Friday, December 02, 2005

Tom Pardue's Comeuppance

December 2nd, 2005

ALTERNATE HISTORIAN'S NOTE: One of today's entries has something a little different, a link to a longer document which gives more space to the entry. Please let us know if you like that by leaving a comment or emailing us.

in 1603, As You Like It, a clever comedy of sexual ambiguity, was performed at the Earl of Pemboke’s home. The author, Francis Bacon, directed the play himself, with the actor who had been his literary cover, William Shakespeare, playing a small role in the production. Tension between the two almost boiled over into a fist fight, as Shakespeare missed the prestige he had as an “author”.

in 1822, the legislature of the tiny Central American nation of El Salvador votes to incorporate into the United States of America. When the U.S. Congress agrees in 1824, the Latin American nation becomes the U.S. toehold in the region; this leads in later years to the establishment of Communist governments throughout the American hemisphere, with the creation of the Community of Trade by President Haywood.

in 1904, a second message pod from the expedition to the Mlosh homeworld reaches our solar system. The contents of this one are not released; the Science Ministry goes into a closed-door session to discuss the information contained in the pod.

in 1952, George and Ethel Landermeyer of Poughkeepsie, New York, became the first couple to have the birth of their child broadcast on television. This shocked the nation so much that a federal law was enacted to keep cameras away from delivery rooms from that point on.

in 1983, the television channel MTV, dedicated to airing rock and roll music videos, showed a video by singer Michael Jackson entitled Thriller. The overly long production, although featuring scintillating choreography and a catchy tune, totally failed to catch on with audiences, and soon disappeared from the airwaves. Jackson complained that MTV should have aired it on Halloween, a time when the subject matter of the video might have more appeal, but the network blamed Jackson’s overbloated production for the video’s failure.

in 1985, the United States landed a man on Mars, right on schedule. The NASA space program had moved from triumph to triumph since the moon landings in the late 60’s and early 70’s, and the building of a working space station in 1973 had laid the groundwork for travel to other worlds within the solar system. Gary Davis, the first man on Mars, had been a teenager during the moon landings, and remembered vividly the sight of Jim Lovell walking on the moon during the successful Apollo 13 mission; it had inspired him to become an astronaut himself in America’s thriving astronaut corps.

in 1990, following the long power struggle after Adolf Hitler’s death, Albert Speer seizes the reigns of power in the New Reich. The power of the Reich in Eurasia and Africa is challenged only meekly by the few remaining independent nations of the western hemisphere. The United States of America had openly thrown its support behind the Reich’s aims, and Canada would soon follow. The only major power in the hemisphere to still oppose the Nazi domination of the planet was Brazil.

in 2002, Dr. Courtney broadcasts a message to earth to let them know that they have Professor Thomas and Captain Laughlin, and are on their way back. Thomas and Laughlin, after being checked out in the sick bay, are allowed to go back to their quarters. Instead, the pair go the spacecraft's engines and attach a small device that Laughlin had brought in with him from the planet.

in 2003, Pope Righteous I has a young maid executed at Buckingham Cathedral. The maid had reportedly found him in flagrante delicto with a woman of ill repute. During the televised execution, she called upon God, Jesus Christ and Estelle Gerard to save her. At the moment when flames engulfed her body, an angel was seen soaring down from the heavens to lift her up and carry her away.

in 2004, Tom Pardue receives his comeuppance.

Christmas Day Contest! ONLY 18 DAYS LEFT!! Following up on our Halloween contest, you can enter our next contest, which will be alternate histories for Christmas Day, December 25th, 2005. The same rules will apply, the top ten entries will be posted on that day, and by entering, you grant TIAH the right to electronically print your writing on October 31st, 2005, maintain your writing in our archives, and reprint your entry should we decide to reuse it in the future. TIAH only maintains full copyright over material it has originated that has been used by contestants in writing their own entries. Enter early and often - entries must be received by December 20th, 2005! Email us up to 3 entries of your best alternate Christmas Days!

We still have our standard offer - everybody who donates $10 or more through our Paypal link will become alternate history entries on the site. When you donate, I will email you asking your preference for a day & timeline; if you don't reply to me, I'll place you in a day that seems to fit your name :) Thanks for your continued support!

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Charles said...

Who's Tom Pardue?

Robbie Taylor said...

Just a fictional character - he will be the fish-out-of-water character who stars in this story, though.

I'm mainly wanting to see if people like this format - I have some ideas on expanded entries for several of the more popular timelines, but wanted some feedback on something fairly new to begin with. I'll be trying out a few others as the month rolls by.

Jarlsberg's Chosen said...

Hmmm. I would prefer it for things that are based on actual historical events, rather than ones that are just fiction (as per the Watkins and Laughlin/Thomas ones). Something more like the Annotated Today in Alternate History, perhaps, with more detail on the entry replacing information about real, OTL events?

Robbie Taylor said...

I have a plan for something similar to the annotated site, but it's going to be a podcast, more than likely.

TIAH Editor says we'd like to move you off the blog, if you're browsing the archives - and most people are - more than half of them are already on the new site. We need to be sure the new web site accomodates your archive browsing needs because we don't want to lose any readers. Please supply any feedback or comments by email to the Editor and please note the blogger site is shutting on December 1st.