Cheeseburger Gothic

Not so lazy Sunday

Posted January 31, 2010 by John Birmingham
As always after a deadline, my office looks like a bunch of storm troopers had a barroom brawl with half a dozen Chechen war bands. So this morning I headed down to give it a clean out in preparation for the next round of deadlines. It didn't take too long. It never does when you just hold open a big garbage bag and sweep everything off the desk into it.

In tidying up I did have one stroke of luck. I found an unopened box which I had assumed was just reprints of Fellafel or one of the thrillers. Instead it turned out to be a small treasure trove of fantasy and sci-fi novels I'd ordered from Borderland Books in San Francisco, I think, almost exactly one year ago. It had been sitting there in the rubble and the rubbish that whole time. I think I might start with the Charlie Houston vampire noir novels first.

But not until I finish Steven King's Under the Dome, which I'm about three quarters through, and which I'm really loving. It's one of his big canvas projects, and possibly his best since The Stand. I'd find it hard to fault the book were I reviewing it. The characters are all brilliantly drawn, the pacing is perfect, and he's managed to pull off a trick that most genre writers find it all but impossible; embedding quite sophisticated political discourse deep under the cover of the surface narrative. He has a lot to say about politics, religion and ecology but he never preaches. Nor does he make the mistake of painting his villains and heroes in two dimensions with a limited palette. It gets JB's two thumbs up and a hearty recommendation for the next time you have a spare week to invest in a novel.

My next week is going to be invested in the rewrite of Leviathan. Sydney Theater Company have announced now that they'll be adapting it for their 2011 season, meaning I'd better get my arse into gear and get rolling on my update. That's partly what cleaning the office was about this morning, not just clearing work space on the desk, but clearing headspace so that I can shift from one project into the next without being held back by a lot of clutter and baggage.

I'm sort of looking forward to it, the change in pace. My first task is to go through the published papers of the early colonial governors extracting notes on the themes I'll be addressing in the new chapter, the city's aesthetic history. This will also be an interesting trial for the dictation software. I've been using it a lot to do columns and features, and it's proven itself more than useful in that area. This chapter, however, will run to at least 40 maybe 50,000 words, in effect, a standalone book. It's the first time I'll have tackled a project of that size from the get go using MacSpeech Dictate. I'll let you know how that works out.

The other thing I'll be trying is some writing software recommended by Hughesy. It's called Scrivener and I've got it on a 30 day free trial at the moment. She swears by it and I'm willing to give it a go on that basis, but I wanted to wait until I was at the start of a project. I won't use it for Leviathan, but I will see how it handles with the first draft of book 3 of the Wave trilogy.

127 Responses to ‘Not so lazy Sunday’

Abigail ducks in to say...

Posted January 31, 2010
Ah, JB, I'm going to have to my review my harsh feelings about Stephen King and give him a fair try.

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Bangar would have you know...

Posted January 31, 2010
I'm looking forward to the re-issue/reworking of Leviathan an excellent piece of work.

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Scott has opinions thus...

Posted January 31, 2010
I went through a King stage but then he lost me, might be time to give him another go.

Btw JB you poor bastard you know that in about 2/3 weeks from now you will need something you threw out! Done that now I give everything a quick look and if it is over 1/2 years old it goes.

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miche ducks in to say...

Posted January 31, 2010
Scriverner is only for Mac users. For those of us who are using a PC, Scriverner recommends PageFour from

http://www.softwareforwriting.com/

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joe would have you know...

Posted January 31, 2010
Yay! moar leviathan!!

some days u happy me lots an lots...

The last version was FKNAWSM, despite the rambling, sometimes overfamiliar prose and the impression it was a 2nd draft essay before the linking paragraphs were done. I guess it was only a draft eh?

well, bought it and im buying the next one too - 50000 more words? mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. yum

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Orin mutters...

Posted January 31, 2010
Watching the Barney between Amazon and McMillian is also entertainment this weekend.

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damian mutters...

Posted January 31, 2010
I've come across Scrivener before - not sure if it was after some discussion here or not. It DOES look good, actually. May try this 30 day trial myself, though I'm not so sure it's the impetus I need to get writing. Still not sure what that could be, really.

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Nocturnalist puts forth...

Posted January 31, 2010
I've heard some excellent things about Scrivener from writer friends who use it. I'll be interested to hear how it interacts with the speech input.

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lostatlunch reckons...

Posted January 31, 2010
what a great week.

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sibeen swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 31, 2010
Well I'm glad book 3 of the wave trilogy got a mention, even in passing. You know of course that us burgers will be baying for the third book approximately a week after the release of the second. Hounding you day and night, infesting your dreams with our lamentations, making inappropriate and completely off topic remarks over at blunty, badgering you mercilessly at burger get togehters; all in all making complete arses of ourselves.

Just a friendly heads up.

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PM Newton reckons...

Posted January 31, 2010
OK - I'm sold. The Dome goes on my list. The reviews I've read had me intrigued and I'm a big fan of genre that refuses to stay in its box and instead pushes the envelope and goes undercover to do the political thang.

And STC doing Leviathan, now that's going to be a must-see.

Those early governors wrote some interesting stuff. King's 1801 order that the “natives” along the Georges River were "to be driven back from the settler's habitation by firing at them" is a nice reminder that Keith Windschuttle et al are full of the brown stuff.

Looking forward to the results of your road testing of Mac Dictate - there ought to be a comish in there for you on sales prompted.

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savo reckons...

Posted January 31, 2010
Under the Dome is a rather excellent bit of writing Scott I'd highly recommend getting back into him with the Dome. The arm still playing up John or is the software that good?

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John Birmingham reckons...

Posted January 31, 2010
I'm still restricted to about 2hrs a day typing, which isn't enough. But having scaled the upper slopes of the learning curve, I've also become lightning fast with the software.

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NBlob mumbles...

Posted January 31, 2010
I'm suprised your desk gets buried in detritus, I thought you had Bunnies for that kind of thing.

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HAVOCK has opinions thus...

Posted January 31, 2010
I'm thinking shit stuck to the desk with the NUTs N Fkn Berries he eats N bob

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Abigail puts forth...

Posted January 31, 2010
JB, btw, that's brilliant news about STC adaptation- I meant to say that before. Are you excited?

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sparty would have you know...

Posted February 1, 2010
I really liked under the dome, worked on all sorts of levels. Interestingly although its one of his longer books it actually reads like one of his shorter faster paced novellas or more like a return to his firestarter, deadzone type of pace. And he really thought through the dome concept- would be great to see all his working notes...

Abigail- read the long walk (stephen king writing under the pen name of Richard Bachman)- i promise you will NOT be wasting your time

http://www.amazon.com/Bachman-Books-Early-Novels-Stephen/dp/0451147367/ref=pd_rhf_shvl_1

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Sweet Jane Says reckons...

Posted February 1, 2010
Somewhere between the Yukon and Aricibo:

http://www.santafe.com/articles/from-ghosts-to-mutilated-cattle-to-aliens-to-hums-the-land-of-enchantment-is-also-land-of-the-strange - Underground Bases and Tunnels, by Richard Saunder, Ph.D. (Adams Hall) - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Hum

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Sweet Jane Says swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted February 1, 2010
The Schumann resonances (SR): The limited dimensions of the Earth cause this waveguide to act as a resonant cavity for electromagnetic waves in the ELF band. The cavity is naturally excited by electric currents in lightning.

And don't forget the oscillations of String Theory - that is - if you want a scientifically based reason behind it all.

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Sweet Jane Says would have you know...

Posted February 1, 2010
J.

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Paul Nicholas Boylan ducks in to say...

Posted February 1, 2010
Okay, so here in Sunny California it is now Sunday, and my lazy day will be devoted to watching television and drinking alcohol until I fall asleep. Now THATS living - albeit not as productive as what John describes.

One more thought: all this talk about the third wave book is encouraging, but the discussion on the mechanics of Kolhammer's presidency resulted in my current rereading of Final Impact again reminding me again how wonderful the AoT series was and hoping agan that there will be more someday.

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simon bedak is gonna tell you...

Posted February 1, 2010
great stuff

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Therbs ducks in to say...

Posted February 1, 2010
STC is an exciting development. Looking forward to the Leviathan update.

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Guru Bob asserts...

Posted February 1, 2010
STC version of Leviathan - I suppose that means that you will be swilling champagne with Cate Blanchett and her cohorts sometime in the near future? NOICE!

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Quokka mumbles...

Posted February 1, 2010
Cate?

This is job for Bell Shakespeare.

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NBlob is gonna tell you...

Posted February 1, 2010
Wondering who would be sufficiently fat & venal to play the role of Sydney?

Ol' Mooface Bert Newton ?

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NBlob mutters...

Posted February 1, 2010
That should be mooN face, but moo face works to I guess

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Therbs would have you know...

Posted February 1, 2010
NBob - Once again we get sniggering from the provinces about good ol' Sydney town. Get back to those floods and fires and protect my carbon offests from further damage before I set my Bondi cockroaches against you.

Now waiter, a large Bombay Sapphire and tonic if you don't mind and please remove that tree which is blocking my view of the water, there's a good lad.

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Chaz swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted February 1, 2010
Excellent news about Leviathan finally coming off the blocks.

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NBlob asserts...

Posted February 1, 2010
Yessir Mr. Therbs sir. At once sir.

Would you like a chocolate swirl ice cream with that?

Nyuk nyuk nyuk.

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Therbs asserts...

Posted February 1, 2010
Ice cream? With G&T? Hmmmm, hadn't thought of that. An intriguing concept which requires further contemplation and research, but please leave the choccie coloured bits out of the gelato. That's a purely Coogee Bay afftectation developed for the ratsacker market and isn't well regarded north of Alison Road.

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Otto would have you know...

Posted February 1, 2010
possible spoiler alert....would be interested JB if you have the same view of the ending of The Dome....it just seemed to be rushed, or, oh so neatly tied up. Give or take a 'hero's' death or two. Maybe it was the time of the day I was reading it (very late, after being utterly engrossed for along period of time). I am sure your publisher wouldn't do the same to you.

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Albion Love Den (Blue Box) has opinions thus...

Posted February 1, 2010
I'm ready to wager than Brisbane Arts Theatre would do a crackin' version of Leviathon. Way more dick jokes than those bunch of toffs at STC.

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Cobargian reckons...

Posted February 1, 2010
Leviathan the Musical? And does that mean you're rewriting history?

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Quokka mumbles...

Posted February 1, 2010
I envisaged it more as slapstick pantomime with gun battles and tossing of cream pies.

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Quokka ducks in to say...

Posted February 1, 2010
And Faff. It needs a sprinkling of Faff.

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Timmo mutters...

Posted February 1, 2010
'I’m ready to wager than Brisbane Arts Theatre would do a crackin’ version of Leviathon. Way more dick jokes than those bunch of toffs at STC.'

And given that us Qlders are apparently spending all NSW money, we may as well spend it on their stories...

...which of course, it takes a Qlder to write properly :)

Oooh, watershed moment folks - I just realised I identify as a Qlder in this scenario!

(I'll be blue as they come when State of Origin comes round though...)

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Therbs has opinions thus...

Posted February 1, 2010
There's nothing that the STC could do which wouldn't be aced by a Bedes/Girl Clumsy collaboration. But that probably goes without saying.

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Abigail reckons...

Posted February 1, 2010
So is Bedes another resident thespian? sorry guys, *still sorting out names/context. Is Bedes in felafel as well? I wish I could see it!

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Abigail mumbles...

Posted February 1, 2010
John, this is quite an honour for you. They're a pretty major-league company .....famous and all that. Wow, really.

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Abigail reckons...

Posted February 1, 2010
GC, I wish you much success in theatre. You've got a vibrant presence here and I'm sure you're even more so on stage:)

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Greybeard reckons...

Posted February 1, 2010
@NowhereBob, February 1, 2010 @ 10:03 am

"Wondering who would be sufficiently fat & venal to play the role of Sydney?"

Silly boy! (Smiles and waits for the phone to ring with an offer)

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NBlob mumbles...

Posted February 1, 2010
Miss Abigail, Bedes is our cattle barron who between emasculating boy calves adapted the original HDWAFIHH to script form.

Greybeard. My apologies memsahib. The foolishness of (relative) yoof.

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Therbs has opinions thus...

Posted February 1, 2010
Mr Bedak is also a key player in the exclusive club scene and if asked nicely will run a football tipping competition. Last year's included some delightful swearing in the weekly submissions from very enthusiastic participants.

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Quokka puts forth...

Posted February 1, 2010
I met Bedes at GC's play on Sat night and am happy to vouch for his character.

I expected him to look like Russell Brand, and told Mayhem as much.

He does not.

Which was really rather funny, however being a polite marsupial I resisted the temptation to laugh.

Bedes, on the other hand, spent about three minutes pointing at me and gurgling 'YOU'RE QUOKKA! YOU! YOU'RE QUOKKA!'

yeah, SO?

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Quokka asserts...

Posted February 1, 2010
Maybe he thought that I'd look like Russell Brand too.

In hindsight, I should have asked.

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Paul Nicholas Boylan swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted February 1, 2010
I am going to win the next footy tipping competition.

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Quokka reckons...

Posted February 1, 2010
PNB, stick to cows.

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NBlob swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted February 1, 2010
how? glue? velcro? Duct / gaff tape?

Or is representing bovine litigants a key part of Professor Boylans practice?

I'm confused

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Paul Nicholas Boylan asserts...

Posted February 1, 2010
Will someone tell them how I did in last year's contest - despite not knowing a fucking thing about footy?

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NBlob ducks in to say...

Posted February 1, 2010
Oh and Aunty Q I empathise with your suprise.

It was a profoundly odd experience to discover, contrary to baseless asumptions, that Medway was a man.

Cue Jen "And what a man he is."

I am currently striving to excise the mental image of our portly patrician having parchment skin, ruby eyes and little canine fangs peeking out over his bottom lip.

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Paul Nicholas Boylan ducks in to say...

Posted February 1, 2010
That's not true: even I knew that Collingwood is the BEST footy team evah!

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Paul Nicholas Boylan would have you know...

Posted February 1, 2010
Or is that St. Kilda? Hell, I have really have no idea...

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NBlob puts forth...

Posted February 1, 2010
Sibeen, did you catch Prof Windschuttle on the radio this afternoon? Aparrantly the "Stolen Generation" is a invention / conspiracy.

What a guy!

prof google can find it for you; ABC + radio national + counterpoint. Download & laugh along.

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Quokka has opinions thus...

Posted February 1, 2010
Nbob.

Go to youtube and search 'cow tipping' or 'how to tip cows'.

I'd post the link, but you know.

Information this century and all.

Failing that I am sure PNB can issue instructions thanks to his zany misspent youth.

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Abigail swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted February 1, 2010
Nowhere Bob- I do love a laugh at the expense of the feeble so I'll listen to Keith Windbag on Counterpoint, counterpointing Peter Reid's years and years of research and the primary sources.

A cattle desexer among us? this could be handy at some stage.

And PNB- you used an Australian accent ("evah") see, it's not difficult. Unless you're Meryl Streep.

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Chaz has opinions thus...

Posted February 1, 2010
Quokka, yes meeting the Squire is always an experience. usually expensive and alcoholic...

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Mayhem mumbles...

Posted February 1, 2010
Yaaay the FAFF is back. Mind you, it was a little disconcerting to have Mr Bedak suddenly realise and bellow "You're the FAFFERS" at us on saturday night! We admitted to being devotees of the almighty FAFF. No shame us!

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Bangar has opinions thus...

Posted February 1, 2010
Chaz, aren't the best meetings that way?

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Quokka reckons...

Posted February 1, 2010
I try to pretend that Windscuttle doesn't exist.

La la la.

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damian is gonna tell you...

Posted February 1, 2010
What's this Windshuttle thing? Something to do with navigation equipment that the sextant made obsolete in the 17th century?

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Quokka reckons...

Posted February 1, 2010
Damien, try wikipedia for his full bio but basically he's a holocaust denier.

He also likes to sound off about other great 'hoaxes'.

I suspect that his real agenda is that he likes to create as much distress as possible for any vulnerable group that's been persecuted.

It gives the man a woody.

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damian would have you know...

Posted February 1, 2010
More like a bolt on. A piersing. A "sorry if the sextant thing was a bit obscure", in truth.

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damian mumbles...

Posted February 1, 2010
Actually, the Quadrant thing is a theme I find really interesting. Among other things, the sextant and chronometer enabled navigation accurate enough to circumnavigate the world safety and directly enabled Cook's expeditions, his detailed charts of the east coast and all the explorers and early administrators were widely read Enlightenment intellectuals who had very progressive social ideas for the day. Basing an intellectual circle around the quadrant is like rejecting the science, technology and ideas of democracy and equality of opportunity that arose through that age, stating a clear preference for the Old Ways. I find it ironic these people identify with flawed older technology, just as they identify with an obsolete, vicious and insular world view.

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Abigail has opinions thus...

Posted February 1, 2010
Damian, that's an interesting way of seeing it. Yes, quite right too.

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NBlob swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted February 1, 2010
Phrenology and spirit writing are popular at their anual get togethers too D.

An even funner bunch of cats is the Center for Independent Studies, they Self Identify as a Free market, small government think tank. In reality they are a frontspiece for as close to a conspiracy as you are likely to get. Always good for a grab refuting the latest progressive policy. One bloke explained once that The Market had saved the whales. When Whale oil become commercially unviable alternatives were found.

