I need to pick somebody’s brain on tracking down an alternate history story.

It was a short story, based on the premise that Marxism actually worked and set in an alternate, mirror-universe end of the Cold War (so it was written in the 1990s*). It got anthologized, so it was mainstream; and I thought that I knew the title (“Dispatches from the Revolution”), but that’s an entirely different short story.

Help? This is driving me nuts.

Moe Lane

*It held up NYC as NOT being a hellhole (specifically because the City was more socialist than the alternate’s USA), so the story clearly predates Rudy Giulani’s tenure as Mayor (and subsequent repair) of the City.


  • Josh says:

    You can try dropping the description here and see what responses you get:


  • Phineas says:

    That wasn’t a story that ended with a “Winter Palace”-style march on the White House was it? It also posited that centralized mainframe computer systems worked better than distributed networks.

    I think I still have that anthology at home. I can look it up for you, if want.

    • Moe_Lane says:

      Phineas: that’s the one.
      Lawrence: It’s definitely not “Dispatches from the Revolution,” because I have a copy of that already.
      Josh: I’ll give it a whirl.

  • Van says:

    I think the story you’re thinking of is “The West is Red” by Greg Costikyan. It is part of an anthology called “Roads Not Taken: Tales of Alternate History” and edited by Gardner Dozois and Stanley Schmidt.

  • Prayerborne says:

    Dont get me started on that story…
    Too late:
    In this absolute frigging bizarro world in which centralized planning trumps freedom, at what point did the divergence take place? Musta been recently, or nothing resembling America would’ve made it out of the crib, beaten the Nazis, etc.
    This story struck me as lefties whining “How would you like it if it happened to YOU?!” because they were pissed that their side lost the Cold War.

  • Cameron says:

    Fiction is incredible. It’s the only place where communism not only works, it doesn’t murder everyone to do it!

  • Phineas says:


    Exactly. It wasn’t so much an alternate history (as in, history with a divergence), but simply a mirror-image of reality. Very disappointing.

  • Murgatroyd says:

    And then there’s Kim Stanley Robinson’s story “Remaking History,” which is based on the premise that today’s world would be a technologically advanced, left-wing-Democrat wonderland of peace and joy if only the 1980 Iranian hostage rescue attempt had been successful and Jimmy Carter had been re-elected …

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