Suit Gundam, and all related stories; and After Colony, used by Gundam Wing and its spinoffs. As can be seen below, both have been outlined in detail by different historians.
Movies, as detailed as they sometimes are, do not create a world or a history as thoroughly as a television series does. Nevertheless, there are a number of timelines out there already, and doubtless more to come.
Star Wars, of course, has garnered a lot of attention lately. With the many new stories being created in various media, a number of people have taken it upon themselves to lay out the history of a galaxy far, far away.
(N.B. Although there are a multitude of these chronologies online, most of them don't provide much more than very basic information, so I have only included the most detailed ones to come across my path.)
Authors often place multiple stories or novels in the same universe, both for convenience and for the opportunity to create a more complex setting, and some people online have been brave enough to take on the more tedious task of sorting out the internal histories of such book series.
At the outset, I realise that this section is the farthest from being complete. I have no doubt missed any number of very good timelines, so any help would be much appreciated.
For a while now, I've noticed that this section (and all the sections, really) are very science-fiction related. I understand that fantasy and sci-fi create more alternate universes than soi-disant "conventional" fiction, but there are any number of works that would benefit from the creation of timelines.
"I much prefer history, true or feigned," wrote J.R.R. Tolkien, and indeed, his Middle-earth has been expounded upon in so many ways that it is arguably the most seriously studied fictional history in the annals of literature. As such, it is no surprise that several timelines relating to that realm are available online.
Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time saga has a huge following and an intricate storyline. Amongst the intense discussions between its fans about every aspect of this series are a number of attempts to set out its varied history in understandable terms.
The journey into ultimate terror that is H. P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos carries with it the unique terrors inherent in trying to precisely date the actions of dark cosmic forces...
The Wold Newton Universe Crossover Chronology, by Win Scott Eckert, details the history of Philip José Farmer's intertextual novels, although his graphics can take quite a while to load. As tangents to the Wold Newton Universe, Win offers a number of other chronologies, put together by Win himself or (often) in collaboration with others:
The French Wold Newton Universe Timeline, by Jean-Marc Lofficier, covers similar territory but offers its own take on the material by bringing in characters from the vast field of French popular fiction. Jean-Marc also offers a few tangential timelines:
Games, in whatever medium they are played, present a unique problem for historians of things that never were, since the outcome of any given history is often dependent on the player(s) of the game in question. The universe that a game or series of games takes place in, however, still needs to be set out for these players, in much the same way as it is outlined in other media, and the histories presented in such games are just as worthy of pseudohistorical study as those provided elsewhere on this site.
As with the other categories, difficulties brought on by the subjectivity of gameplay do not hinder the attempts of these brave scholars to sort out game histories as consistently as possible. In the interests of simplicity, these timelines tend to follow the "official" path for the history of a game's setting as described in the sourcebooks, novels, and so forth that are associated with it.
Dungeons & Dragons is the original roleplaying game, and as such, it has the most elaborate history to its name. A number of worlds have been spawned from the D&D setting over the years, and timelines for some of these have been described online.
While comics, like books, provide an array of possible fields of study for the fictional historian, most people do not undertake such a task because of the extensive problems that arise from such practices as trying to tell a long continuous story while keeping all of its characters the same age, or spinning off more and more forking paths of time and alternate Earths (with their concomitant alternate versions of the same people) until the mind boggles with divergent histories.
Despite these quandaries, some people online have still decided to tackle the glaring continuity issues before them and create coherent histories for their favourite comic book heroes.
Celebrating two decades of study!
This site can only get better with your help. Contact and donation links are to be found below.