While talking matters maritime. We wern't but ahem anyway.

In ye olde navigation days, they rather cleverly with the help of copius books of tables, a sextant, a chronograph, clear skies, a metric crapload of skill & a little good luck they could fix their position reasonably well.

What I find quite amazing is the relative accuracy of the charts created. If one overlays Cap'n Cooks original charts of the East Coast with modern Ubeaut satelite photograph based charts the error is tiny. In order of fractions of a percent. Quite extraordinary.

I had one old bloke explain that sailing @ 5 0r 6 knots for weeks on end gave one a very high sample rate, if one rejects the Way Out results, the finished product is really pretty good.

Where as we blast about at 20 knots.

While I'll pass on the scurvy, lashings, class warfare & most of the sodomy I think there would have been a certain something that we have lost in modern shipping.

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Mayhem swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted February 1, 2010
Nbob lol! Only Most of the sodomy? Been hangin around Greybeard too long?

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damian puts forth...

Posted February 1, 2010
Mayhem, what happens in the forecastle stays in the forecastle.

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Guy reckons...

Posted February 1, 2010
JB - re: Leviathan - I've recently discovered that one of my ancestors was a man named William Dawes who was apparently a naval officer with the first fleet to Australia at the end of hte 18th century. An Australian friend in my office here in London tells me that she thinks there is a place in or near Sydney called Dawes Point, which is named after him. Do you happen to know if this is true?

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Paul Nicholas Boylan reckons...

Posted February 2, 2010
It isn't true, Guy. Sorry. I was once assured I was related to President Grover Cleveland. That, too, was untrue.

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Abigail ducks in to say...

Posted February 2, 2010
ooooh Nbob;;;;;; (running legs, going off to find out about these guys ;;;;;;)

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Quokka has opinions thus...

Posted February 2, 2010
Damian - Ah...I get it.

Guy - yes.

We stay at a Hotel in Dawes Point when we slink off to Sydney.

If you google whereis.com and punch it in it should come up.

Not sure how well it works from London but it works fine from Brisbane...

Its a bunch of old wharves off to one side of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the grungy old warehouses on the docks been converted into hotels, restaurants and the home of the Bangarra Theatre Company. If you google that or 'Siebel Hotel' @ The Rocks, Sydney, you should get a few images off it.

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Quokka has opinions thus...

Posted February 2, 2010
Guy, my spelling sux - www.sebelpierone.com.au

there's a history page with some old photos of Dawes Point and Walsh Bay.

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Barnesm reckons...

Posted February 2, 2010
I am calling 'Shenanigins' over at the Blunt Instrunment- have tried to type in the password a dozen times and it doesn't recognise it. Keeps suggesting the same password SLADER even if I reload password.

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sibeen ducks in to say...

Posted February 2, 2010
I am calling ‘Shenanigins’ over at the Blunt Instrunment

*smug look*

It let me post over there the other day.

First time in about 6 bloody months, but it did let me post :)

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Barnesm swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted February 2, 2010
My security code DOES match you malisous piece of software

Here is what I wanted to post, will keep trying

I’ll confess I too jumped on the myschools website as soon as it was working. But I am the person it was built for, the aspirational (I hate the word but it's apt) middle class.

1st the Falcon academy that my son the_weapon attends. It past muster very well. Not surprised by the results as we did a lot of checking on statistics, NAPLAN, demographics, ENTER scores etc.. before we considered it.

And therein is my problem with the myschools website.

We moved the_weapon from the state school he attended because we were unhappy with the academic achievement. We also had problems many other aspects of the school but I’ll stick to the NAPLAN results. This concern was well founded when you compare the myschools results from that school, lots of pinks and reds, to the Falcon Academy's lots of light and dark greens (I wonder if they considered blue for the colour of above the median results but were too worried about blue blood considerations).

But there are still parents who have their kids at that same state school. Why? Because they can not afford to put them into a private school. Do they work as hard as I too? sure probably longer hours and crappier work, do they love their kids? of course, are they concerned about their children’s future? terrified I would think. But all the myschools website does for them it confirm their worse fears. Won't this just mean less reasourse for these schools as those that can leave?

If parents didn’t have the option to move their kids to other schools, would we allow any of these struggling schools to continue to do as badly as they do?

Cool to see how many $,000s more for the same scores. I am looking at you bigprivateposhschool.

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Quokka swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted February 2, 2010
Right.

I'm not even trying, today.

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Barnesm ducks in to say...

Posted February 2, 2010
Right, now its saying SPANMER is the password and it STILL says its wrong.

CRAPTASTIC

I hope my continual postings fill the spam trap it and overflows and drowns the deathstar.

also darryltj is back and in need of a good kicking and I CAN"T POST FRAK!

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Barnesm swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted February 2, 2010
"my pay to pay for the education of kids from drug and boozed out parents that make no effort whatsoever to educate/raise their own children" this is the sort of stuff that darryltj is saying and I have to let go unremarked

FRAK!!!!!

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Barnesm swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted February 2, 2010
OKAY

I am going to get up and get a cup off coffee and when I get back I expect the password problem to be resolved.

You hear me nationaltimes death star, there will be blood, it might be yours

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NBlob has opinions thus...

Posted February 2, 2010
If I was to compile a list of those I'd least like on my case with a hardon for revenge, Brig Barnes would be in the top 10.

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Quokka would have you know...

Posted February 2, 2010
you could count me as one of his minions Nbob but it sounds like a good day to go out to early movies and lunch with a friend.

FK the deathstar.

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Barnesm would have you know...

Posted February 2, 2010
Okay now the website is just taking the piss, my password is

'NERKED' and its not recognising it

funny NERKED describes exactly how I feel at the moment.

It also suxs that at least 11 comments have made it up, but not mine including Damiens

"Private schooling is for people for whom a modern secular education is offensive in some way, or who do not wish their offspring to rub shoulders with the children of the less privileged, lest this promote a dangerously egalitarian conception of humanity as a species"...

as someone who son is in Private school I say to him this nonsense with nobs on.

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Barnesm is gonna tell you...

Posted February 2, 2010
My security code DOES MATCH you effing MUPPET! (sorry, came over all HAVSEY then)

I have tried to send an email but got a 'no response from the server' but six attempts latter eventually I was able to send an email.

Tried to find a phone number of fax but that was unsuccessfull after all how 20th century.

Am now attempting to arrange 200,000 Chinese to launch a dinial of service attack on the national times website by claiming it is a subsiduary of Google.

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Barnesm swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted February 2, 2010
Now I'v been DERKED.

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John Birmingham ducks in to say...

Posted February 2, 2010
I've put yours up using the back door.

Email me if you keep getting arse fucked like this.

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damian ducks in to say...

Posted February 2, 2010
Barnes, your nobby nonsense is my deliberate stirring. Apologies for sweeping you up in my generalisation.

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Lobes has opinions thus...

Posted February 2, 2010
What is the address of the NAPLAN website with the school rankings?

I want to see where my old school comes before I decide how offended I get.

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Barnesm reckons...

Posted February 2, 2010
Damian

No worries I figured you had tongue firmly planted in cheek, but it helped me give something to rant about not being able to comment on.

Mind you no excuse for darrylt

Thanks Birmo you are a prince among men.

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NBlob mutters...

Posted February 2, 2010
Noblesse Oblige I believe Brig Barnes.

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Paul Nicholas Boylan has opinions thus...

Posted February 2, 2010
There is a whole lot of nerking-off going on.

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Barnesm mutters...

Posted February 2, 2010
Lobes you can get the NAPLAN stuff from the myschools website its the results the catagories are based on.

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Paul Nicholas Boylan mumbles...

Posted February 2, 2010
Something weird is going on at Blunty. When I got there, it thanked me for my comment in advance of me posting anything. I bet some fuck-knuckling nerkoff is responsible.

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damian is gonna tell you...

Posted February 2, 2010
Admit it Paul, you've bookmarked the "Thank you for commenting" message because you crave appreciation and your clients are insufficiently grateful. Be careful, comrade, as this road leads to handing out $50 notes in the street for the fleeting glimpse of joy in the recipient's eye.

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damian has opinions thus...

Posted February 2, 2010
NBob - so long as it's not Droit de Seigneur. Which is apparently a large hairy dog, or something.

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Paul Nicholas Boylan puts forth...

Posted February 2, 2010
Actually, the women (and occasional man) who were subject to Droit d Seigneur traditionally referred to the Lord that insisted on that right as a large hairy dog.

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damian ducks in to say...

Posted February 2, 2010
Ah, thank you for clearing up that point.

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Paul Nicholas Boylan reckons...

Posted February 2, 2010
I really didn't have a point.

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damian is gonna tell you...

Posted February 2, 2010
I often feel that way myself.

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Barnesm is gonna tell you...

Posted February 2, 2010
I can imagine circumstances where If I handed over $50 on street I expect to be receiving more than a fraking 'fleeting glimpse of joy in the recipient’s eye'.

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Abigail has opinions thus...

Posted February 2, 2010
I can't see Blunty today and Ed. is my pet topic.

Normally it's posted here at CBG. Hmmm....

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damian asserts...

Posted February 2, 2010
Abigail - see the "Blunty at NT" link up the top there. This link can be bookmarked...

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Quokka mumbles...

Posted February 2, 2010
Barnesm, have a kava tablet.

And then smack something.

You'll feel soooooooo much better.

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Abigail would have you know...

Posted February 2, 2010
D'oh, not sure they accepted my comment re security code

it did something weird when I tried to post it!

Here tis, for Blunty... (but this is NOT assuming it'll go there, just in case)

"I've taught in both systems and my child has been educated in both systems. Currently she is in a public high school and that is her choice.She likes her friends and loves not having to wear a uniform straight out of Picnic At Hanging Rock.

I think the private system does *some* things better, except they lack pluralism and they *Make* you, as a family, focus on money (because you'll always have to find the f****ing stuff) rather than the education itself. I have a problem with my daughter being taught by adults who are paid less per week than their students receive in pocket money per week (some of them anyway).

JB, I see this your way.

I definitely have a problem subsidising cleaning fees for swimming pools which can only be accessed under strict conditions anyway, and for state-of-the-art science labs if my own child has no future in science, because why does she need a science lab with polished boards and antique seating ? (so to speak) She needs good teachers.

Darryl, about the drug f**** parents, plenty of train wrecks send their kids to the local Grammar school , take my word for it. In fact, private school parents can be the worst bullies because they hold their school over a barrel constantly and demand the most ridiculous , unrealistic outcomes which no money in the world can fix because it's about their child's temperament, or indeed their *own* temperament.

Did you know there are presently private school parents refusing to pay their full fees if their child doesnt get the marks 'promised' ? True.

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NBlob swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted February 2, 2010
Damian, Thankyou for making a big difference to an otherwise dire afternoon.

You provided a link to "What's Rangoon to you..." a few months ago. I downloaded it and stuck it in the Nokia. I had started it a few times, but hadn't finished it. This afternoon @ Nambour Hospital I had the chance to listen start to finish.

Thankyou thankyou and thankyou.

Danniken is still hung up on the jellyfish.

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damian reckons...

Posted February 2, 2010
Bob - you're very welcome and I'm delighted to have been of service. I hope your dad is doing okay.

And my regards to Princess Dog.

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hughesy would have you know...

Posted February 2, 2010
Hey JB - who's writing the adaptation? I'd like to get them up for Reality Bites fest this year to talk about adapting and dramatising non-fiction.

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Guy swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted February 2, 2010
Quokka - thanks for letting me have the link. One day I hope to see Sydney for myself and perhaps check out Dawes Point. However, my fav Aussie girl here in London tells me that I should forget Sydney and instead visit her home town of Townsville which is, if she is to be believed, a paradise on earth...

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Granger Coulee ducks in to say...

Posted February 2, 2010
Hey JB,

Look mate, I'm troubled by your reliance on flakey technology like all this blogging shit. I think that you should start writing nice things about old ladys and flowers rather than all that nasty stuff about men masturbating together with goats.

Fuck bloging. Go to the pub now. Yes Now. and talk to a real person and do a real thing like have a piss in a flowerbed under the nasty glare of brisbane traffice headlights.

Or get a nice haircut and a real job selling video recorders ;-)

Copya...Granger

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NBlob has opinions thus...

Posted February 2, 2010
Guy dont be mislead.

Townsville is like combining the stifling heat & humidity of living in a hot water system cabinet, with a searing tropical light that can & does little blind baby kittens.

Micologists (fungi freaks) reguard Townsville as some kind of Babylon, a mythical place where you can enjoy tinea between the fingers and all manner of interesting jock rots and thrushes while straight up fungi can sprout in your pants in under an hour.

What Townsville people call a Public Swimming Pool, others would call soup.

You've heard about all the whizzo lethal animals we have? They all (except F.W.Spiders) live in Townsville. The best bit of all is that over the summer mionths when immersion in salt water would offer some temporary release & relief from the lethal climate, Irikanji & Box Jelly fishes make that a life gambling endeavour. Recently we've found (after being here for >200 years)(we're either a little slow or distracted by other things trying to eat us) that the all but invisible irikanjki can be found up to 50K upstream in rivers & creeks.

Just in case you manage to score a aircon office (or front public bar) to evade the worst of the day time heat & humidity, Townsville has one last little trick. A massive heat sink at the end of town. Castle Rock bakes in the tropical sun all day then pumps that heat right back out as the evening progresses ensuring that on some nights the adjacent neighbourhood never dips below 35 degrees C. Ever tried to sleep in 30 deg + with a humidity of 70%? I thought only Dom Delouise could sweat lying still until I was in Townsville in December. There are stories of little kids dangerously dehydrating overnight while asleep.

In short Townsville is a fetid backwater cursed by location and plagued by climate, lethal fauna and interesting tropical diseases with one sole saving grace.

It ain't Charters Towers.

UN International Sh!thole of the year, 40 years running.

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Guy swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted February 2, 2010
Cheers Bob - your detailed descriptions of the surprisingly wide variety of fungal infections and poisonous beasties that await the unsuspecting tourist have convinced me that I should not include Townsville on my list of must-see destinations. I can't help but wonder what this Charters Towers place might be like?

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Abigail mutters...

Posted February 2, 2010
Nbob- That's as nr. perfect a description of Townsville I've yet heard ;)

I thought somebody mentioned the US air force/army? left them Castle Hill. Gee, thanks for nothing guys.

Although I liked Townsville - weirdly, oddly nice. Great aquarium there.

When we were there it was "off season" for Irikandji, but lo! what did they find in the public baths (or perhaps it was the beach) one day after we left?

Also, when we were on Fitzroy Island , off Cairns, again, supposedly off season for box jelly fish, I quizzed the manager (because I was really fkn paranoid) and he said "well we can never say you *won't encounter one at any time of yr, because it's possible" I stuck to the pool. I mean, it's such a beautiful place- the water off Fitzroy was stunning to behold- but such a torture.

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Mayhem is gonna tell you...

Posted February 2, 2010
Nbob, I read Guy's question earlier, and wasn't game to answer honestly, just in case his favourite Aussie girl over there is more than just a friend.

Frankly I think you were a little understated, but then you probably have no reason to know that the half of my family that DON'T live in Canberra or Melbourne or Brisbane, DO live in Townsville. Brings the tone down more than a peg I tells ya. Best thing my folks ever did was move us out of there when I was but a wee tacker.

Had to go back a couple of times for The Brat's basketball, but 2nd time I only stayed a day. Yeah expensive day trip, but beats staying overnight lol!

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Quokka has opinions thus...

Posted February 3, 2010
Guy, no wuzzas.

The Rocks is a nice place to stay, they have markets on the weekend and lots of kickass places to eat around there. Its also an easy walk to circular quay where you can get one of the ferries to anywhere worth going on the Sydney Harbour.

I spent most of 1985 in Townsville studying James Cook Uni.

I was pissed out of my mind on Tequila cocktails every weekend so don't remember much of it but Ditto to what Nbob said.

He forgot to add that its an incredibly racist town and its a good place to go if you want an STD.

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damian reckons...

Posted February 3, 2010
Townsville is nice, really. But go there in *winter*, which occurs yearly on a Tuesday afternoon in August. Nearly anywhere on the Queensland coast between there and Brisbane can be nice, but avoid Airlie Beach where 70% of the population is made up of British or German backpackers at any given time. The NSW coast is nice too, but beware the towns whose economy is based around speeding fines, and make sure and watch the documentary The Cars that ate Paris carefully before driving anywhere south of the Tweed.

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NBlob is gonna tell you...

Posted February 3, 2010
Damian, You know about notifyable diseases. Health authorities require Drs diagnosing certain serious communicable diseases to give anon stats - eg Female 38 year old HIV.

Airlie Beach is, by an order of magnitude, the highest reporting region for STDs in Australia. Fed Health launched an investigation, we all sniggered and blamed dirty little Euro backpackers.

Problem was that backpackers don't waste $ on Drs. It was found to be hospitality industry workers. Waiters barmen & barristas. ugh.

Arranging a weekend @ Lennox Head as we speak & Hastings Point is my happy place.

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Quokka mutters...

Posted February 3, 2010
I too give a firm thumbs up for visiting the beaches along northern NSW.

Avoid during school holidays.

And don't sleep with the bar staff.

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damian is gonna tell you...

