Thursday, January 10, 2008


In another place, we again meet Parkhill, the overly proud owner of a hotdog stand. Under the long suffering eye of his wife, he murders a Martian and leads them on a crazy chase across the red plains, only to have them deed him all of the surrounding land, and mysteriously tell him “Tonight is the night.” Parkhill believes he will witness the masses traveling back to Earth; instead he looks up in time to witness the destruction of his home planet.
~ Abridged version of The Off Season (January 2008).
 - Planet Mars
Planet Mars
In 2008, astronomers watched a football pitch-sized lump of rock hurtle through space at a speed of 45000 km/h. The fragment, which had been christened WD-5, was on a collision course with Mars. The impact on 30th January would subsequently be known as the Martian Armageddon. During the period December 2001-November 2005 humans from Earth had colonized the deserted planet, occasionally having contact with the few surviving Martians, but for the most part preoccupied with making Mars a second Earth. WD-5 changed all that, and only a few die-hard optimists such as Parkhill stayed after the December 2007 exodus.
In 1928, Leon Trotsky, having gained the upper hand in the struggle for power in Russia, has his arch-rival Joseph Stalin executed. Stalin's death brings many crocodile tears of sympathy from governments that would have opposed him if they felt that he had the slightest chance of taking Trotsky's place.
In 1995, Richard M. Langworth combined fiction and fact in his publication “If Chamberlain had lost the Battle of Norway”. In this somewhat far fetched scenario, when Germany invaded Norway in April 1940, an expeditionary force was sent to counter them, but the campaign proved difficult, and the force had to be withdrawn. The naval aspect of the campaign in particular proved controversial and was to have repercussions in Westminster leading to Chamberlain's replacement by Lord Halifax, who immediately sued for a Carthaginian peace.
In 1977, Bruce M. Heezen and Marie Tharp mapped the Earth and World Ocean Floor, illustrating their recently-discovered ~65,000 kilometers (~40,000 miles) of midocean ridges (MOR) that almost completely encircle the planet.

This compelling evidence that as recently as ~200 Ma the planet was only ~60% of its present diameter, and that today’s oceans, and the waters in them, did not exist on the planet came as a shock to most earth scientists.
The Expanding Earth Theory is now generally accepted by the scientific community, and the Kant-Laplace nebular hypothesis of the Solar System and Earth's rapid creation as molten bodies ~4.5 billion years ago discredited. The Earth is gradually increasing in size--one layer at a time--by constant accretion of mass from outer space--a process called accreation (creation by accretion).
Nelson MandelaThe moment has come” Samson Zola, “I'm carrying my cultural weapon. He has no fear of it, though, despite the fact that right in the middle of modern townships, Inkatha fighters stil kill their enemies with traditional Zulu spears.” Nelson finished his speech. He comes close to me. I try to plunge the spear into his chest. A hand of surprising strength siezes mine. I realise I have once again underestimated Nelson. ~ Samson Zola.

In Laura Resnick's dystopia, years of civil war had torn apart the dream of a Rainbow nation. Samson Zola attempted to assassinate the President of South Africa, Nelson Mandela. Even though he loved him like a father, he saw the need to return South Africa to its people.
Nelson Mandela - Alternate Tyrant
Alternate Tyrant
In 1979, following Donny Osmond's appearance on the Tonight Show with his two deaf brothers, a straw poll of voters said that the brothers should have been excluded from the Osmonds, 80% v 20%. Musically the rendition of Crazy Horses wasn't very good, there never could have been a place in the charts for the Osmonds Plus.
In 12-18-4-9-17, the African writer Manda Buthelezi won the Emperor’s Staff for her powerful work Songs of the Popul Vuh. It was a massive tome detailing the difficulties of African immigrants in the Oueztecan Empire, and was widely read across the civilized world.
In 2000, the World's computers were still down with the millennium bug. Realisation begins to dawn that this is no blip.
In 1995, historian Richard M. Langworth described the early phases of World War III. Operation Overlord was modified to invade a very different Occuped Europe than that original envisaged. Halifax's carthaginian peace in May 1940 created a power vacuum, such that Stalin's conquest of Europe did not stop at Berlin. Consequently the Allies beach head was the first step on the long road to Moscow. “Without the logistical support of Stay Behind Organisations” said Langworth, "it is improbable that Overlord would have been a success". This reference to the Nazi Werwolf group run by Otto Skorzeny and Operation Glaudio in Italy is bound to create deep embarrassment in European Democracies. Complicity with defeated Fascist nations was hinted at in the banned movie Dr Strangelove: How I learned to stop worrying and love the Nazis, and was considered a no-no for many years.
In 1972, the balkanization of former British colonies in the “Third World” continued apace as East Pakistan became the new state of Bangladesh. Bengalese representatives were rotating members of the first Security Council in the Reconstructed United Nations during 2093.
In 2092, the United Nations Commission for the Survival of Life on Earth (UNCSLE) confirmed the extinction of avian species in the northern hemisphere.
In 1885, Alice Paul, founder of the National Women’s Party, was born in Mt. Laurel, New Jersey. Her bright version of a world where the voice of women would be the equal, if not the superior, of men’s, propelled the National Women’s Party to their control of the House in 1920, the Senate in 1926, and the Presidency in the 1928 elections.
In 1519, Spanish explorer Cortes saw the strange fruit known as momochitl among the Aztecs and tasted it. A kind of heated maize, the momochitl lacked the flavor and sweetness of the maize, and Cortes could understand why the Aztecs mainly used it as decoration. After European control of the Americas was secured, momochitl was never cultivated again, and its small white kernels no longer decorated the heads of Aztec women.

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