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Friday, May 25, 2007

A World Without America

No, I am not advocating anything political, here.

I did some thinking, yesterday. I read some time ago this short tale (forgot by whom - may be stephen baxter?) where Europe wasn't there. it got removed by aliens during the sixties, to avoid an incipient nuclear war between USA and URSS. It isn't quite alternative history, such as in the years of rice and salt - the focus is on how this sudden removal, unnoticed by humans who have had their memories modified ad hoc by the creatures, affects the culture - for example, to explain the fact that americans, australians and south africans speak the same language, a theory of confluence emerges whereby all languages are thought to tend toward a form similar to english, with time. It's a nice divertissement, good for a short story but I somehow doubt it would hold for a full novel - like Asimov's Nightfall, which did suck when extended (by Silverberg).

Anyway, another interesting tale is A World of Difference by Harry turtledove, the current master of alternate reality, where Mars is replaced by an earth-like planet (Minerva) and humans get there and find life.

but what if another big discovery of our past had never been done? What if Colombo had never come back, and there never was any America? How would have the world shaped up? What if instead than America, they had found a different continent, inhabited by a more advanced culture, able to withstand the Europeans' rough game? Or what if Europe itself had been discovered?

So, my question is? Do you know of any book telling such a story? if so, please drop me a line. Thank you.

and googling I found out this: check out their forum, where you can actually post your Alternative Timeline. For example, a longer lasting Roman Empire, owing to caesar not being assasinated. Or a present where Brits rule Space.

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