Posted February 3, 2010
I'm sure the dreadlocked backpackers ("Lutz! Nimm von uns ein Foto") make up a pretty stable and deep reservoir. Though obviously the hospitality workers of whom you speak must develop an immunity to the twinned fragrances of BO and patchouli. Maybe it's a prerequisite for the job?

Big thumbs up for Lennox Head, btw.

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Quokka mutters...

Posted February 3, 2010
ER...Guy, do edjumacate yourself about RIPS and how to recognize them before you go out for a paddle, though.

Personally I'd like to see that little video played on the plane trip over here, would save the surf life savers all across the country a shitload of effort in pulling tourists out of the FKN surf.

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Abigail mutters...

Posted February 3, 2010
I'm with you guys. I like the north coast of NSW a lot. Coffs Harbour is great. I mean, it's not stunning, but it's so friendly and relaxed that you do feel like you're having a real break from stressed co-workers and so on in the city. Subtle difference between a break and a holiday, I guess.

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Abigail swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted February 3, 2010
Damian- patchouli oil fragrance: the backpackers and massage places up there all cancel each other out. On returning from a month in Byron hinterland I had begun to believe the world was supposed to smell of patchouli oil. "No?" "No"

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damian puts forth...

Posted February 3, 2010
Abi, it's my experience that patchouli oil combined with acrid, penetrating body odour is the characteristic smell of hippies, everywhere. So much so that the slightest hint of the latter will usually induce the perception of the former in my olfactory apparatus on its own.

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NBlob reckons...

Posted February 3, 2010
Lennox is for a mates 40th camping break / baby farm / weekend away. Sigh, most of my friends started baby making late, so why do I, who sensibly got it out of the way in the very early 20s have to deal with the repucussions?

She Who Must Be Obeyed has expressed some reservation about driving for 4 hours to "Squat in the rain like FKN Hippies." So I'm looking around for accomodation options with a roof & a kettle. Professor Google isn't helping a lot. Do you have any tips hints or ideas?

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Quokka mumbles...

Posted February 3, 2010
Yes. Stay home.

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Quokka would have you know...

Posted February 3, 2010
Or pack the strop...

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NBlob would have you know...

Posted February 8, 2010
Silver Sands caravan park for the win.

weather FAIL.

Good time was had by all tho.

As an aside, is there an established protocol for when a friend's mum directly asks one to supply her with a certain green proscribed narcotic sustance? As her elderly neighbour has reccomended it for sleepless QLD summer nights.

A: "I don't know what you are talking about. I'm high on Jeebus"

B: "Ask your son."

C: "Who me? Why me?"

D: Roll up a slim little number and take her for a walk around the block.

Dog help me I went with option D.

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NBlob ducks in to say...

Posted February 9, 2010
*crickets*

What line? oh, thaaat line. Back there, the one I seem to have stepped over.

Sorry 'bout that.

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Respond to 'Not so lazy Sunday'

One week. 24 000 words.

Posted January 20, 2010 by John Birmingham
That's what I just did. When I sent the redrafted manuscript off I was expecting to have a month to work thru my line edits and fix up the epic battle at the end of the book. The publishers wanted to punch on thru and give ourselves the option of a slightly earlier release I guess. So that timetable got crunched. An extra 24k of explodey goodness and two paragraphs of character development were needed. But I done it. It's gone away now.

When next I see this bastard it will be in galley proofs. Big, fat fucking glorious expanses of A3 paper.

Soon after that we can do that funny thing where I give you the Fedex tracking number and you can watch the finished, hard copy ms wind its way to the desks of my publishers for one last read thru.

Hats off to all who helped, which was most of you at one time or another, answering my desperate research queries.

A particular dip o' the propeller beanie to Murph who did yeoman service in the trenches when it counted and was still researching questions about airborne assaults into urban environments at half past really fucking late last night. And of course to my long suffering family. Those poor bastards.

What a fucking year.

Anyway. A few days rest for JB. I have a feature to do, but it's on a topic I love and will be something of a break. Kids back at school next week when Steve Jobs will also launch Apple's new tablet based on the data slate from WoC. My agents are still working out the details but I'm thinking a 3% cut from the retail price would be about right. Might have a proper day off to celebrate then.

78 Responses to ‘One week. 24 000 words.’

Al mutters...

Posted January 20, 2010
Nice work!

'24k of explodey goodness and two paragraphs of character development'

I like that ratio!

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WalkingShaw ducks in to say...

Posted January 20, 2010
Awesome -- so when are the revised release dates?

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Paul Nicholas Boylan asserts...

Posted January 20, 2010
Coming here has removed any illusions I may have had about the romance of a writer's life. Incredibly hard work - the results of which I cannot wait to see. Hope you get some time off.

4% isn't an unreasonable figure.

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Mayhem reckons...

Posted January 20, 2010
Excellent news JB! Congratulations and well done.

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Abigail is gonna tell you...

Posted January 20, 2010
I already congratulated you ,JB, but when I saw this I thought to myself that your kids must be very happy *for* you, to see you complete the cycle ; you know, it all gets noticed, kids don't miss a trick.They'll have some good and interesting memories of having grown up with a writer.

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donna puts forth...

Posted January 20, 2010
Good one JB, how bloody marvelous it must feel to be done! I agree with PNB I no longer have any romantic illusions about a writers life, seemed a bit like a battle till the end to me!

When do you think it will be on the shelves for devouring by your adoring fans....??

Of course I will re-read the first one just to refresh...woo hoo cant wait, loved the first one, I'm sure the second is going to go off with a huge bang!

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Chaz mumbles...

Posted January 20, 2010
Yes JB take the kids for a day on the beach eating ice cream and fish and chips. Then back to work tomorrow for your next book.

Chop chop.

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girlclumsy puts forth...

Posted January 20, 2010
Congrats!

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Abe puts forth...

Posted January 20, 2010
Nice work. I'm not even going to mention the $10.

What's the topic of the feature?

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Therbs puts forth...

Posted January 20, 2010
So it took two whole paragraphs to develop the frocked up FKN HAVOCK!!character?! I reckon those two pars could have been better spent rescuing some swing top bottles of Grolsch.

Congrats on getting it done. Sure you wanna use Fedex? Look what happened to the volleyball in Castaway. You want your manuscript being used as an imaginary friend by a marooned Fedex exec?

Kick back, have a beer. And don't scratch those scars on ya noggin.

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HAVOCK swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 20, 2010
Cheers..good job, but THATS about as far as I am willing to go on the back slappin, ot else you will be un fkn bearable.

Good to see you have realised my suggestions on more explodin shite was both SOUND and valid..I always told you i know better on all matters including BEEEEEER!.

Well somebody had to take an opposing stance, if for not other reason than it was AGAINST YOU.

PS..doc now knows co's he asked the Q.

NO..I have not tried grolsch..but will over the next couple of days

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Bangar mumbles...

Posted January 20, 2010
Congrats, sooner is better.

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Paul Nicholas Boylan has opinions thus...

Posted January 20, 2010
Don't do it, Havock. Drinking Grolsch is a sign of physical weakness and questionable spirituality.

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HAVOCK reckons...

Posted January 20, 2010
The better to know my enemies PNB...

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Abigail mutters...

Posted January 20, 2010
Abe, you're too compassionate. This is exactly the right time to mention the $10; he's finished the m/s = he's coming into at least $10 soon. Hit the man up for those notes, Abe Frellman.

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NBlob mumbles...

Posted January 20, 2010
Nice one skipper.

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Medway mutters...

Posted January 20, 2010
Good work, mate.

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DrYobbo puts forth...

Posted January 20, 2010
Well done. Gold star for you.

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Rhino mumbles...

Posted January 20, 2010
Great job JB ... can't imagine pumping out that volume of words ... coherently, at least.

Can't wait to see the final version!

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Brian swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 20, 2010
'Bout time. It was the whining that was getting on me tits.

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Chaz would have you know...

Posted January 20, 2010
On a sad note Bill McLaren has died. All stalwart rugby fans will morn his passing.

So there will be drinking in the streets of Selkirk tonight.

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Scott has opinions thus...

Posted January 20, 2010
Good to see boss. Won't mention that after all that hard work I'll read through it in about 2 days.

24 k of blood and distruction/2 paras of development, even better! You know the reward for a job well done? Now about the next book. . .

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Quokka mutters...

Posted January 20, 2010
Well, I could congratulate you, or I could whine about wanting to know when Leviathan's going to be rereleased.

I choose door number two.

Back in your chair.

I am however interested in your scabs and their pathology.

Updates?

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Troy asserts...

Posted January 20, 2010
Long time reader, personal financier since 2.1 (5 copies of each book, for friends... not stalking!, first time blog ever). Well done! Why are you not able to write a book a week to sate me :)

Don't do what that bastard Clancy did and pull the pin on writing once he got me hooked!

Good on ya, i wish you well!

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Big Bad Al has opinions thus...

Posted January 20, 2010
Onya JB. Looking forward to reading it.

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Madam Morgana would have you know...

Posted January 20, 2010
On ya, JB

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drej swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 20, 2010
Nice work JB. Will have a beer or two for you tonight.

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Paul Nicholas Boylan puts forth...

Posted January 20, 2010
Troy, let me be the first to welcome you. Your thoughts and comments are welcomed, so long as you avoid bad language - for example "fuck" and "asshole" are terms that are disfavored here, as well as "legubrious" although I really can't figure out why anyone would object to that. But a rule is a rule, so avoid it if you can.

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Abigail is gonna tell you...

Posted January 20, 2010
Troy, don't mind PNB, he's the American. He does of course mean you're not permitted to say arsehole , not "asshole".

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Brian has opinions thus...

Posted January 20, 2010
PNB. You were warned about the 'L' word.

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Paul Nicholas Boylan has opinions thus...

Posted January 20, 2010
Damn it, I was. Fuck.

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Greybeard reckons...

Posted January 20, 2010
And it's "lugubrious" as in "N-Bob's face grew increasingly lugubrious as he contemplated Greybeard's brilliant repartee". Oh and congratulation Mr B - tonight I'll drink to your success. You won't be here, but you can be sure I'll be drinking.

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Barnesm is gonna tell you...

Posted January 20, 2010
one week 24000 words

this IS Sparta

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miche swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 20, 2010
Well done JB. I am looking forward to reading it.

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lostatlunch reckons...

Posted January 20, 2010
Death to all lawyers, unless they amuse me... PNB you continue to live... for now.

ok... when the tracking number is released I expect everyone to someone their spies, troops, bunnies and minions, to intercept the package... and then deliver it.

And and cheers Mr. B... nice work 24k is a major triumph, reminds me of a brief I received that was meant to put a client off, I just sent it back with a 500 word argument, asking if this was the readers digest condensed version, because they better have some real claims when we got to court and then quoted their freaking brief straight back to them, with corrected spelling in red ink.

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Bangar asserts...

Posted January 20, 2010
Darkman that didn't work out so well last time.

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sparty puts forth...

Posted January 20, 2010
FEDEX tracking number

Important documents

Hungry readers

Some trained in black ops

Long time to release date

Lightly guarded Fedex truck

Did no one think of the consequences?

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Scott puts forth...

Posted January 20, 2010
Sparty, like your thinking.

I used to get the shits waiting for authors to write the next book.

Watching Birmo the last couple of months gives me a feeling of just how much work goes in to the book we hold at the end.

Now back to work JB we're watching you!

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Abe mumbles...

Posted January 20, 2010
Sparty has a point.

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Moko is gonna tell you...

Posted January 20, 2010
*standing ovulation*

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NBlob mutters...

Posted January 20, 2010
Touche o wrinkled one

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MickH mutters...

Posted January 20, 2010
So JB,

what's next?

something to do with web readers and the net? :p

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John Birmingham reckons...

Posted January 20, 2010
Cheers all. Next is a 3000 word feature. Piece of piss. Then a few days off after the kids go back to school. Then, Quokka, about 6-7 weeks on the Leviathan rewrite before opening the file on Book 3.

Feel free to come up with some alliterative titles.

Also, I think Orin gets a free AA for choosing the name all the way back at jspace.

Pathology on the excisions. 3 BCCs.

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Bangar mumbles...

Posted January 20, 2010
Looking forward to the Leviathan rewrite ... please tell me that I'm not the only one who's read it. If so wait for the new one and read it. Great work.

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beeso mumbles...

Posted January 20, 2010
Sweet work JB

better get my first book back and pre re read

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D-Ron84 would have you know...

Posted January 20, 2010
You weren't the only one to read it Banger, i loved it, and i can't wait for AA, nice work JB. How's Supposedly Safe sound?

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Murphy has opinions thus...

Posted January 21, 2010
Thanks, Birmo.

Hopefully it serves.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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NataliatheRussianSpy ducks in to say...

Posted January 21, 2010
Pls ignore that appalling attempt at humour. No harm meant.

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Paul Nicholas Boylan swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 21, 2010
Don't let it bother you, Natalie. No one here - other than Dr. Yobbo, Greybeard, Havock, Barnes, Bob, Bangar, Therbs, Darkman, Al, Chaz, Abe, Quokka, savo, the Rhino, Moko and Lobes - is all that funny. Even my finest spelling errors barely raise a chuckle.

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Quokka has opinions thus...

Posted January 21, 2010
Well Nat, I laughed. Forking marvelous idea.

JB that's some nasty holes. You have regular trips back to the skin doctor planned, I trust.

Bangar - I haven't read Leviathan yet. Tried to get it a year or two ago and was told it was out of print. I was most annoyed.

Which reminds me, JB, I made some enquiries of the NSW police archives not that long ago and they told me that the rap sheets regarding arrests for brothels during the years of WW2 had not survived the passage of time. I was almightily pissed off.

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Quokka mumbles...

Posted January 21, 2010
PNB you great lug. Who here would be rude enough to comment on a mispell or a typo?

I just assumed a profiterole fell on the 'e' and the 60 year old scotch prevented you from noticing.

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Quokka has opinions thus...

Posted January 21, 2010
Eh, Boss. The Hallowed Halls of Faff are about to go over a cybercliff.

So unless you want the Faffuggees to take shelter somewhere blokesy, I'd send in the renovators.

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Ben mumbles...

Posted January 21, 2010
Congrats JB. It must be a very good feeling to finally send off the book.

If you look at what mp3's did to the music industry surely the book publishers will be laying in some ground work on plans to combat file sharing. Are your publishers doing anything to combat the file sharing e-book threat?

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Abe is gonna tell you...

Posted January 21, 2010
I'll sell you my copy Quokka. I'm guessing you already KNOW the price.

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HAVOCK would have you know...

Posted January 21, 2010
I'm already working on HOW i get my hands on a fkn copy before the fkn thing is released..NOT SURE HOW...but given lats times success...I gotta try again .

WHAT FEDEX plane was that again?

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Abigail swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 21, 2010
==JB hurriedly rushes in the Wormald escort===

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Abigail is gonna tell you...

Posted January 21, 2010
Quokka - "hurriedly rushes" there's one for absolution. What providence you'd only just said "who would be so rude as to correct peeps errors?"

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Quokka swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 21, 2010
Hm. Let's see Abe, if I run that through price check I believe that comes to a grand total of:

A. $10 measly bucks

B. Eternal Damnation for a scurrilous lack of principles

How about I stick a few more pins in my JB voodoo doll (you choose, left eye or right? he really does hate those migraines) and I try the BCC e-lib catalogue?

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Quokka ducks in to say...

Posted January 21, 2010
Ahem.

There is what I gauge to be a CORPSE in the chocolate fountain - at least, there's a stump with a fishnet stocking and a stiletto heel sticking out - and the rest rooms, both sexes, are all out of what I shall delicately refer to as AMENITIES.

And there's a pair of stained Y-fronts size 42# hanging where the T-towel should be in the kitchenette. Would the owner kindly claim and remove them.

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NataliatheRussianSpy mutters...

Posted January 21, 2010
Thank you little hairy mammal and nutty one from Californ-I-A.

Now seriously...that's great to hear Birmo. Any chance you could churn out two a year for us now? Perhaps under a psuedonym? Hmmmm we should all think of one whilst considering a title for book three.

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Therbs reckons...

Posted January 21, 2010
Sparty, Hav.

Once the Fed Ex con note no. is obtained its simply a question of ringing up and asking questions using some convincing trade talk. Need to have someone to cover the FedEx depot in Brisvegas and possibly Sydney. It will most likely be an overnight consignment so it will be in the depot by 7.00 p.m., probably earlier. The only hassle will be if Fedex use local couriers in Brisvegas suburbs to do the grunt work, then we have to susss out which ones and monitor the transfer depot.

Once its on its way to the depot we do a redirection of the consignment, copy the documents and direct it back on its way with its original shipping documentation but in a new FedEx box, looking as if its been unmolested. There's a whole heap of other stuff you need to do to get this to work but, well, we don't want to give anyone ideas now do we?

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lostatlunch is gonna tell you...

Posted January 21, 2010
just saw a reference the head of the IMF has mentioned a Marshall plan to rescue Haiti....

Where is the Marshall Plan to rescue JB's empty USA, after WW & AA? does anyone want to revive the Union?

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MFZero swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 21, 2010
Can't fkn wait JB, now the waiting game begins.

Consider me throwing my hat in the ring for Book 3 - Revolution Rising.

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Rhino reckons...

Posted January 21, 2010
Havsy ... you do realize that of the 25,000 words written fully 80% of them dealt with the awesomeness of The Rhino.

