While the European powers of our universe were bloody to the elbows with the “Scramble for Africa,” invading, occupying, and colonizing the continent down south, their near-exact counterparts of Greg Broadmore’s Dr. Grordbort’s setting had already taken to the stars — to invade, occupy, and colonize everything other than Earth. It’s the difference between Heart of Darkness and Heart of Darkness on Titan, with helpings of big game hunting, resource exploitation, and suppression of unruly and many-appendaged natives.
Considering the delightful eccentricity of its setting, it’s hardly surprising that Onward to Venus should be designed by Martin Wallace, whose unconventional design philosophy resulted in that other alternate-history mashup, A Study in Emerald. But where A Study in Emerald was about the paranoia that surrounded European anarchist movements in the 19th century (plus aliens), Onward to Venus is concerned with the aforementioned explosion of colonialism at roughly the same time. Plus aliens.
Not too much in common, then.