Sunday, September 17, 2006

JP's Changed History

Link to Original Story: Changed History - JP

I gained a whole new respect for alt-history this week, which is not a genre I ever considered much about. The sheer amount of possibilities you have to account for, and cause-and-effect linkages you have to keep track of, is staggering. Of course, that’s what makes it so cool, watching the butterfly effect change everything. There ultimately comes a point where you get to let go of our world, and realize that you’re really traveling in a different world, and that’s where the fun really begins. This idea began as a “what-if” about the Mormons succeeding in their early bid to take over the nation. Then I remembered that Aaron Burr had tried to make his own country, and everything came from there. I think the bulk of this story is in the off-camera notes I made, which is unfortunate, and if anyone ever asks, I'll post those. I liked the Presidential Address style. And no, I couldn’t help myself from making Gore president.

This isn't one of my favorites, but I do have to say that I dig this story. Not for its presentation, which, as a political speech, is a bit dry, and a little confusing, but instead for the lovely intricacy of the world history that JP has revealed. He obviously did some research on this one. And I do think he artfully reveals that history through the context of the speech, without having that "why am I recapping something everyone here should already know" problem. I guess I don't have too much more to say, except that I'd love to see him come back and actually set some stories in this world. Wouldn't you love to know about soldiers on the front lines, or the survivors of the Japanese Exile? The political differences at play between ambassadors of Empire Republica and the New Union? Labor issues or housewives or cops or farmers? The daily lives of these people could be an excellent backdrop for commentary on modern political impacts. Or something. Plus it would be fun to read. On a final note, to anyone reading this I have to give you fair warning about some of JPs upcoming stories. They kick SERIOUS butt. This kid is going places, fast. And if we're lucky he'll take us all along for the ride.


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