I have it on good authority that the editors specifically asked that Birmo ramp up the FKN ORSUMNESS of my EXPLODEY GOODNESS scenes.

Not bragging, mind you. Just sayin' is all.

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Scott mutters...

Posted January 21, 2010
Rhino, have you seen the scene where your ch dies horabley sobbing and begging for his mummy?

Verry touching, especially when Jules and the sexy assassin team up for vengence!

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sparty asserts...

Posted January 21, 2010
Therbs - Lalo Schifrin theme music in my head already......

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NBlob puts forth...

Posted January 21, 2010
I reckon Nat has it for a working title with Forking Faff.

Unless you're into that affirmation, positiveity crap in which case "Belated Booker" may work.

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Bangar would have you know...

Posted January 21, 2010
Well I'm having home made Baileys because

a)I made it

b)I used cream so it's got a use by date

c)It tastes great

d)Lack of current faff

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sparty is gonna tell you...

Posted January 21, 2010
I'll have the ebook version so I can do a simple "find and replace" on the Rhino ;-)

Infact all books should come with that degree of customisation

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Abigail has opinions thus...

Posted January 21, 2010
Anyone else notice how well- behaved everybody's being; quiet, well spoken, faff at a minimum. What's going on? JB what have you put in our blog chips?!!

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Abigail puts forth...

Posted January 21, 2010
I think we've been drugged while JB sleeps off the 24 000 kilometres.

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Scott reckons...

Posted January 21, 2010
Yeh, Abigail I thought it's a bit quiet and civilised around here. Now that may be because I joined just before the Christmas highjinks and everyone is now back at work.

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Abigail would have you know...

Posted January 22, 2010
Ask not what we can do for JB, ask only what JB can do for us with just 50 of those crisp new $10 notes they're going to give him for the book:

http://www.saltnlight.co.uk/

There's room for all. We'd never squabble over rooms again.

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Quokka is gonna tell you...

Posted January 22, 2010
I'm AWOL because my internet nook isn't air conditioned, Scott. And it's farkin hot.

And I have other temptations.

1. A plunge pool that's 25C

2. Air conditioning in which to read/lurk/eat lindt/hide from the giant purple squid.

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NBlob mumbles...

Posted January 22, 2010
Aunty Q,

The disquieting thing about figments of ones imagination is that they can get to you anywhere.

Would his ink be a pigment of my imgaination?

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Quokka asserts...

Posted January 22, 2010
Nbob, you're talking to a woman who at age 3 was taken to a child psychiatrist so that my mother could complain at length about my Invisible Friend.

To her great annoyance the shrink reported that I was 'a perfectly ordinary little girl'.

FWIW, I can see your squid in all its purple glory over by the sun lounge. Its asking for Iced Vo Vos.

If I were you I'd go get them, quick smart.

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Abigail puts forth...

Posted January 22, 2010
Lord Bob of Nowhere, and Sir Hvk, if you open the link above you'll discover there is way for you to flash your titles around for a few notes. (which are on JB now that he's good for $10 )

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Respond to 'One week. 24 000 words.'

The Union of European Socialist Republics.

Posted January 17, 2010 by John Birmingham
Anyone remember that alterny WW2 trilogy I wrote? The one where the Sovs grabbed up a whole lot more of Western Europe at the end of the book?

Lets go back there, shall we, while I deal with some manuscript polishing issues on the latest book.

Given that both sides will develop their nuclear arsenals much more quickly, and given the Sovs have foreseen the collapse of their Empire in the original time line, how do you see the ten years after the nuking of Berlin playing out?

I'm especially interested in how the UK evolves, as it would be a frontline state in this scenario.

Assume a Kolhammer Presidency from 1952.

241 Responses to ‘The Union of European Socialist Republics.’

jennicki asserts...

Posted January 17, 2010
I'm sorry this is wayyy over my head.

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NBlob would have you know...

Posted January 17, 2010
Just knocked off work. Need to adjust brainspace before tackling this puppy.

1st cab off the rank, northern Italy. Last we heard it was under Red control. As the North of Italy is the manufacturing & money country & the rest is just agricultlure & ancient history I see the Communists taking the entire peninsula.

Which probably implies they are going to take everything East of there. Greece, Turkey etc.

Could Corsica or Malta be a missile farm?

France is going to cop another pounding as (from my reading) the Iron Curtain will bisect La Belle France.

The US still has a much improved capacity as it has the people to explain the development of the tech, the Soviets just have some of the tech. A little like the rosetta stone I guess.

Will think more & return.

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Tarl mumbles...

Posted January 17, 2010
Well, given that Stalin was in control when the revelations came to them, my assumption is that Soviet leadership clamps down *real* hard to prevent Glasnost & Perestroika from ever happening.

That suggests a jackboots and cattle-prod type occupation of Europe to prevent things like the Prague Spring from even being thought of. Off-hand, the images I'm getting are closer to Stirling's Drakaverse than anything else I can see. Not just an Iron Curtain, but a radioactive un-depleted Uranium curtain.

Once Stalin dies, butterflies become dominant in terms of who becomes his successor - all the major characters in our timeline will have already been killed off by Stalin. Whoever is left to take over is the one who gets to make choices about whether to continue the brutal occupation or trim it back - I assume the brutality is likely to win, simply from sheer inertia and terror at what would happen on letting loose.

So, what does the U.S. do with improved technology against a nightmarish Soviet? Probably cold war elevated to a higher level - satellite phones dropped by stealth aircraft to help undergrounds coordinate, followed by shoot-on-sight attitude of the Soviet defence forces keeping things lively.

By the time Kolhammer becomes president, Stalin will be approaching his due date (1953, as I recall), so negotiations probably can't take place until after Kolhammer has been president a couple of years - it will take the successor at least a year before he can deal with foreign diplomacy on a serious basis.

So, come 1954 or so, Kolhammer can try to scale back the cold war - against a decade of habit and a Soviet terror of losing control of their own people.

An interesting question is what happens in China - does the U.S. allow Russia to prop up Mao, or do the Russians allow the U.S. to prop up Chiang Kai-Shek? Has Japan been forced to burp up Manchuria, or do they still hold it? This could affect the quality of allies the Soviets have at the time.

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Bondiboy66 swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 17, 2010
I'd agree with NBob - the yanks and their allies are going to have a major technological advantage in the longer term as having more of the people to explain and expand the tech as well as prior experience will give them the edge over the Soviets who are basically back engineering and working it out from books.

Not sure how the maps are going to look, but I imagine Great Britain will benefit strongly from the assistance from the Americans tech-wise. So too Australia in the Asia Pacific region. Regarding that, if cards are played right we could avoid that whole communist/domino theory palaver throughout Asia and bring the Chinese, Viets, Indos et al on side. And also avoid the whole partitioning of the Sub-continent nastiness too. And maybe the Korean peninsula business could be avoided. All of that if played out, would place The West in a superior position to the Soviets. Still, any conflict would be hugely nasty merely due to the vast areas and populations involved.

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Tarl swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 17, 2010
As for the UK, I assume they become somewhat of a satellite to the U.S. in this scenario - with a cold war in full gear and the curtain that much closer, they are going to have military forces coming out of their ears, probably a good chunk of them from overseas. U.S., Australian and Canadian forces predominating, I would guess. The U.K. probably recovers from rationing more quickly than in our timeline (which I recall took over a decade), due to supplies being sent to "the front" by cross-atlantic allies.

English kids would grow up with the full knowledge that the sword of armageddon hangs over their pointy little heads, which might change their attitudes somewhat. I'm envisioning a country that is used to seeing military convoys on the highways every few days, and subject to daily "duck-and-cover" messages as propaganda to keep alive the fear of the Soviet bear. Add to that a few actual news reports of the brutal occupation, the fear probably hits nerves.

Not a pretty scenario.

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sibeen asserts...

Posted January 17, 2010
Malta is an interesting one. As it was never captured by the Germans during world war 2 (the original) I suspect it would have also retained its independence in JB's universe.

With that, England would be quite loathe to give it up after the Germans were out of play as it, in conjunction with Gibralta give stategic command of the Mediterranian.

I'm not sure that Kolhammer would allow the Sovs to spread too far east, as NowhereBob proposes. Letting them get control of Turkey would let them slip down to those arab states with all that lovely oil.

Which may bring up another point, what happens with Israel? The Arabs may even join forces with the Sovs to ensure that Israel doesn't get off the ground. The Israeli State of Australia, anyone?

I'm supposed to be working, and not on this :)

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Tarl mumbles...

Posted January 17, 2010
Interesting point about Israel. By the end of the war, Palestine already had a huge jewish population (something like 30%, as I recall). Arab/Jewish conflict had been ongoing since 1928, so the Arabs in the neighborhood might decide a little preemptive genocide would be in order (say, tactics similar to what went on in Rwanda).

The rest of European Jews end up mostly under Soviet occupation. They weren't known for making it easy for them to emigrate, so the issue of a Jewish nation in the middle east may never even crop up.

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Sweet_Jane_Says ducks in to say...

Posted January 17, 2010
Stalin would become more paranoid and increase the purges. This may trigger a "humanitarian" reaction by the UK and American powers to initiate more hot spots in the Cold War.

The Soviets would not invade Turkey or Greece. Turkey and Greece have kept each other occupied since the Trojan War. Even Stalin would see no reason to intrude in their skirmishes.

J.

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Sweet_Jane_Says reckons...

Posted January 17, 2010
Depleted uranium weaponry would be fast-tracked.

J.

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Abe mutters...

Posted January 17, 2010
Maybe with all the economics text books that would have travelled back in time in the residual memory of various slates, the sovs would see the error in the ways and adopt a market economy sooner than they otherwise would and maybe, maybe they's try to make the USSR the great market economy of the east.

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Brunswick puts forth...

Posted January 17, 2010
Study soviet history. Richard Rhodes's Arsenals of Folly shows that a large number of the people in power in the soviet union had realized that the system didn't work and couldn't be made to work in the 1960's. If Nixon had ended up President, rather than Kennedy (who made up shit like the missile gap and was more of a warmonger than George W Bush), the Soviet Union would have broken apart in the late 60's rather than 80's. Kennedy's dick waving empowered the reactionary conservatives in the Soviet Union.

Another myth Rhodes busts is the republican fantasy that Reagan forced the Soviets to bust themselves financially. Soviet spending on weapons reached its peak in the mid-70's when Reagan was still governor of California. Reagan could also have triggered the fall apart of the Soviet Union earlier in the 80's after Iceland - but Cheney and his mates put a stop to that, convincing Reagan that the Soviets were really really strong. Smart people in the US intelligence services already knew the Soviet union was going to collapse and that defence spending in the 80's to fight a soviet threat was a complete money grab because the Soviets in the 80's would have had trouble defending themselves, let alone fighting an aggressive war.

If the Russians are going to do anything, it is to look at the Chinese model and transition towards that sort of authoritarian capitalism.

Russia as a real two dimensional villain died with Stalin.

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NBlob swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 17, 2010
Are state of the Art insurrection skills > or < Soviet repression.

In our timeline the Poles, Czecks, Slavs, Turkics et al didn't take it lying down & got shipped off to labour/renedification camps. + revolutionary tips, cheats & hints from Ghandi to Shining Path, can Moscow maintain any kind of effective controll across the majority of 2 continents?

A: Could the / would the allies forment such excellent insuurections as to make the Soviet Bloc ungovernable.

B: Imagine the civil works the USSR would achieve with 10 ? fold population to draw on.

A 2015 sniper team would make Uncle Jo's First "peace time" May Day Parade his last.

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Bangar swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 17, 2010
I'm thinking that Stalin would clamp down hard, and after that anyone in power would be to afraid to lift their foot from the peoples neck because they'd be held to account for everything that had been done. Don't know if this would be enough to make the Allies attack.

The Allies would definitely work very closely together esp with the Uptimers experience with multi national task forces.

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mrblenny ducks in to say...

Posted January 17, 2010
If anything the Soviets are in a worse position then the Allies post WWII in the alternate universe and they still have the same shortcomings they had (have) in our universe. Namely the sheer size of the US economy compared to Russia's*. Stalin may have been a crazy, murderous despot but he did stay in control of the Soviet empire until his death (perhaps murder). This suggests he is not stupid and his reading of the future might lend itself to an alliance with the Allies to prevent the inevitable Soviet collapse, perhaps citing the threat of eventual Chinese rise to help? If he did decide to try and go toe to toe with the Allies then a Chinese style reformed economy would no doubt be appealing, perhaps even in combination with a Chinese alliance?

*The US military with a paltry ~5% of GDP budget could field a carrier force in excess of 12 not including the smaller marine carriers whereas the Soviets only ever really got one in the water with what 30-40% (?) of their economy devoted to the military.

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DrYobbo reckons...

Posted January 17, 2010
"Anyone remember that alterny WW2 trilogy I wrote?"

Yeah that one I keep meaning to read?

Erm, never mind

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Abigail is gonna tell you...

Posted January 17, 2010
Britain and the US would be at loggerheads as they both brawl for Israeli allegiances (Israel having found power in Stalin's Russia by promising him a safe base in the unfamiliar desert territory) to shore them up; Arabia having gone to the side of France and the Mediterranean.

Make use of London's underground sewer system as site of new parliament after Westminster bombed by the Americans

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savo ducks in to say...

Posted January 17, 2010
We’ll either have a nuclear stalemate or one side or the other will actually push the button. Let’s go for the stalemate.

I’d image a much more active series of surrogate wars popping up around the globe as evangelical communism props up tribalism and some dictatorial regimes and butts heads with colonialism and the hardened of crust of post war capitalism. Chechnya , North West India, the Italian Riviera and Amur River blow up into bloody conflicts that distract Stalin from his deliverance of the rest of Europe from the yolk of Imperial [insert favourite Anti Capitalistic slogan here]. This will happen before Kolhammer becomes President and is likely to be one of the major reasons why he does become President.

Britain will keep its colonies even expanding them by grabbing some of Germany’s. She does not allowing self government for fear of the communist scourge, resulting in a whole host of ‘Liberation Army’ attacks on British home soil, led generally by disaffected politicians who had read about their future in FleetNet. Strangely, India does become self governing in that British bureaucrats leave and locals begin make decisions. But India’s relationship with Britain develops into one as close as Scotland or Wales. These ‘Liberationist’ attacks, along with the reduced but ever present threats from Communist Europe and plenty of internal destabilisation by Communist backed Unionists, forces the British Government into a state of Martial Law run by a Benign Dictatorship endorsed by the Royal family and both major parties. Peace settles over the green hills of Britain like ashes from a furnace.

The US is the biggest winner in the post-conflict land grab, directed through Kolhammer’s office and supported by the Quiet Room. It brought all of France’s external territories into the US Commonwealth as self-governing unincorporated territories of the United States (this included Vietnam - a fact that always brought a smile to the corner of Phil’s mouth) along with large parts of the Dutch East Indies. The Soviet Union missed its chance to join in the land grab by not being able project it’s influence as quickly as Britain and the US, but did manage to hold the northern part of main land Japan and its juggernaut simply rolled over a goodly portion of the oil rich Arab states and kept them. Kolhammer, fearing a backlash from Uptimers, negotiates a Jewish State in Porto Rico. Jerusalem is firmly locked behind the Iron Curtain and will remain so, according to the best minds available, until the Second Coming.

I'll talk more of Britain later.

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HAVOCK reckons...

Posted January 17, 2010
MR Blemy. whilst I like some of trhe thought process and have not yet put mine up on this one. I will just comment on a couple of related things.

I think OLD joes first play would be European and that in itself, assuming NO nuclear exchange on the battle field negates under most circumstances the US Naval combat power advantage. Whilst carriers are great striking and sea control pieces of gear , for a European land war of sorts, they are not key.

UNLESS you figure in a battle the US decides to go after the Kamchatka or the likes, and even invade, ALA..ARC LIGHT STYLE as Eric L Harry wrote, all be it at a much later historical time line and not an Alt one at that.

Brunswick

WHAT you need to bear in mind is that this is an ALT history time line and the players are well aware of HISTORY, or that which had happened but not yet.

so the debate as to who triggered the Soviet bloc collapse really does not come into play.

WHATS being asked is that GIVEN THE Final wash up, post that in 10 years..where are they at.

I can debate all fucking day the whys and what fucking nots of historical machinations in the political realm and their subsequent impact upon players and historical values..BUT THAT not whats been fucking well asked. and to be HONEST, it kinda fucking shits me, that people go so god dam off track and whats essentially a question about..WHAT YOU THINK MIGHT HAVE HAPPENED FFS in the ALT time line.

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Brian swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 17, 2010
Economic warfare - wonderful stuff.

Command economy versus Market economy.

The Sovs were great at spying and getting key technologies. They did very poorly at industrial espionage where the sheer mass of tech overwhelmed them. There were a few classic boo-boos - one involving a computer chip, where if you read the circuitry you could see it was a direct copy of a US make. In a lot of stuff it was imitated but not terribly well implemented.

You could make case that the Sovs would move to a Chinese market driven model but the time frame is far too short. Most of the Sov budget would be involved in trying to tie down their empire. They'd be faced with a similar dilemna as the Brits after WW2 - keep the Empire or move to a welfare state. You have enough money to do only one - not both.

So .o.o.o. what are you going to do? Run a space program, churn your entire weapens arsenal, build the equivalent of a few Intel chips factories, kickstart your bio weapons program etc etc etc . . . .hmm . . .try and trade with the rest of the world . . . .export class warfare . . . .

