uchronia n.

= alternate history n.

[< French uchronie, < Ancient Greek οὐ ‘not’ + χρόνος ‘time’, on the model of Utopia, coined in Charles Renouvier's 1876 Uchronie]

SF Encyclopedia

SF Criticism

  • [1876 Pall Mall Gazette 28 Nov. 11/2

    Thus occasion is taken to point to one of the morals of ‘Uchronia’, so that the most careless reader could not overlook it.]

  • 1938 A. Huxley Ends & Means x. 145 page image Aldous Huxley

    It would be interesting to construct a historical ‘Uchronia’ (to use Renouvier’s useful word), based upon the postulate that Robespierre and the other Jacobin leaders were convinced pacifists.

  • 1976 A. A. Whyte Aleph in Galileo Magazine (#2) 84/2 page image Andrew A. Whyte bibliography

    A uchronia, or alternate universe story by a well-known mainstream author.

  • 1991 Locus May 5/2

    [BS] It’s like ‘utopia’ means ‘no place’, and ‘uchronia’ means ‘no time’…[WG] There’re relatively few memorable uchronias.

  • 1995 P. Di Filippo On Books in Asimov’s Science Fiction Oct. 173/2 Paul Di Filippo

    Vonarburg’s prose is sensual and measured, richly descriptive, especially in such domestic scenes as the death of Catherine’s father. One of the attractions of uchronias is how they can present attractive worlds that are at once familiar and exotic, and Vonarburg’s thick depiction makes her unique Canada seem like an alluring alternative to our world—at least until it begins to fray.

  • 1998 Interzone Mar. 54/1

    Alternate histories—uchronias, if you prefer—having exfoliated perhaps overlushly, are currently experiencing a bit of a critical backlash, akin to the downdressing cyberpunk underwent once it got allegedly too big for its britches.

  • 2004 P. Di Filippo On Books in Asimov’s Science Fiction July 133/1 Paul Di Filippo

    From small acorns, mighty oaks grow. With the original motivation of writing a ‘Communist ghost story,’ Howard Waldrop has produced one of his patented alternate histories, a uchronia of surpassing strangeness. A Better World’s in Birth! (Golden Gryphon, trade paper, $15.95, 51 pages, ISBN unavailable.) The year is 1876, and all of Europe has experienced two decades of socialist rule. But the worker’s paradise is about to come undone, thanks to the ghostly apparitions of Karl Marx and other founders of the state.

Research requirements

antedating 1938

Earliest cite

Aldous Huxley

Research History
Irene Grumman submitted a 2004 cite from Paul Di Filippo in Asimov's.
Irene Grumman submitted a 1995 cite from Paul Di Filippo in Asimov's.
Irene Grumman submitted a 1987 cite from John J. Pierce's "Great Themes of Science Fiction"; this cite references an 1875 book by Charles Renouvier titled "Uchronia". Robert Schmunk (webmaster of Uchronia.net) commented that the book by Renouvier was in fact titled "Uchronie (l'utopie dans l'histoire)", and was a revision of an earlier article from 1857 of unknown title.

Robert Schmunk submitted a 1986 cite from Gordon B. Chamberlain's "Afterword: Allohistory in Science Fiction", from the anthology "Alternative Histories: Eleven Stories of the World as It Might Have Been" (eds. Charles G. Waugh and Martin H. Greenberg). He noted a reference in this article to an article that may contain earlier cites: Hacker, Barton C., and Gordon B. Chamberlain. "Pasts that Might Have Been", published in Extrapolation Winter 1981. Jesse Sheidlower checked this article; it's an extensive bibliography of uchronic SF, but it does not contain any form of the word.
Robert Schmunk submitted a 1987 cite from the title of Paul J. Alkon's article "From Utopia to Uchronia: L'An 2440 and Napoléon Apocryphe".
Jesse Sheidlower submitted a 1976 cite from Galileo Magazine.
Bill Mullins submitted a 1938 cite from Aldous Huxley.

We would like cites of any date from other authors.

Last modified 2021-04-28 14:23:20
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.