Tuesday, August 18, 2015

The Alternative Is Us


At the heart of much speculative fiction (and fiction in general) is a question. What if? On Tuesdays I like to throw one out there and see what you make of it. Do with it as you please. If a for-instance is not specified, feel free to interpret that instance as you wish. And if you find this becomes a novel-length answer, I'd appreciate a thank you in the acknowledgements ;)

The other day I saw the doc The Bomb on PBS. It's all about the development and history of the atomic bomb and how it influenced recent history.

So many near misses and almosts that it leads me to wonder. How did we get so lucky (during the Bay of Pigs)? Or unlucky (missing a disarmament agreement in 1946)? It's almost like...

What if this is an alternate reality? What if the unthinkable actually happened, and someone managed to go back in time and "fix" it to create the world we now live in?

14 comments:

  1. I think it would be okay if that happened because we probably wouldn't be aware of it, right?

    betty

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    1. Yeah, we'd have no memory of the other timeline.

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  2. I'd say it's possible. If this is the better version, I'd hate to see what the original was!

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    1. Considering the close calls, the original was kind of bleak.

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  3. Bless the person who went back in time and "fixed" it. I saw part of the same documentary. I missed the first half hour.

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  4. I don't think they've fixed it enough yet! Seriously thought, I would wonder what it was that motivate them to change things, if there are any "echoes" from the old world that still exist...

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  5. As an avid reader of science fiction and alternate history, the concept of time travel and trying to "fix" the past is familiar to me. It usually doesn't end well - but then again, if it did, who would want to read the story? Speaking of these stories, I recommend a book by Isaac Asimov called "The End of Eternity". It's sexist, and a product of its time (1955) but has some interesting ideas. Alana ramblinwitham.blogspot.com

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    1. Which is why I turned the question a bit. Rather than us trying to fix something from our past, what if this was the resulting reality?

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  6. Reminds me of that television show Sliders with all the parallel universes and possibilities.

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    1. I remember Sliders! Never really watched it, but was aware it was on. (I think that was during the time I wasn't watching much TV.)

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  7. I'm always fascinated by anything to do with time travel. A lot of my favorite episodes from shows involve just that (Stargate anyone?). I like the idea that JE mentioned about echoes. What if someone discovered those echoes and found out we ARE living in an alternate time line? How would people react to that kind of news?

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  8. Sometimes I really do think that there are an amazing amount of alternative worlds going on at the same time. Some based on large events such as the ones you mentioned. Some based on smaller event such as.. If I wouldn't have gone up to get more coffee during a break in a work training session, I wouldn't have come in during the middle of a conversation. I wouldn't have heard that one of my favorite local artists from the 80s was playing at a house party. I wouldn't have gone to that party with a woman from work that I barely knew (I'd only been working for the company for a month). The only person she introduced me to before disappearing was my husband who lived at that house.

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  9. I'm happy it was fixed. What if it wasn't? We wouldn't know, would we?

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    1. Nope, we wouldn't know the difference, one way or the other.

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