To my mind . . .if the Politbureau read glasnotz pretty closely and figured out what Starwars was really about . . .they'd be looking towards a quick kill strategy 'cause time ain't on their side.

The States will get space supremacy first. The Sovs may start doing shell games involving nukes and cargo ships . . . .

England . . .the floating aircraft carrier will be the most likely first strike point. Until ICBM's, cruise missiles and MIRV's make the point moot.

Hmm . . ..don't discount what a Battle Wagon equipped with cruise missils or drones can do either.

For fun . . . I'd release the Little Red Book into China, just so Mao can collect royalty rights. Gotta look after authors, I say.

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Scott has opinions thus...

Posted January 17, 2010
Russian nuclear weapons would be less of a threat in this timeline, remember the lasers.

I could see America fasttracking satalite mounted laser systems. We are also assuming Stalin's death in 53 as per otl. Maybe with modern medical equipment his death was delayed?

The soviets got the Vanguard in 42, that leaves 9 years for Soviet doctors to use any information from it's medical database, think also of the um shal we say insentives Stalin would use to encourage results. Don't forget that Russian uptimer, forgot his name, who was arranging a resistance.

Kolhammer takes over in 52 he would help this out assuming it hasn't been wiped out.

10 years after Berlin would put the next book about 54, time for both sides to build up enough for a massive conventional war. Think ww III with limited use of tactical nukes. Bigger ones would not be able to be deployed due to lasers.

Stalin and his successor will not let go.

Sorry about the length.

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Bangar puts forth...

Posted January 17, 2010
Brian, I'll have to check but memory says the Allies ended up the Nazi bio weapons. That brings the next question, the uptimers being less squemish and result driven would they use them?

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damian would have you know...

Posted January 17, 2010
Hopefully someone, referring to the uptime records, has quietly shot Ronald Reagan before '52, yeah?

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Bangar mumbles...

Posted January 17, 2010
I wonder if pre-emptive is a legal defence. "you saw the records he was going to ..."

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HAVOCK swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 17, 2010
Damian,

that actually raises an interesting question. Would the Allies seek out individuals who were key players in History, or in this case..yet to emerge and take them out as a precautionary measure?.

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HAVOCK reckons...

Posted January 17, 2010
BANGAR..you are thinking like I am on this particular one

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Scott mumbles...

Posted January 17, 2010
Remember what Kolhammer said, this will end with a t34 on the streets of Washington or a American tank in Red Square. Not the exact words but you get his meaning.

Do you think he will let communism stew for the next 70 years or atempt to crush it. Porn I know but a captured Stalin on trial for his abuses.

One thing that never happened after the collapse of communism is it was never put on trial. National socialism was completely discredited in the Nuremberg trials. People stil claim that international socialism would work if it was implemented correctly. Lost count of the number of lefty fuckwitts who argued this at uni. Kolhammer would not let this opertunity slip through his fingers.

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damian has opinions thus...

Posted January 17, 2010
Speaking of Glasnost, Gorbie was 21 in 1952 and either driving harverters on collective farms or already a student at Moscow Uni.

Brian - the relationship between technology and espionage that you outline is a bit overblown. Harks back the the Rosenberg trial, where some folks were executed for passing "secrets" that had been public domain for over a decade.

Havock and Baganr - isn't that Minority Report?

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damian is gonna tell you...

Posted January 17, 2010
Scott - what you're saying should have happened didn't happen because it couldn't, you can't prove something that isn't true. Also, your attempt to make a connection between "national socialism" and "international socialism" is a word game that has no referent in the world of facts and history.

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HAVOCK would have you know...

Posted January 17, 2010
Damian VERY MUCH..But I suspect some would say..well we know he has the capability..eg POL POT, ...would be interesting. I think some would not be able to stiffel the urg, to strike first.

SO..

I’m trying to establish just how far they will have come Tech wise in 10 years. I keep coming back to a thought, that whilst the initial leaps were reasonably easy, the next 2 or three generational jumps will require a vastly superior industrial base, eg…Satellites and Mirvs and ICBM’s etc. And I mean accurate one. The Germans were already well down the path, the US now has the knowledge base as well.

Whats Kolhammer been up to in the 10 years, I’m, guessing this has an impact on him running for the top job. Has there been scraps between the USSR and the Allies.

What about NATO?

The UK will be one big landing strip and jump off point. I would expect massive missile defensive systems as well for SAMS..

Could the US field the Likes of an F111 by 54..I would almost think so, that means SAC would be created. We also need to remember they went for the easily done tech upgrades and manufacturing, post the war, they will be looking to jump two more generations as well.

Would you build a F4 or would they look at the 15, or is that too ambitious for the time. I’m inclined to think so.

If we look at Europe, what weapons systems are they going to field, because this will also have an impact on the numbers available.

Super Sherman’s were good, but I would gather they would want an upgunned version of say an M60, upgunned centurion for the Brits.

Russia will be cranking out mil hardware flat out and following the time honoured, Numbers game, but they will up grade as well. HOW far…T62 by 54, how many will be available.

Wire guided rockets..Milan style…TOW?.

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Scott reckons...

Posted January 17, 2010
Yeh Havock, Gaddafi and what's his name crackafat, both examples of people in need of cranial aeration.

I can also see people in India brawling because it isn't divided, lots of religious nutters wanting there own little failed state. The allies won't make the mistake of creating Islamic states of Pakistan and Bangladesh. Speaking of countries like Australia and Brazil are going to make a killing on oil and gas. The president of Indonesia is a uptimer isn't he? He may use Indonesia's resource revenue to undermine Islam and go back to it's Hindu

roots. Islamic feelings may be weaker in the 1950s.

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damian has opinions thus...

Posted January 17, 2010
Havock - I think definitely something like an F111 by '54. And the same with the other side.

The basic theory for modern computers exited by 1950, and both Turing and von Neumann would be available to help accelerate things. The process for designing and manufacturing silicon chips and even transistors would take a little time, but given the timeframe from '42 to '52, something would be emerging and a lot faster than in OTL.

That means that a lot of tech requiring the IT to be present is possible, with or without the modern weapons it is used to drive. Computer controlled V1, for instance?

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HAVOCK has opinions thus...

Posted January 17, 2010
To be honest, I cannot see Stalin waiting too long, I would suspect that he would issue orders to try and find out JUST what the US has. I’ll also wager he would be willing to trade a few more men and cities as well in a nuclear exchange. If he did take a pause, well I would figure it would be 12 months, maybe 2 years but that’s a stretch. He knows full well the longer the US is given the greater the issues he will have. Hes not rational by our standards and he wants ALL over Europe and more.

Question is, where does the first skirmish take place, where does he test the Allies resolve and their equipment without pissing away everything and kicking things off in Europe too early.

That really means a stoush is possible in the Mid east.

Britain, will be shitting itself, I suspect a lot of effort into Air defence, both ground based and aircraft and the US / UK will develop early the U2 or better, Intel, that’s airborne and intel from elint as well.

Anybody forsee a rapid advancement and creation of Echelon , but in a more basic form. Insurgency fomented in the USSR will be put down brutally, Stalin creates off shore issues to help draw US/ UK resources away from his area as well.

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Naut would have you know...

Posted January 17, 2010
I reckon the Soviets would try and do what China is trying now. They would try to be Communist internally and Capitalist externally. Will their expanded territories give them the natural resources to pull it off?

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HAVOCK asserts...

Posted January 17, 2010
Naut..another question is..WILL Kohlhammer allow it..will the Allies allow Russia to consolidate gains..at lkeast gains external to the EU Mainland..eg MID EAST

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Scott has opinions thus...

Posted January 17, 2010
Damian, National socialism and international socialism are two faces of the same coin. The difference between them was how they achieved the goal. I find it quite interesting that both systems not only controled the civilian population through terror but they also both disposed of people with death camps. Now before you jump on me and say that there is a difference between gas chambers and what the Russians did examine the results. What matter if you murder people with Zyklon B or you use cold, starvation and over work. You are stil dead. From what I recall the Soviets managed to murder 50 million people! The reason we know so little about the details is the lack of scrutiny. Modern day historians examining Russia's history have been arrested and had material confiscated. The only reason socialism works for a short time is that the government uses force to obtain resources from productive citizens. Eventually productive citizens work the minimum they can, why put in the hard yards if some one is going to come along and take the lot? Just look at Venezuela, this cycle has repeated so many times that it is mindblowing that anyone falls for it. Now that the country is falling apart the president is blaming everyone else bar himself.

Ot I know and apologies.

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Scott has opinions thus...

Posted January 17, 2010
Good point Havock, the longer Stalin leaves it the stronger the US is. In fact if he doesn't kick off the ball in a big way early he is going to get hammered. America and even little Australia have not only the tech from the future but willing teachers who are familiar with the tech. Over 12 thousand of them, many of them holding verry high quals.

In contrast the Soviets have one ship and book learning, this is a race the Soviets were always going to lose badly. Add in to the mix the Western economic flexability the verry thing that broke the Soviet Union in otl.

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HAVOCK mumbles...

Posted January 17, 2010
SHIT!, this can trap ya easily. OK

1 They already have pretty goo overhead intel, thanks to the drones. Likewise radar coverage of the UK, I forgot about Halabi. Missile tech will come up rapidly and that then given the UK a very good defensive stance, especially when its against low tech rockets and Air delivered nukes. Even cruise missiles will have a hard time, assuming the interceptor tech outpaces the ALCM of the USSR , which i think it will.

So that puts me back to thinking, bleed the US /UK forces at another location, test and assess their capabilities and do it with a proxy..somewhere.

RAMP and i mean RAMP the hell outta production and I would launch at the US and UK etc in europe within 12 monhths..no later and do so with whatever tech i had.

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D-Ron84 puts forth...

Posted January 17, 2010
Something that no one has mentioned is south east asia, indo is now on the us/uk/aus side, as is 2/3 of japan, and the nationalist part of china, when this all adds up it gives the allies most of asia, blocking the commie move south, preventing a few wars (sorry "conflicts") and may also help stop asian jihad issues later on due to greater allied control over the region

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Scott mutters...

Posted January 17, 2010
Havock, it's going to be a bloodbath. Perhaps that's how Kolhammer gets elected.

He warned Roosevelt about Stalin and was ignored. Lets say that the meds from the future keep the old bastard alive, after the end of the war he tries to play nice with Stalin and when Stalin is ready Roosevelt's lack of Preparedness gives America another Pearl. Kolhammer may not have been electable considering his views on everything, same sex couples, intergration, economics and his hard line in military matters. A couple of years shocasing the success of The Zone, interviews where he warns of the Soviet intentions, add in a overseas disaster and his electability becomes possible. Nay inevitable god or in this universes case Birmo has said so!

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damian mumbles...

Posted January 17, 2010
Scott, you're still mixing things in a way that doesn't actually make sense. Yes, both Hitler's and Stalin's regimes were oppressive and murderous. No, it isn't this word "socialism" that connects them, not even a little bit. It doesn't make any sense at all in any possible historical context to articulate their competing ideologies in that way. The presence of the word in the Nazi's name was part of the alphabet soup of Weimar politics, and not a signifier. In fact, the Nazi economic agenda was heavily market focused and driven by corporations. The Nazi's hated the "socialist" Weimar social democrats more than anyone, and in turn conservative Junkers, landowners, shop keepers and the middle classes were definitely pro-Nazi. There has recently emerged a historically illiterate subculture that takes the presence of the S in NSDAP as an identifier, but this is an extremely misleading position to put forward. In economic and political terms, the Nazis were, and have always been understood to be, right wing and not left.

No argument that if you kept the subject of conversation away from economics, Hitler and Stalin would probably get along pretty well, agreeing on most subjects.

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damian ducks in to say...

Posted January 17, 2010
Havock, taking sully what you say in terms of seriously ramping up production, simple air delivery of nukes from manned aircraft would put the numbers in the soviet's favour. At least, imagine another Battle of Britain, but with nukes.

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Scott ducks in to say...

Posted January 17, 2010
Damian, I don't hold my belief soley on the s.

The Soviet Union and menny western acodemics spent a lot of time and efort trying to distence National Socialism from the International version. You are quite right however a lot of German companies were enthusiastic in supporting the party. Socialism is about central government control each brand if I could use that term goes about it in different ways.

Today we have a brand called Social Democracy.

This is because the other two brands National Socialism and International

Socialism have forever tainted themselves.

I note that in Europe Social Democracy is slowly slipping over the edge in to the time tested method of keeping people in line.

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Scott mumbles...

Posted January 17, 2010
Btw Damian, my last comment we could argue all week and get nowhere. It's late and I don't have a lot of my source material with me.

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damian ducks in to say...

Posted January 17, 2010
Scott - agreed, no point in arguing. To summarise, my point is that Nazism was not a kind of socialism, as you are suggesting. Where the contrary position is a sort of article of faith, I've no business entering discussion and apologise for haveing done so (tired, not looking for a fight, honest ;).

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Scott puts forth...

Posted January 17, 2010
Damian, all good.

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sparty mumbles...

Posted January 18, 2010
1. Centre left govt again (ie Atlee creating welfare state - seen as good thing)

2. The Labour party division over CND etc happening in the late forties rather than the early eighties. UK knowing they are fu***d in any conflict (there is no "good defensive stance for UK in Sov dominated Europe with SRBMs) have debate about becoming airstrip 1.

3. Race / immigration being a real issue (Admiral Halabi maybe a poster child for either side of that debate)

4. UK maybe trying to subvert just a little US (we know we are natural allies dosnt mean we have to bend over every time)- ie decolonialise properly, becoming dominant 3rd power after US and USSR. Maybe keeping together a genuine Oz, New Zealand Canada axis.

Key 1949 election where all this comes to the boil.

No amount of starwars weaponary is going to keep UK safe.

oh and Jim Laker has nervous breakdown on eve of 1956 ashes series with teh weight of history on his shoulders.

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Paul Nicholas Boylan puts forth...

Posted January 18, 2010
My activities here have garnered some notoriety. More and more I am asked if I am the same Paul Boylan who is included among the internet blog group known as "Burgers."

I, of course, deny that I am in any way connected to this place or with any of you people for obvious liability reasons, but the truth is that I first came here after reading the AOT series and wanting to know if there would be a fourth book. I emailed Birmingham who brushed my question aside and said, essentially “yeah, maybe, if I get around to it; I wanna try some other stuff first.”

After all this time, this is the first indication that there is going to be a fourth book. I am fucking thrilled.

The question is complex from an extremely theoretical geopolitical framework. Despite the Event, the same basic geopolitical framework that created and will destroy the Soviet Union will still operate. I have to ask myself how George Friedman over at Stratfor would answer the question.

Off the cuff, the Soviets would have utterly crushed the Poles to avoid the rise of the trade union movement that was the beginning of the end for the Soviet Empire. Although the Soviets would be enriched from an expanded empire, they would still be unable to compete on the same level as the west due to a flawed economic model. Antiballistic missiles would be developed both sides, which would counter the threat and usefulness of theater/strategic nuclear and chemical weapons. Kolhammer would know this and make it a priority before and after attaining the presidency. Biologic weapons would not be the focus of a a Cold War because, even though the Soviets demonstrated the willingness to use such weapons, both sides would learn the lessons learned in this time-line, i.e., biological agents are simply too dangerous to weaponize, posing more threat to those holding such weapons than on the enemy that they might be used upon.

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Lobes reckons...

Posted January 18, 2010
Kolhammer was/is Jewish which makes him an unlikely candidate for executive office in any lifetime.

Also socialism =\= national socialsm =\= social democracy

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Murphy mumbles...

Posted January 18, 2010
I suspect, given some revelations about communist sympathizers, that many of those folks would be rounded up and curtailed in the United States. This could lead to an earlier, perhaps more virulent manifestation of the McCarthy Era, led by a different political figure (assuming McCarthy is discredited for his indiscriminate use of power in the original time line).

I also think we need to consider how the situation in Asia manifests itself. In the original time line you had a split between US and Soviet proxies in places such as Korea and Vietnam. Do the Soviets punch through the Japanese Forces in China and reach all of these regions before the US can occupy them?

If they do then that might actually work to the advantage of the US. We would not find ourselves entangled in the Korean or Vietnam Wars. And I suspect we'd probably put our eggs into securing and holding the line in Japan.

Another question to consider is the state of British Colonialism at the end of the war. Sure, the Empire is going to go away, but how does that happen? Which way does India go for instance? Do they swing hard over to the Communists or do they make their own way? What do they do about the Pakistanis? Will they be more proactive at dealing with those folks?

As for a Kolhammer Presidency, he has got the same problems that the original presidents had.

1. A mass influx of veterans into the workforce leading to a potential economic downturn which has to be managed.

2. A coming Civil Rights revolution with the real possibility of violent resistance in the South.

3. Fear over communism and nuclear war.

4. A counterculture push back against three and assisting two.

He'll have to deal with those four issues while trying to transition a petroleum invested economy into something based upon renewable energy sources. He'll have to try to do this while fighting a powerful lobby on that front. Then he'll have to fight for a reasonable working healthcare system.

And lastly, he'll have to watch for the military industrial complex, which will try to sell him all sorts of wonder weapons which aren't worth the money spent to develop them. Things like nuclear recoilless rifles and 280 mm atomic cannons, among other things.

All while being called not much better than a communist himself.

