Altered Past Story

Sixth, we have the altered past story. These tales are based on the notion that the world would have been substantially different than it is, if some ma/or historical event had not happened, or if it had been reversed. For example, Philip K. Dick wrote a masterful Hugo Award-winning novel (The Hugo is the science fiction world's equivalent of the Oscar) The Man in the High Castle, which dealt with a world in which Germany and Japan won World War II and split the United States between them. That idea, clearly, is staggering. Keith Roberts' Pavanne tells the story of a world in which England did not defeat the Spanish Armada, Spain Catholicized England, and the Middle Ages, when science was considered necromancy and was banned, have never ended.

The wealth of story ideas is obvious. What if the South had won the Civil War? What if America had lost the Revolutionary War? What if a nuclear war had been fought in 1958? What if Lincoln had not been assassinated?

The new science fiction writer should be warned that the research required to write such a "period" science fiction novel is intense indeed. Before you can project how things would have developed since the historical event was rewritten, you must know how things really were back then, what forces would have filled the vacuum, what philosophy would have replaced the dead ones, what persons would have replaced the assassinated greats.

0 0

Post a comment