An Interview With Roel Hendrikx, The Administrator Of The Alternate Timelines Forum

An Interview With Roel Hendrikx, The Administrator Of The Alternate Timelines Forum

One of several alternate history forums on the Internet.

Roel Hendrikx, a resident of the Netherlands, is the administrator of the Alternate Timelines Forum, an online discussion board about alternate history.

Wallace: How would you describe alternate history to someone who has never heard of the genre?

Hendrikx: The best way to describe to a person what alternate history is to ask them what they would think if an event occurred differently than what really happened; if they understand that, then you can talk with them about the many other possible ways history could have turned out.

Wallace: What got you into Alternate History?

Hendrikx: Once when I was young, I went to my local library and there I found a translation of a American book detailing a German invasion of the United States in 1945. After that, I discovered that there was more than that single book out there about history that is not our own. It was not until 2006 before I was really able to discover the world of Alternate History when I, like many other before me and many after me, became a member of, the most prolific alternate history site on the internet.

Wallace: What made you want to start the Alternate Timelines Forum?

Hendrikx: My forum first began as a place where I had posted all my works I ever had created, but not many people wanted only to discuss what I had created; it was not long after that when I posted a thread on that something hit me: the forum was so huge, it was most of the time impossible for a thread to get responses because so many members created new threads every day. Then, I began to think, I had already a forum of my own, so why not turn it into an alternate history forum, where due to the small size, its members do not need to worry that their threads may disappear to page 2 after only a day? A forum where a thread can receive the attention it needs, even if it is only one or two posts, where the members can know each other instead of being just a number on the wall? That was my desire to change the forum from what is was to what it is now, a small dedicated Alternate History forum where its members post, others respond and where you do not need to worry if it is not good enough, because at this forum, every question is a new question to answer and to explore.

Wallace: What is the philosophy underlying how the board is run?

Hendrikx: This forum runs on the philosophy of only acting when it is needed; the moderators and administration only act when action is necessary. If there is no action needed, that everybody is just a member who has a great time discussing everything related to Alternate History.

Wallace: What does running the board on a day to day basis entail?

Hendrikx: Running the forum begins in the morning when I wake up. I check if there are new posts, new members and if there is any new update that I can install that can help make the forum better. Then, I go to work; during my lunch break I check if there new events I need to respond to. After I come back to work, I look at all the new posts, and as always, I try respond to them to my best of my ability. Also, I look at it as I do in the morning to see if there are ways that I can improve the forum.

Wallace: What makes your board different from other alternate history boards?

Hendrikx: For now, the small membership is different than other larger Alternate History forums. Also, I try to award my members for posting as I feel that giving them something in return for posting here on the forum make them feel acknowledged.

Wallace: What have been the challenges of running the board?

Hendrikx: The small membership number is, at this time, the greatest challenge; many new members who could join do not know that there is a small, good, running Alternate History forum out there that allows them discus their love for Alternate History.

Wallace: Do you have any particularly interesting stories from running the board?

Hendrikx: So far, in the year-long life of this forum, there as of yet has not appeared a story relating to the forum I can speak of. I hope in the future that there might be one, but for now, the fact that this is an active forum is already an interesting story.

Wallace: Does running the board have an effect on your offline life?

Hendrikx: No, not at all; the forum is part of my life now, a hobby I love to spend my time on.

Wallace: How do you envision the future of the forum?

Hendrikx: More members, more timelines and more discussion, I hope, but if not, I am already happy with achievements that the forum has already made. The future is a long road, and many things can happen along the way.

Cover Image Credit: Alternate Timelines Forum

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5 Perks Of Having A Long-Distance Best Friend

The best kind of long-distance relationship.

Sometimes, people get annoyed when girls refer to multiple people as their "best friend," but they don't understand. We have different types of best friends. There's the going out together best friend, the see each other everyday best friend and the constant, low maintenance best friend.

While I'm lucky enough to have two out of the three at the same school as me, my "low maintenance" best friend goes to college six hours from Baton Rouge.

This type of friend is special because no matter how long you go without talking or seeing each other, you're always insanely close. Even though I miss her daily, having a long-distance best friend has its perks. Here are just a few of them...

1. Getting to see each other is a special event.

Sometimes when you see someone all the time, you take that person and their friendship for granted. When you don't get to see one of your favorite people very often, the times when you're together are truly appreciated.

2. You always have someone to give unbiased advice.

This person knows you best, but they probably don't know the people you're telling them about, so they can give you better advice than anyone else.

3. You always have someone to text and FaceTime.

While there may be hundreds of miles between you, they're also just a phone call away. You know they'll always be there for you even when they can't physically be there.

4. You can plan fun trips to visit each other.

When you can visit each other, you get to meet the people you've heard so much about and experience all the places they love. You get to have your own college experience and, sometimes, theirs, too.

5. You know they will always be a part of your life.

If you can survive going to school in different states, you've both proven that your friendship will last forever. You both care enough to make time for the other in the midst of exams, social events, and homework.

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Cover Image Credit: Just For Laughs-Chicago

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That One Time I May Have Shot An Ex-Police Officer

Yeah, you heard me.


In England, we don't really have guns, maybe hunting guns but I think it's pretty rare. Anyway, point is, barely any guns. I have never seen a gun, shot a gun, I don't even know anybody that owns a gun so as an exchange student in Oklahoma it's a novelty to visit a gun range.

I was pretty nervous about shooting but the instructor was super nice and told us how to hold the gun and load it before we went into the range. He also let us ask any questions we had about guns and explained the process of getting a gun in Oklahoma and he said he had visited Europe and was talking about England, and how he used to be a cop and opened his own gun shop. Basically a really really nice guy, which honestly makes harming him ten times worse.

We went into the range and we were shooting a 22 caliber and another guy at the range, I'm assuming a regular, asked if we wanted to fire his revolver so of course, we said yes.

This gun was definitely heavier and the trigger was super hard to pull but he kept his hand on the gun whilst I struggled with the trigger and then I fired it.

I heard a bang and I heard a yell.

I turned around and he was holding his thumb and there was blood dripping onto the floor. At this point, I thought I had shot him, so you can imagine the sheer level of panic that I was feeling.

The color drained from my face and I was frozen solid and all I could say was, "are you okay?" which was answered with a "Ma'am, put the gun down."

Basically, I'm freaking out and I look over at the lads for some form of reassurance, which was met with them looking equally as freaked out as me. So I asked,

"Do we need to call someone?"

"Yep. We are definitely gonna have to call someone"

So at this point, my nerves were shattered and I had no idea what was going on or what the procedure is for this sort of thing. I mean, the guy also took it like a champ and barely even winced and kept repeating "little lady, you're fine" – safe to say I did not feel fine nor did the situation, in my eyes, look at all fine.

Luckily the regulars knew what to do and took him to the ER so we were left in the store with another regular shooter.

Everyone else went back out to shoot but I didn't feel like assaulting/ shooting/ potentially murdering anyone else so I decided to sit this round out and talk to the woman that stayed with us and he called and said it wasn't me, something came off the bullet or gun and went into his hand- so no I didn't actually shoot him and he was going to be okay.

The point of this now very funny story is that whilst guns are cool they're also pretty dangerous.

I have no idea how someone can participate in these mass shootings because I didn't even shoot someone, only thought I did, and it was probably the most terrifying moment of my life.

So, if you are around guns, have fun, be safe and try not to send your instructor to the ER.

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