Frankly, I don't think he can get elected. Even though by our lights he might be a conservative, in 1952 he'll look like a Socialist at best.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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Lobes mumbles...

Posted January 18, 2010
Re India and Pakistan; Partition occurred in 1948 in our timeline, I can't imagine it would occur the same way again, mostly because there would be Hindu hit squads out to get Nehru

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Mark R. Whittington has opinions thus...

Posted January 18, 2010
With respect for Murph, one wonders if, in fact, the McCarthy Era witch hunts get short circuited due to foreknowledge of how they play out. Besides, we would have foreknowledge of who the real spies and subversives are...

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Murphy is gonna tell you...

Posted January 18, 2010
Mark, I think the hunt would be more selective in many respects and run by someone else. McCarthy aside, there were folks working for the Sovs during that time period.

But I think that caution about a McCarthy style witchhunt might be counterbalanced by revelations about just how bad Stalin is. The fear will still be there but rather than a vaguely articulated fear of Communism, it will be a more personalized fear of a man documented in the original timeline.

Further, foreknowledge of known spies and subversives does not preclude new spies and subversives coming on line, on both sides of the Wall.

I am not saying that things will be worse per se, just different. It could be that much of that fear which fueled Communism will instead find focus in the Civil Rights movement. I suspect the Southern States, which are deeply invested in maintaining the status quo (and not just for reasons of race but also economics) may fight a great deal harder than they did in the original timeline.

Which was pretty hard as it was.

I can easily see, and we saw it in the original trilogy, temps railing against civil liberties for minorities, women and homosexuals. I can easily see some rabble rouser pointing to African American Civil Rights at the lynchpin (my apologies for there is no pun intended) to what many might see as a cultural decline.

So I think Kolhammer would have to deal with issues of internal division while managing a shaky economy and dealing with a very real foreign security threat.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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Madam Morgana swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 18, 2010
Given that Germany is attached by land to lots of the rest of Europe (Japan, in comparison is a set of islands), the original nuking would have immediate health effects on surrounding countries - sacre bleu! - and medium to long term effects on population health, agriculture, and wild flora and faunae.

The UK would also probably be expected to deal with a lot of the medical evacuees/refugees. Which would stimulate jobs in the health sector and also accelerate their health professionals expertise in radiation sickness, cancers, birth defects and fertility/reproductive issues.

Havock would be your man to fight the giant glowing Weasels of Western Europe.

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Bangar puts forth...

Posted January 18, 2010
With the known spies, depending on the individual and their reasons I can see a couple of things happening.

1) A knock on the door "We're watching you very carefully don't do anything stupid"

2) As above "How would you like to serve your country/ You are going to serve your country", a double agent is born.

3) As above "You're coming with us".

Of course looking at the reasons the for why they originally turned would be important to spot others but what would catch most spies out is they lack the familiarity with capabilities of the uptimers tech.

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NBlob ducks in to say...

Posted January 18, 2010
Am intrigued by the resistance to a Kohlhammer presidency. Just how good would things have to be in the Zone for the rest of the continental US to want some of that action.

Is it feasible that the uptimers decide it's all to FKN hard fighting the cultural inertia and move to somewhere like Puerto Rico to restart the process?

I'm still thinking about what an additional 70 odd years of experience in fields as diverse as Enhanced Interrogation Techniques through the use of Antibiotics & Green Politics to Economic Theory impact how things develop.

I particularly remember the brifing given where a junior officer talked about a war with ideas not tanks, bombs & planes. This kind of thinking will in some fields accelerate development, in others (particulalry the soft social issues) will likely cause backlash.

How would I react to an NBob from 2050 in a silver jump suit telling me I was a barbarian & needed to do X. Y and Z? Not well I sugest.

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gtrof swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 18, 2010
Stalin shouldn’t wait long at all. If he wants to the Soviet Union to survive long term, he needs to take Europe and knock the U.S. into economic decline. Plus even though he has eliminated his rivals revealed historically, who has now grown dissatisfied with Stalin by his new actions? So beginning Red Storm Rising across Europe should be a goal. It might also be possible that he relies less on nuclear weapons. As others have said, 21C tech might provide working ABM systems for the USA. Even if they were limited they should be able to handle any AT Missile systems (short of those from the Vanguard).

Now how does NATO cope with this threat? IIRC the USSR had overrun Poland, Eastern Europe, and airborne forces were in France. Assuming that since only light forces ended up there, the Western Allies can either force or negotiate them out, leaving France undivided. Germany was protected by Himmler’s orders for chemical assault, so we have a united Germany this time except one that will require extensive rebuilding. At the very least it leaves more ground for the Soviets to cover if they move west.

There should be major NATO deployments to Germany and France. Hopefully the Allies can convince the French to remain militarily inside the command structure. In the regular TL we had NORTHAG and CENTAG for the Central Region. For the Post-Transition Cold War we have SOUTHAG in France, made up of an American Corps, British Corps, and finally French Army forces. This counters a communist Italy if it exists. Germany would see the deployment of CENTAG and NORTHAG covering the ground they did as in OTL but now moved forward to the border with Poland.

England becomes the lynch pin to REFORCER, Return of Forces to Europe (instead of REFORGER). The RAF should invest more in air defense and conventional warfare rather then the strategic side of things. Kolhammer can issue a blanket nuclear security agreement with the NATO powers letting the US (who will probably have an edge in this already) work on ICBMs, SSBNs, and so on. Prince Harry maybe can head a joint Special Operations command. The Royal Navy should invest in ASW and Air Defense. As cool as big English Fleet carriers would be, the USA can handle this area again. They have the moded Hillary Clinton plus what other super carrier projects coming off the drawing boards. Get an even better Centurion MBT out in force to be followed by a Chieftain/Challenger hybrid.

The Soviets will continue improving their conventional forces. My question is which MBT do they pick? The T-34/85 with upgrades is good but once quality tanks like the Centurion, M-60 Patton, and Leopard Is are produced they will need something close to par. Of course they could just go for spam tactics with T-55s with improvements. The wheeled BMPs will be joined by a tracked version I’d think, maybe jumping up to the BMP-2.

My question is which way does the Soviet Fleet go? In the Cold War the weakness of the Soviet blue water fleet was a factor not to be missed by the Soviet military analysts. Khrushchev who worked to prevent a strong Soviet Navy to start with is gone, plus they’ve had experience from building up to attack Japan. However the lost of the Pacific Fleet might leave a sour taste in Stalin’s mouth for expensive surface fleets. If he chooses to focus on smaller stuff, submarines and such, it will be a major weakness compared to the NATO powers.

Okay I’m tapped out for now…

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Brian is gonna tell you...

Posted January 18, 2010
As we look at the Sovs, we're forgetting the latter history with Afghanistan. Similar insurgency problems in vastly different theatres are going to be a nightmare. Existing Sov forces can't be demobilised they have to hold a third larger territory with an increased subject base 5 times larger than before. They have to rebuild shattered transport networks to simply move their tank armies around.

They also have to round up all the defeated armies in their subject territories.

Sov borders now include most of the Himalaya's, the entire Asian Pacific Coast. They can't man up a proper border defence for quite a bit. Hmm . . . .FOrmosa AKA Taiwan . . .that's a wild card.

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Guru Bob is gonna tell you...

Posted January 18, 2010
Stalin may also outlive his death in our time line given there is some debate as to whether he was murdered somehow.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Stalin#Death_and_aftermath

Israle just wouldn't happen - probably Jewish people woudl be relocated to Mauritius - which was a plan whioch had soem currency in our post-war world and would short-circuit the whole Middle Eastern conflict issue - but which may not be so popular with Jewish people a few generations down the track once they recovered from the relief of just being still alive.

I think that while the Western allies like the Nationalists may still be in control of places like China - uinless there was some means for Kolhammer to reduce the underlying social and political issues in Asia there woudl still be a string of insurgencies and conflicts in Vietnam, Korea, Indoensia etc.

However in our timeline Uncle Ho did admire the US and wanted to base Vietnamese indepence upon the USA model in post war era, unfortunately the powers that be were more concerned about pandering to France who wanted their colonies back then to supporting a political outcome based upon Vietnamese nationalism. I am sure that I read somewhere that at one stage they even enabled surrendered Japanese troops to keep their weaponry so that they could 'keep the peace' until French troops arrived to take over. Very silly decisions.

I would also suggest that it would still take a generation for anyone in the Pacific to trust the Japanese in any real way. Especially after the invasion of Australia in the AOT universe... Making the notion of Japan being a useful ally moot. What would happen with Japan being a frontline state as well may be closer to the ongoing games that are played these days between North and South Korea.

Another thing - given that the Soviets have access to exactly the same info as the West - why would they build the same weapons (tanks, aircraft etc) which they did in our timeline - after all in AOT don't the Allies start making AK47s? Why would they rebuild failures? I could see the Russians fielding their own versions of Leopard tanks and A-10s...

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Tarl ducks in to say...

Posted January 18, 2010
Does the USSR control China? I don't recall that, but it's been a while since I read the last book.

Occupying larger territory doesn't necessarily mean they need huge armies; the Soviets mostly governed through the locals anyway, depending on a potential Red Army invasion to intimidate the locals into doing the right thing. With Stalin still in power, there would be no doubt that a Prague Spring or a Solidarnosc would be a rapid path to a darwin award.

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Scott puts forth...

Posted January 18, 2010
Before his election I could see Kolhammer using the quiet room to arrange for books such as Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar to be mass printed and smuggled in to Soviet controled countries. The Soviets spent a lot of efort and blood to cleanse the archives of the Vanguard. Information which still exists in the west.

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Scott mutters...

Posted January 18, 2010
Murph, a mass influx of veterans is just the thing the US economy needs at this point. Over 80 years of tech development to be mined. We are in uncharted waters economicly instead of the tech curve we are used to in otl it has all arrived in one lump. The productivity of individual workers will explode but add to this all the new startups, construction and a large number of vets remaining in uniform I think that labour shortages are a real possibility. In the shortcome things will become cheaper but look for inflation as skill shortages start to bite.

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Murphy is gonna tell you...

Posted January 18, 2010
Scott, I'd have to do a bit of reading as it has been ages since my American History II lectures actually got past the end of World War II (the downside of teaching eight week classes) but if memory serves, the original timeline saw an economic downturn which was caused, in part, by demobilization.

The next question is ask is this. Yes, those vets get a G.I. Bill of some type (or do they?) but it will take a while to train them up to speed (two to four years). In the meantime, the economy is going to have a pretty rough go of it.

A film to watch might be The Best Years of Our Lives.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Best_Years_of_Our_Lives

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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Guru Bob asserts...

Posted January 18, 2010
Actually it would also be interesting to see what people like Einstein or Turing would do with 21st century tools? If they didn't have to prove their original great ideas and could accept them as already having been proven - could they then make more leaps of the imagination or intellect. Could Kolhammer bring together the greatest brains of that era and give them to tools to make further leaps ahead in human knowledge beyond what he brought with him? So while industry is struggling to catch up with the 21st century in a compressed timeframe he could be putting together the building blocks for the next great era of advancement - skipping the late 20th century altogether?

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Abigail puts forth...

Posted January 18, 2010
Oh have I missed the boat on this one? is it *set* back in 53? (as though it is 1953, I mean). That makes a difference to one's understanding of the question

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Abigail ducks in to say...

Posted January 18, 2010
...just when guru bonb said that about Einstein and Turing, made me think, ok, is it set the but as though other things happened to influence how much impact one event could have over another, or is it set now but as though those govs are in power and using 21st c technology and events? confused. (the Einstein .Turing idea is interesting, btw)

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Guru Bob swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 18, 2010
Abigail - JB's question is about how the alternative history he sets up in his series of books would then progress about 10 years after the events he wrote about.

I think there were some references to Einstein etc in the books but I haven't read them for a while...

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Abigail swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 18, 2010
ah, sorry, got it; cheers guru b.

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Chaz swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 18, 2010
Okay...

1, if europe is still pretty much on a war footing churchill will not get kicked out by Attlee but can easily see Churchill bringing in the NHS and state schooling.

2, As everyone will know about how things are in the east and what the soviets and their little helpers did uptime, this will reduce the appeal of groups like CND and of course remove the threat to Five and Six from soviet sympaphisers.

3, No state of Isreal, Palestine will stay Palestine under UK rule wth the usual suspects ending up in shallow graves. Sorry Menachim. There is no way that the UK would allow for instability in the Mid-east not with Stalin having access to Vanguard tech. Most of the ME will remain under UK rule with the adminstrators ands ecurity services winnowing and educating certain figures. Nasser would be excellent to bring 'onside' it of course goes without saying that Saddam Husseins family would have been 'dissapeered'.

4, We will see a change in the british labour party moving quickly to John Smiths ideals of 'one man, one vote' and in the face of stalins intrangigence clause 4 would go as well. The unions will take a knock and it's unlikely Scargill will ever rise up the ranks when it's clear that his actions helped destroy the Britosh Coal industry. In fact we could easily see the Labour party becoming a true social democratic party pretty quickly.

5, India will not stay as part of the empire although one would hope that partition would not occur, so reducing the chance of future sub-continent conflict. I'd assume that the poms would ensure that Gandhi did not get assassinated to avoid Nehru's disasterous rule and legacy.

6, Northern Ireland: Churchill was a pragmatist and I could easily see home rule being brought in with the removal of the B&T's and equal rights for the catholics. By doing this in the mid 40's would mean that the nationalist flame would be pretty small later on. Eire however could benefit from an influx of US knowhow with maybe a second zone being formed?

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Sweet Jane Says puts forth...

Posted January 18, 2010
There's no way India could avoid partition. India was a land of divided territories under powerful men with different languages and faiths before the British. The Jewel in the Crown barely remained under British influence at the start of WWII. They will definitely take their chance to buck the British.

Without the UK, the Muslims will get their partition of Pakistan. The other religions may even get their own states. Fighting was bloody after Mountbatten's departure. It will be even bloodier without a Mountbatten. Flare-ups continue today.

J.

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Sweet Jane Says mutters...

Posted January 18, 2010
What about Stalingrad? There's only a few weeks separating it from Wake. There's no way Hitler would halt the attack. He had a problem of fixating on ideas and was fixated on Russia.

J.

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Tarl mutters...

Posted January 18, 2010
Uh, Jane - are you commenting again without bothering to read the source material?

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Sweet Jane Says reckons...

Posted January 18, 2010
Big bloody deal. I switched Wake for MIDWAY. MIDWAY!

J.

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Bangar swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 18, 2010
Tarl don't bother.

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NBlob would have you know...

Posted January 18, 2010
mnnghfh

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Chaz is gonna tell you...

Posted January 18, 2010
Partition of india not needed if you don't have a nutjob like Nehru in charge. The british administrators would be more than able to point out to the big men how it would be everyones interests to have a large multi-faith India compared with a relatively well off India and a poor pakistan and bangladesh

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joe mumbles...

Posted January 18, 2010
Lots of Vets returned + 21st century farming, mining, manufacture techniques = opposite of labour shortages! Skill shortages, sure, but not a shortage of workers (although you could train up a rather large number of engineers in a decade with enough modern textbooks).

Mass unemployment and consequent social strife, now dealing with that could be worth a Kolhammar presidency!

I would like to see the beginnings of an Internet appear - over telegraph cables, of course! London could become second only to the Zone as an Information Epicentre, frontline to Red Europe as it would be.

Im liking the idea of a Battle of Britain with hybrid tech.

Stalin's best options would seem to be:

1. maintain momentum and attempt to grab as much land as possible before being stopped. Dealing with fallout from Berlin would probably underline the fact that if the nukes start dropping like Dresden incendiaries, there isn't anything left worth owning.

2. take a leaf out of China's book and become the world's supplier of low-cost/quality knockoff products (manufactured by some of those 50 million otherwise-dead gulag residents?)

The Zone may become the new home of the UN perhaps?

I would expect the national players to do their utmost to CHANGE THINGS - so as to reduce the benefit to their opponents of OTL's historical lessons.

India's division I think would go ahead (my impression was that ghandi weighed up 1 million dying in dividing versus 100 million dying in a religious civil war, I think he would still do that) but with foresight of how nice a neighbour pakistan wouldnt be.... I doubt they would be generous about it.... heheh heres a thought: put Israel in between them! ew... that one's making my head spin a little.

Many historical figures from our timeline may be targeted by their future enemies preemptively, but that may not stop the effect they had - consider if you assassinated Mao before he had written his Red Book, the Mao in OTL did complete it, and the work itself would be able to have its effect regardless (possibly with the martyr-effect added in!).

Also, as someone mentions with Turing and Einstein, they would have the headstart of the rest of their life's work to build upon, with added advantage of knowing what didn't work out and the works of their students and their student's students to read.

Unlimited possibilities for explodey goodness here, but especially interesting to me is the social and geopolitical directions that could be taken. 10 years really isn't all that long for truly revolutionary ideas to be accepted as valid, but is easily long enough for things to diverge markedly from OTL.

Well, it's time to engage the braincells in something more work-related, but it was a buzz anyhow, cheers

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HAVOCK asserts...

Posted January 18, 2010
I can see the UK putting their hand up for help and trying to rally the colonies, only to be told to shove it up their collective arse. Well, maybe not that, but certainly I would see a pound of cash or blood being coughed up by the Poms for assistance.

