Friday, March 26, 2010

Source of Creativity in Others...

I'm awfully proud of myself today. I inspired someone else to start writing a story.

Here's the rather lengthy background:

I'm a member of an alternate-history Internet forum, which is what helped me come up with the ideas for my two Afrikaner stories ("Coil Gun" and "Picking Up Plans in Palma").

A board member whose handle is Avalon1 came up with a timeline based on S.M. Stirling's Draka novels. For those of you who don't know about those, they're an alternate history series from the late 1980s and early 1990s. In this world, the Dutch enter the Revolutionary War two years earlier than in ours and the British seize control of the Cape of Good Hope from them.

The British then settle thousands of loyalists, mostly from the South, on what Stirling called "the stolen goods of colonial empire"--the colony of Drakia, named for Sir Francis Drake. These loyalists, using an early breechloading rifle that actually existed in our world but wasn't adopted for some reason, proceeded to conquer and enslave the neighboring tribes, essentially transplanting the plantation system of the American South to Africa.

Swollen by exiled Haitian slaveholders, French aristocrats, Confederates, and the other losers of history, the Drakians--whose Dominion of Drakia becomes the Domination of the Draka--conquer and industrialize Africa. During WWI, they conquer the Ottoman Empire. 

During WWII, they extend their dominion across Europe and Asia.  In the late 20th Centurty, they ultimately end up defeating the United States and its allies (the Alliance for Democracy) and replacing humankind with Homo drakensis (a genetically-engineered immortal master race, meant to succeed them) and Homo servus (a slave race that's unaggressive and vulnerable to pheremonal manipulation, meant to succeed everyone else).

One of the big criticisms people had of the Draka timeline is how nobody takes notice of this monstrous slave empire and takes action to stop it before it gets too big. After all, in our world, people took notice of Hitler's shenanigans within six years of his taking power. This is known among Draka fans as "the stupid virus."

So Avalon1 wrote a spinoff of the Draka timeline where a Russian general named Lavr Kornilov, who in our world was involved in a rather dubious episode with the elected Russian government after the fall of the Czar that unintentionally helped pave the way for the Bolshevik takeover, succeeded in occupying St. Petersburg and wiping out the Communists. Come WWII, the Russian Republic manages to check the Draka advance and ultimately, the enlarged Alliance for Democracy brings down the Domination of the Draka.

Here's the timeline:

Avalon1's timeline was good, but he had some things I did not agree with. The opening of the timeline described how the Russians defeated the Draka, but all they did in WWII was get a status-quo ante peace (not so bad considering the Draka's unrealistic winning streak, but still) when I was expecting the Eagles of Muscovy on the Persian Gulf.  He also described the Draka, prevented from conquering all of Eurasia, annexing Antarctica for the heck of it.  When the Draka fell, he had the victorious Alliance essentially build inescapable prisons for the surviving drakensis (how these prisons were inescapable was essentially handwaved) and then, when people complained, had them all frozen in stasis on an asteroid.

However, anyone can complain. To do something constructive is better.

So I decided to write my own alternate timeline entitled "The Dragon and the Bear: The Domination vs Russia." It was Avalon1's concept as I imagined it, with a lot more military detail.  Avalon1 was entirely cool with it and in fact became one of my regular readers.

Here's the link:

The user-name whose handle is Snarf was also one of my regular readers.  He decided to write a story set in the 2040 of my timeline, 40 years after the Alliance for Democracy destroyed the Domination of the Draka and established the Terran Federation (in my opinion, the ideal form of world government, as it is essentially the United States of Earth).

The protagonist is a drakensis who was adopted by American parents in the aftermath of the Final War and raised in the United States (that was what was done with the youngest drakensis--those older than six were restricted to southern Africa, implanted with microchips and tracked via satellite).  He becomes a police officer, using his various unique abilities to fight crime. In the beginning chapter, he uses pheremonal manipulation to calm a frightened molestation victim and get a description of the perv in question, tracks the perpetrator's footprints in the dark using infrared vision, and proceeds to take the man down in two seconds using his superior strength and speed.

We've only discussed parts of the macro plotline, but I think it involves another drakensis, who fell into the hands of a crime family and was raised to be their ultimate enforcer.

Here's the link. Unfortunately, you need to be a member of the forum in order to read it. Those interested in discussing alternate history--and other topics, in the Chat forums--will be greatly interested in the site.


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