As for Europe, well with Russian airborne units in France, how about a reversal of the BERLIN AIRLIFT..I foresee Allied units attempting to surround the RUSSIAN Airborne units and denying them resupply. Right here in this setting we have a high chance for a clash. Kolhammer will not brook any shit from Russia, nor will Churchill for that matter and I cannot See Josef sitting on his hands quietly. His reaction will be “ screw’em”..but he needs to cross the German barrier of bio weapons. That might be a thrust on a narrow front, massive air support as well. So we have a focused fight that takes place in Europe. The spear head will be defeated and the occupying Russian forces 9 Airborne), will surrender and be transported back to Russian Lines.

Josef sues for peace with the Allies and explains it all as a rather large misunderstanding. This need only take place over a week or two, but it will be an intense engagement.

Stalin only stops the offensive to consolidate his existing gains and re constitute his now exhausted field armies on the eastern front.

Moulded into the defence of the ( NATO) type alliance are the Germans. Immediately adopting the Bundeswher values and operational structure.

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damian has opinions thus...

Posted January 18, 2010
Von Neumann is just as important a figure, and just as much a character really, as Einstein.

Jane, the attack on Stalingrad was not so much of a problem as the failure to abandon it after the Soviet counterattack led to an encirclement and siege. A successful breakout could have lead to a regroup behind the Don and potentially the destruction of over half the Soviet forces.

Of course, we don't know what would have happened if Paulus had done as Hitler ordered, and fought to the last man. And that's ust in OTL.

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Scott mumbles...

Posted January 18, 2010
The Soviets will not copy China's model and produce cheap stuff for export to the west.

China's transformation took time, the old guard neded to die out or retire. Add to this the tech toys western consumers will want will only be produced by companies associated with the zone. Many people describe Soviet produced goods as bulky and poorly made just look at the Lada and Travant both cars you almost needed to be a mechanic to keep going.

As a eastern european I new said under the Soviet system "we pretended to work, they pretended to pay us and we both pretended the system worked!"

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Chaz mutters...

Posted January 18, 2010
Life in the UK would be pretty miserable in the 50's as the country would have been on a constant war footing since 1940.

The nation would be still be semi-mobilised with a full mobilisation plan in the offing if Stalin moved forward.

And lets look at Josef Illich shall we? he's a border line pyschotic with definite signs of paranoia. He cares not a whit about the people just his powerbase.If he can't strike west (and why would he?) then he needs to go south esp towards the gulf as he would want to get at the oil that everyone knows is there.

So I'd say he'd build up forces to fully secure Iraq and Persia. Allied forces in theatre would have a hard time fighting a numerically superior enemy. I doubt Kohlhammer would nuke Russia for moving into the ME.

At least the new gulags would be nice a warm...

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Bangar asserts...

Posted January 18, 2010
Chaz, so they'd offer a choice of gulag? Too hot or too cold?

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Scott puts forth...

Posted January 18, 2010
When the Berlin wall came down East Germans crossed in to the west of the city. I remember a journalist commenting on the looks on peoples faces when they saw some of the shops. Soviet propaganda always claimed that the standard of living in the west was lower than in the Soviet Union. In this timeline this claim can be easily overrun. Furthermore the level of terror needed to keep subject countries in line will make for a nice underground movement.

Havock, England will be a verry dark place to live always fearing the Soviet hammer. Expect a larger number of English imigrants moving to South Africa and Australia.

Britain, the giant airbase sounds about right. Britain moved to the Social Democratic model to counter the alure of the Soviet Union. With the historical record any chance of any party running on a Social Democratic platform is slim.

Question, what happens in Germany?

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damian swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 18, 2010
Scot - you're pesisting with this. The parties that come under the general heading "Social Democrat" are the labour-oriented parties that grew up in the 19th century, and are not some "new branding" of "socialism". Forget about that stuff, it's nonsense.

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Sweet Jane Says puts forth...

Posted January 18, 2010
Einstein is not going to assist anyone in progressing his work when he sees the confusion and death it causes. In fact, he's more likely to try and undo anything his theories propagated. He's likely to be a candidate for assassination.

The Japanese were working on atomic weaponry at a site in Korea during WWII. They would feel motivated to continue the work at a quicker pace.

J.

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Chaz mutters...

Posted January 18, 2010
bangar, yes as a first offence you get to woprk in a gulag near Basra helping pump oil.

get caught by the NKVD twice and you're for the saltmines in Siberia.

Scott. Labour won the '45 election because the British people believed that Labour would be better able to rebuild the country. That the war against germany has been effectively replaced by a probable war agaisnt the Soviet Union the british populations view point might well be different as Churchill was seen as a true war PM. However because of the need to keep the UK on almost a full war footing it would be in Churchills interests to adobt certain Labour policies esp as he would know why he lost the election in OTL

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HAVOCK would have you know...

Posted January 18, 2010
One of the things both Britain and the US will be mindful of is density of units and equipment in the UK, given the threat of nuclear weapons. This may abate, dependant on just how the whole situation in France pans out, certainly the build up would continue.

I have a feeling, that to a certain degree elements of the population would be temporarily sent OS and that means we would take some as well. Manufacturing will still need to continue in England however.

Long range interceptors will come to the fore as with the long range bomber.

Long range Sam Units, they will strive to make missiles that can utilise the Tridents capabilities. I also wonder just how much pressure will be put on OZ by England to cut loose the HAVOCK!..jesus that name rocks. Anyways. I figure that the counter argument will be its ability to deny vast areas of ocean to bad guys..eg the INDIAN ocean and ME. That boat will tie up a disproportionate amount of resources from the opposing side. That’s the beauty of subs.

I also wonder if the OZ gummite would recognise this and start construction on perhaps the Oberon class with some mods as well.

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Therbs mumbles...

Posted January 18, 2010
Hav - When those Sov airborne units first get into France its earlier on in the piece and Kolhammer isn't yet the Big Cheese in the U.S., Roosevelt is, so Kolhammer wouldn't have the say in how the Aliies would react to Sov units cutting up France. I'd assume that Stalin would have immediately gone for a temporary stalemate while he builds more nukes, knowing that at the time of Berlin getting vapourised the U.S. has a stockpile of the things. The whole premise depends on whether Roosevelt, egged on By Churchill, challenges the Sovs in France and Italy.

Then fast forward to the Hammer as Prez.

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Scott swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 18, 2010
Damian, politics is as much about perceptions as facts. How many times have you seen a politician argue something that is factually either wrong or dubious? A political party following the emergence will take information from fleetnet and spin it for all it’s worth.

You name the polocy it will be fair game. The labour parties and the union movement won’t be able to disassociate themselves fast enough.

Quite right about Churchill

learning from his mistakes.

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Brian puts forth...

Posted January 18, 2010
Hmm . . . .historically significant scientists of the '40's.

First . . . .they have to play catch up. All due respect to Albert . . . .his most significant theoretical work was done in the 1900's.

We've been doubling the amount of scientific knowledge every couple decades since WW2. Every significant mind of the '40's will have to go back to school just to learn how to access the databases, then to unlearn stuff before they can learn the new stuff.

The world will have to go on a massive reeducation program just to properly use the knowledge that's been given them. We tend to forget the massive swelling in Engineering and Science ranks after WW2. We also seem to have forgotten the massive 'brain drain' from Europe to the USA post WW2. IOW you gotta have the trained people available to use the knowledge and it will be a pyramid. IIRC engineering ranks in the US circa '60's was in the 100.000's and it took a post war boom and GI bills to do it.

Hmm . . . .speaking of people . . . .dislocations in industry as your entire industrial base is now considered rust belt country. Training . .retraining . . . .

PS. Get to all those rare earths in Africa else you don't have a mobile phone industry. . . . hmm . . . .could have impications in Wi-Fi . . .never thought about that before . . .

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Sweet Jane Says reckons...

Posted January 18, 2010
"Plans to create a new state called Telangana from India's southern Andhra Pradesh state have provoked sporadic violence and fuelled demands for other new states across India."

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/8407984.stm

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Scott puts forth...

Posted January 18, 2010
Brian, that's a point much of our modern tech is reliant on rare earths. Australia has deposits but apparently Australia's deposits are found among radioactives, a reason we haven't developed them in a big way in otl. This may change, the antinuclear

movement doesn't exist back in the 40s. What will happen in Africa? After 40-50 years of self rule African countries are in a worse situation than before indipendence. Perhaps a period of transition will be used in this timeline.

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Scott would have you know...

Posted January 18, 2010
Btw the other main source for rare earths is China. Would the Chinese nationalists be able to translate this resource in to wealth for it's people or will China fall to Mao? Either way the growing tech industry needs this resource.

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Mark R. Whittington mutters...

Posted January 18, 2010
Murph, you make good points, as usual, especially about civil rights. Though a dispassionate analysis would suggest that the South is much better off economically without Jim Crow. I can also see a bigger, earlier push for civil rights as well, with those favoring it believing it to be "inevitable" anyway.

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Brian mutters...

Posted January 18, 2010
There's a lot of things that may not happen this time around.

Consider the American freeway system. Most of it is post WW2 construction. At the end of WW2 the worlds railway systems are coal driven. The best system is the US. TO move a lot of resources do you opt to beef up the railway system? Or . . .do you invest in national freeway system? IIRC the railways were progressively bought up after WW2 and effectively cannibalised to support interstate trucking.

The big thing is, if you want to move a lot of heavy things the existing railway infrastructure is there. Trucking requires beefing up bridges . . .almost every freakin where. One of the reasons certain bridges were prime targets . . . .only a limited number could stand Panziers trundling over them. Let alone mobile ICBM launchers.

Hmm . . . .C4 another post WW2 invention. The Czechs made a lot of it. One of the prime suppliers for 'liberation movements' of one stripe or another. IRA and Libya for certain.

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Mark R. Whittington reckons...

Posted January 18, 2010
One other thing I wonder about are the number of famous politicians whose careers might be still born because of misdeeds/mistakes they made (would have made) in our time line.

Nixon (Watergate)

Lyndon Johnson (Vietnam,Great Society)

JFK (fooling around,various ailments treated with dubious methods)

These and others could protest that they won't do these things now, but how would voters react to that?

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damian asserts...

Posted January 18, 2010
Mark - JFK would mayhbe getting gong sooner, or rather perhaps his father. Johnson, since getting into Vietnam would be sort of negated and the great society thing was great policy in hindsight, that would get a bigger following and maybe even more impetus this time around (USA might get a decent healthcare system?)

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mrblenny mutters...

Posted January 18, 2010
+1 to the comment on George Friedman from Stratfor. Stalin's fundamental problems remain the same in OTL or alternative. Namely how do you keep effective control over such a large geographic and culturally diverse area. The standard response is a very strong internal security force coupled with a command economy but we all know how inefficient this becomes.

Hence my comment RE: the US carrier force versus the Soviet Union in OTL. I was more pointing out the sheer size of an economy that can field 12 carrier battle groups without breaking a sweat vs the Soviets who nearly killed themselves off and barely completed one. (Of course you could argue they never really tried to build a large fleet and stuck to men and tanks but that kinda proves the point).

Damo

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damian reckons...

Posted January 18, 2010
Scotty, I think the <25% of the US economy that isn't directly stimulated by military spending can be said to not be a "command economy", and obviously most of ours over here. Though we have a lot of the social democrat type stuff going on, and I think it gives us an advantage over the americans. So that's all a bit vague. Ah well.

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sibeen puts forth...

Posted January 18, 2010
On the JFK note, I actually started to write a story about that family in JB's time line. Everyone forgets the older brother, Joseph, who was actually the heir designate of old Joe. He was killed in a bombing run into Germany in OTL.

With that knowledge, young Joe doesn't die, and goes on to run a Presidential campaign. The Presidents for the next 32 years are:

Joseph Kennedy - two terms.

JFK - two terms.

RFK - two terms.

Ted Kennedy - two terms.

OK, OK, the last one was a joke.

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NBlob would have you know...

Posted January 18, 2010
interestinger & interestinger said Alice.

What an fascinating collection of commentators you keep Mr. Birmingham.

And as far as I can see less than 2% faff.

Maaarevlous.

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Abigail mutters...

Posted January 18, 2010
I wish the last one wasn't a joke :( But interesting if you had a Kennedy dynasty owning America for that long in this alternate universe. What are the right wingers up to while that's going on though?

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Tarl ducks in to say...

Posted January 18, 2010
I think the sequence of Kennedys is unlikely. The U.S. tends to blame the sitting president (and his party members) for things that have gone wrong. Even if nothing else, simple economic swings would make a designated-successor unlikely.

When Bush Sr. won his election, he was the first sitting vice president to win the presidency in well over a century.

About the only way to arrange a designated successor is the trick the Republican governors pulled in Massachusetts in recent years. Weld resigned half-way through his second term, so by the time the election came, his successor (Celucci) ran as an incumbent. Then Celucci resigned mid-term, but even with that advantage Swift wasn't able to win her election.

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Tarl ducks in to say...

Posted January 18, 2010
Oh, and one more post to push the comment number into three digits :-)

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sibeen is gonna tell you...

Posted January 18, 2010
Bloody hell, Tarl; how is Murph's head going to explode at the thought of 32 years of Kennedy Deomocrats in the Oval office if you keep trying to shoot the idea down.

Get with the bloody program!

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Bangar mutters...

Posted January 18, 2010
Sibeen, I reckon it'd take a lot more than that.

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HAVOCK puts forth...

Posted January 18, 2010
Mr Blenny, if you look in the last section of Final Impact, the ruskies fielded a rather large fllet of reasonable quality. The Japs sank most of it, but it only took two years. remember, man power utilisation in the USSR is NOT an issue and would not be a second time around. Over halgf of europe is under their control, part of italy, part of Austria, China will possibly fall as well, plus a goodly portion of the middle east. They still have two bombs in the locker I think as well.

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HAVOCK reckons...

Posted January 18, 2010
I hope somebody caps that fkn muppet Macarthur or he has an ACCIDENT!...fkn tool

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mrblenny is gonna tell you...

Posted January 18, 2010
Havock, this is very true. The Russians have never had a very productive economy throughout history. They have however on several occasions fielded very large armies and even navies so they can certainly do it again. However remember we are talking about an empire that spans a large portion of the globe, yet they have no reliable internal transportation network, a poorly educated and frightened population and can only achieve the illusion of parity with the US by diverting almost the entire economy to military related projects.

In the birmoverse they may "control" large portions of territory but that does not automatically equate to additional resources for the state. How would they transport food from Italy to Moscow for example? Educate enough engineers to extract oil and gas? Perhaps a way forward for Stalin is to "concede" territory that he could never hold anyway for a sweet deal involving tech transfers or foreign investment. Not a very exciting, explodey goodness story though :-(

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savo swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 18, 2010
gtrof said: Now how does NATO cope with this threat

.

Why would there even be a NATO. Germany gone France cut in half Italy gone Holland gone probably Belgum gone as well. Will Andorra join the fray??

Einstein had finished all his good stuff 30 years before. Turing wasn't the only one in the field and perhaps not the most exceptional. Heim would be interesting.

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Bangar mumbles...

Posted January 18, 2010
Havoc, Mac was a political general ... Kolhammer eats him alive without breaking a sweat or getting indigestion.

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damian swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 18, 2010
Savo - von Neumann would be most interesting, being able to work in light of his later work.

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Bangar puts forth...

Posted January 18, 2010
Also Feynman would be huge, young enough (junior at Los Alamos), bright enough (Birmo put him in any sequels, you will not regret it), and just read the memoirs. The problem will be extrapolating where his thinking will go. An original mind.

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damian is gonna tell you...

Posted January 18, 2010
Oh yes, Feyman!

Intersting thought - there'd be no "Austrian" school of economics, ftw.

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savo asserts...

Posted January 18, 2010
Nice FF from MickHawkes on Paul Brasch search for Burkhard Heim

http://miniburger.wordpress.com/axis-of-time-fan-fic/going-home%e2%80%a6-mick-hawkes/

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sibeen mutters...

Posted January 18, 2010
The bongo playing Feynman is a must :)

As Savo said, Einstein had shot his bolt years before and was mainly a father figure by this time. Physics is normally a young blokes game. Dirac may be still young eneough (just) and Dyson would be entering his prime.

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Guy reckons...

Posted January 18, 2010
The UK would be the main US ally and the main forward base for the coming conflict with the Soviet Union. Given that the true horror of communism will be common knowledge in the alternative timeline thanks to the time travelers, there would be far fewer naive lefties playing thier silly games. CND would not become a major force.

The US, especially under a Kolhamer administration, would be making huge military and eceonomic investments in Britain. The result would be that the British economy recovered from the war faster than in our timeline. US cultural influence would be rather greater as well.

UK politics would probably miss out on much of the socialism it "enjoyed" in the decades after the war. Clear evidence form teh future that socialism made Britain much poorer than it needed to be will be paraded in front of the voters at every election. The emergence of a high-tech firmly capitalist Britain would be prety much a given under the circumstances.

Apart from Britain itself, there are the colonies to consider. Malta would continue to be a vital base to control the Med, especially as the Soviets control most of the northern Med coastline. The same would be true for Cyrus. Whether or not Malta and Cyprus gained formal independence, they would happily accept a role as a major US/UK militay base (given that the alternative was to get shipped off to the gulag with the other slaves). Much the same for the other colonies to a lesser extent.

Australia and New Zealand would also get a much greater and earlier degree of US military and econmomic investment. The idea of the Anglosphere would emerge quickly, with a military/economic/cultural grouping of the US/UK/Australia/New Zealand forming the core of the free world. The tattered remnants of Western Europe still free of communist control would have less influence and would basically have to do as they were told if they wanted to gain protection from the Russians.

It was not entirely clear in the books exactly how much of Western Europe the Russians ended up controlling. Did they, for example, control the southern French Atlantic coastline? How much of northern Italy did they get? You can easily imagine the Soviets looting the art treasures of Venice and Milan. Doubtless the Anglo-Americans will dig in hard to protect the rest of the country (sadly the least industrialised part, although I imagine the tech transfers from America would quickly change that.

US and British troops would also be based in Scandinavia, including Finland. Evidence from future of the horror of the Soviet regime would make ideas of nutrality pointless.

Lots of scope for espionage between Northern France and Southern France.

Would the Soviets decide to try for an early first nuclear strike? Quite possible as they would have clear evidence from the future that socialist economics don't work and that ultimately capitalism is the only game in town. However, any war would certainly see the destruction of Moscow and it's difficult to maintain a centralised dictatorship if you've lost the centre!

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Matthew K has opinions thus...

Posted January 18, 2010
Ooooh! (Jumps up and down and claps hands). Fun thread!

Can't stay long and haven't time to read all these very good posts now.

Sparty had some points re UK.

No reforming Labour government? The working and middle class implicitly expected a substantial set of reforms to cap the reform process which had been ongoing since 1832. And they just get more war without end? I can see what Orwell called the "flabbily pacifist" "left wing intelligentsia" getting a big boost.

Empire? In our time line a large strand of US public opinion was hostile to the British Empire and UK was flat broke by the end of the war, a deliberate tactic by the US. UK would be hard put just to hang on to Gibraltar and Malta, (Spain is still under Franco innit?), maybe they could be tripwires like West Berlin?

Stalin was never in favour of large scale exporting of communism, he preferred to consolidate it in Russia (and his personal hold on power was all important to him). Trotsky was the more evangelical about spreading the word, hence the rivalry. So has the arrival of the fleet from the future so changed Stalin's mind? I could see the Sovs withdrawing to a more defensible position, leaving themselves some satellite states as a buffer zone.

SJ's point about India (The Raj rather), is good. Jinnah, and to a lesser extent Ghandi, were both guilty of playing up divisions for their own political ends - Jinnah was actually a whisky drinking lawyer with a wah wah accent and a fondness for Saville row suits. However they had been shit stirring for a while pre war and I suspect the process was too far gone to avoid partition. But did it inevitably have to be as horrible?

To my mind, it was the abrupt withdrawal of control that triggered it.

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Matthew K would have you know...

Posted January 18, 2010
Oh and JB? You ought to have Ernie Bevin survive longer in your world, he was kind of a Labour working class Churchill. Big fat man, started life as an illiterate carter and ended up founding Britain's biggest union, British foreign secretary and founder member of NATO.

Left wing and steadfast on opposing communism.

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sparty reckons...

Posted January 18, 2010
"there would be far fewer naive lefties playing thier silly games. CND would not become a major force" For many CND wasn't about appeasing or liking communism but about just not wanting to get nuked. in an even more hostile world than the original timelinee it could be very appealing group. Not saying i agree just that it could almost become the "offcial" protest group agaisnt all the changes to the world brought about by teh fleet.

I think "resentment" about teh changed timeline would becoem a politcal force in itself. (Just ask Trekkies!)

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Guy asserts...

Posted January 18, 2010
When he was general secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, Yuri Andropov publicly encouraged so-called 'peace' groups like CND to fight against American and British 'warmongers and imperialists'. He praised CND for its work. When he was asked if Russia would engage in unilateral nuclear disarmament he said 'Of course we will not give up our weapons. We are not a naive country'.

CND and the other groups that tried to persuade western countries to disarm without any comparable disarmament from the Soviet Union were just the latest version of the kind of people Lenin referred to as 'useful idiots'.

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sparty ducks in to say...

Posted January 19, 2010
By the end of the third book, there had been alot of nuclear weapon use- regardless of the politics a "please dont nuke us" movement might be very appealing.Particulary given the "improved Soviet Union".

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Harry the Dog puts forth...

Posted January 19, 2010
Hi Jonno

A further book in the AoT series, sounds excellent!!!

As a Brit I'll chip in my twopence worth.

With a detailed picture of what the future holds, I would imagine the UK would be keen to protect the Empire, and as a consequence turn inwards whilst applying the future technology they have in support of this end.

Could there be some hostility towards the US given their stance over the Suez Crisis? As I think on this point, would the UK also need to develop their naval power to protect future North Sea oil reserves and possibly those of the Falkland Islands?

Also would they not want to clamp-down on the Republican movements in Ireland, again given what the future holds.

Given Harry's obvious influence, could their not be a rift in the elite classes of UK society. He would obviously have a more progressive outlook on the future of things, which may not sit well with a Country keen to protect its interests both present and future, at all costs!!!

The UK could become quite a sinister state, hell-bent on self-interest (just like today really!!!)

If I can think of anything more, I'll get back

Cheers

Harry

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Matthew K has opinions thus...

Posted January 19, 2010
Harry the Dog: "...a rift in the elite classes of UK society."

It's true that GB did have a lot more of the bull necked, tweedy, old school tie chappies who took pride in their anti intellectualism and would literally bellow over any opinion they disapproved of. There could well be a reactionary movement from them opposing what they've heard of the future.

Equally as dangerous are what Orwell calls the "squashily pacifist, sometimes violently pro-Russian, but always anti British" left-wingers who did as much to embolden Hitler as the did his supporters.

Much food for thought here:

http://www.orwell.ru/library/essays/lion/english/

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Vallon Davis asserts...

Posted January 19, 2010
1. A series of proxy wars or insurgencies within the colonies of England, France, Belgium etc, with support and advisement from the Soviets. An increase in resistance movements in many parts of Soviet occupied Europe. The U.K. would be the staging area for the various resistance groups against the Soviets.

2. The Soviets encounter some snags in their march into Asia, as the Viet Minh under Ho Chi-Minh receive a lot of support from the new and improved C.I.A. and the Quiet Room in the Zone.

3. Growing Anti-Stalin movement branches out from Siberia, as Ivanov and his forces of Anti-Communist Russians increase in numbers leading to another Russian Civil War.

4. Western Allied Forces in Japan keep a close eye on the Russian occupied portion in the North, which they are having difficulty supplying and supporting as they are tied down in so many other areas, and Anti-Communist forces are on the verge on taking Vladivostok.

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Matthew K would have you know...

Posted January 19, 2010
Harry the Dog: "...a detailed picture of what the future holds..."

It doesn't. That is/was/will be an alternative future where WW2 was not interrupted by a 21st century fleet dropping into the middle of it. That future never will come to pass.

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mckinneytexas would have you know...

Posted January 19, 2010
Coming in late, dammit.

First of all, if Kolhammer is President in 1952, SOMETHING already has happened. Something big and nasty almost certainly.

AoT ended with the Sovs in southern France, moving at a speed over the Alps which still defies reason. Nonetheless, that was the playing field Birmo left us with. My guess is that there was an immediate post-war falling out with the Uptimers resulting in a significant down-sizing of US force levels and defense investment, i.e. pretty much what actually happened in our timeline. The Sovs did pretty much what they did in our timeline, although much more of it and much better--they built the hell out of more and better weapons, and eventually got crude nukes. The point of departure is that, unlike the Cold War, the Sovs invaded Europe and the UK is now the last man standing. Don't know about the Chinese role in all of this, but when the Sovs moved west, it scared the crap out of the US and all of the douche bags who wouldn't listen to 'Cassandra' Kolhammer were swept out of office and Kolhammer, with solid majorities in both houses, was swept in. Now, it is WWII all over again, except this time the Sovs have all of continental Europe (except Spain and Switzerland?). The UK is replaying its original role, Labor is dead meat and Winnie is back in the driver's seat.

How Kolhammer fights this war remains to be seen. Like PNB, I am hoping JB eventually tells us.

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mckinneytexas mumbles...

Posted January 19, 2010
Sentence should read, "My guess is that, IN THE U.S., there was an immediate post-war falling out with the Uptimers . . . "

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Sweet Jane Says puts forth...

Posted January 19, 2010
Feynman, Oppenheimer, and Von Braun... Someone from the future would need to look into Las Alamos, Sandia, the US space program, and the facility in Tennessee to make sure those people don't fall into Russian, German, or Chinese hands.

J.

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Sweet Jane Says would have you know...

Posted January 19, 2010
Brazil... The Germans had contacts in South America. At one point they tried to persuade Mexico to join the Axis in order to make a three front war for the US. German interest in Brazil would continue, especially if they know that Brazil acted as a haven in their future.

J.

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Matthew K is gonna tell you...

Posted January 19, 2010
McK, in OTL Churchill was past his best and a bit senile by the '50s. Of course medical intervention from the future might change this. If you could stop Winnie drinking and smoking his breakfast.

It's spelled Labour btw, and if Winnie's wits could survive why not Ernest Bevin? He deserves a part, a great character and downright right.

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Building the Birmoverse « The World According to Me… reckons...

Posted January 19, 2010
[...] thread over on Cheeseburger Gothic soliciting thoughts on what the world will look like after the war in the Axis of Time [...]

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SJPONeill asserts...

Posted January 19, 2010
This is a great thread with a ton of awesome comemnts and ideas but I guess you all knew that...I had a lot to say so tossed it in here: http://sjponeill.wordpress.com/ I'm a bit technically-disadvantaged so it is easier for me to do stuff with links this way that clutter up comment here with them...hope that's OK?

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mckinneytexas puts forth...

Posted January 19, 2010
Matt, believe it or not, here in the US we spell the UK's Labour Party as Labor. Meant no offense.

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Matthew K ducks in to say...

Posted January 19, 2010
I know McK, I was just taking a swipe in passing! ;) Believe it or not "The Red Flag", Labour's "theme song" as it were, is sung to the tune of "Oh Christmas Tree"! Every party conference they all get up and sing it in rousing chorus, which must be a real headfuck to any Americans and Germans watching.

http://www.marxists.org/subject/art/music/lyrics/en/red-flag.htm

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El Coqui would have you know...

Posted January 19, 2010
Sweet Jane:

It was Argentina who was friendly to the Germans, no Brazil who not only declared war on Germany but have troops and aircraft deployed on the Italian peninsula. American Naval Patrol aircraft flew from their bases to watch over the South Atlantic.

The problem that I see with John scenario is that presumes that the USSR have a better logistics train that historically they ever possessed. Comparing it to the US would be akin to compare a horse drawn cart and a eighteen wheeler.

We do power projection in a world scale as a matter of course, they no so much.

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Matthew K ducks in to say...

Posted January 19, 2010
SJP, I was going to suggest cut and paste but that is quite a chunk.

I like the idea of the Vulcan, because it looks cool dammit.

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Sweet Jane Says reckons...

Posted January 19, 2010
ODESSA - http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Holocaust/odessa.html

J.

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Sweet Jane Says ducks in to say...

Posted January 19, 2010
Don't forget "The Boys from Brazil."

J.

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Sweet Jane Says puts forth...

Posted January 19, 2010
BBC News | World | Nazi gold vault opened in Brazil

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/34761.stm - 19k - similar pagesA bank vault containing more than $4 million worth of what is allegedly property stolen from victims of the holocaust has...

J.

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Matthew K reckons...

Posted January 19, 2010
Yeah, thinking about while reading Orwell I'd say that come 1949 or so, the peace at any price sentiment would have swelled amongst the British public. They would be so pissed off after a decade of war, tensions and general sword of Damocles hanging over their heads that they'd jump at any offer from Stalin, no matter how transparently insincere.

Remember, appeasement was popular before the war, (and there were some who wanted to make peace with Hitler during the war).

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SJPONeill reckons...

Posted January 19, 2010
Sorry, MAtt, But I think the Brits would return to that Finest Hour Blitz mentality and just stick it out - the post-Transition information Age would make it pretty clear what life in Sov-occupied Europe was like and so I think they would tell Uncle Joe to stick it. A large part of appeasement, rightly or wrongly, deliberately or otherwise, was that it gave the UK a bit more time to get its act together for the war that everybody knew was coming - with the benefit of hindsight they probably should not have made a stand over Poland and used the extra time to get ready, build more Spitfires and aircraft carriers, train up a standing Army and encourage the Dominions to do the same...

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Paul Nicholas Boylan mumbles...

Posted January 19, 2010
All I keep thinking about is the size of the resulting Soviet Empire and how difficult it will be to hold it together - nukes or no nukes, scattered high tech or no scattered high tech the Germans could barely hold their pre WWII empire together and were severely stressed by French and Greek partisans.

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Tarl puts forth...

Posted January 19, 2010
Reading back through posts, Scott has a point about Kohlhammer getting elected to the presidency. Things have to have *seriously* gone wrong for that to happen. Under normal circumstances, he'd be "one of them", and not electable. The only way he gets elected is if he appears to have the answer to bail the country out of a mess.

Just being a nice guy, effective in the Zone, and representing future hope isn't sufficient. To win a primary, he has to buck all the existing power structures (a decade isn't nearly enough to unseat those), and then his other-party opponent has to be seriously handicapped in some way - like being saddled with the blame for something horrible.

So what could go awfully wrong? Presumably it would be Roosevelt's successor - with all the diseases Roosevelt had, even uptime medicine won't be able to extend his life much. Said successor would have to have something on the size of unexpectedly losing a major nation to the Red Menace or a catastrophic economic depression (possibly triggered by uptime tech) - something that for some reason the voters would think an uptimer could help out with.

One possibility that occurs to me is race riots; with black america fully aware of how the future had gone, they might demand greater rights at the same time as the Ku Klux Klan and others try to implement even greater repression to avoid civil rights. That could easily escalate to full-blown race warfare across the south, possibly across the nation. Add in the possibility of the Soviets (chuckling in their fur hats) adding fuel to the fire through KGB undercover agents, and perhaps african-americans managing to formally seize control of a state or two.

In that kind of environment, a white leader from the blacks-are-equal future might be seen as having the ability to get the country calmed down again.

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SJPONeill is gonna tell you...

Posted January 19, 2010
An uptimer like Kohlhammer getting elected is probably no less likely than California or Montana electing actors and body-builders as governor. the '52 election is well after the end of WW2 and if (perhaps a big IF) Kohlhammer pulls off some sort of resolution in international or domestic politics (I like the domestic race scenario too) then he may well show-in; or maybe the previous guy is just so bad that anyone appears betters; or maybe the uptimers cheat in order to secure the DC power base...?

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Scott is gonna tell you...

Posted January 19, 2010
The uptimers cheat to get Kolhammer elected! Love it, lets see the successor to Roosevelt isn't Trumann, his intergration of black people in to the military otl makes him unelectable. So his replacement comes along and Kolhammer discovers that he is a supporter of the Soviets maybe a long term sleeper. Now faced with this what does he do? Sit back and let a traitor take over or use the quiet room to undermine and take over. This is not so far feched, we know that the quiet room is already engaged in political activities.

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gtrof ducks in to say...

Posted January 19, 2010
Birmo I think you need to clear something up here. I've read several posts that suggest the Soviet Union controls everything in Europe at the end of Final Impact. As I understand it the Soviets got, Poland, Eastern Europe and maybe Greece, Italy, and dropped airborne units into southern France.

As it sounds to me, the Russians control Italy, Poland, EE, and Greece. Germany was protected by the no mans zone created by anthrax attacks. As a result Germany as a whole is still around and at least half of France.

Some further info would be helpful.

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Sweet Jane Says mutters...

Posted January 19, 2010
African-Americans would not abandon the WWII war effort unless there was a greater threat. African-Americans had units in the Revolutionary War, Civil War, "Indian Wars," WWI, and WWII. Do you think black Americans would show loyalty to invaders? The future people might preach the right words, but they're still invaders.

J.

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Tarl mutters...

Posted January 19, 2010
SJPONeill - to become president he has a two-step process; first, he has to persuade the partisans in a primary. The people who vote in primaries are tilted more towards the extremes. The candidate has to both persuade these partisans that he represents their interests and that he's electable in the main election.

The only way Eisenhower got in was because the republicans were desperate for a win after twenty years in the wilderness, so they drafted an outsider they felt some democrats would vote for. Even that wouldn't have been enough without the democrats picking Stevenson, far enough left that even centrists democrats were uncomfortable.

Possibly a similar dynamic works to get Kolhammer in - if Roosevelt's successor is a democrat, and Republicans can be persuaded that Kohlhammer will support their causes, they might be persuaded to nominate him instead of drafting Eisenhower.

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Scott mumbles...

Posted January 19, 2010
At the end of bk3 Himmler's firebrake of chemical weapons had stopped the Soviet advance. How bad was the bombing campaign Berlin is gone but what shape is the German industrial cities in?

Who takes over? One of the uptime Germans would be a good idea. Is Germany the reicipiant of a Marshall style plan?

Any one know anything about how long chemical weapons persist in the environment?

Picture this,

within 2/3 years the chemical barrier is diluted enough to allow a Soviet advance. Kolhammer warns of this but is ignored as a warmonger. The Soviets advance and Germany falls to the reds!

Come election day Kolhammer can say "told you so. We're next!"

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Scott mutters...

Posted January 19, 2010
Part of Eisenhower's apeal was he was the man who beat the Nazis, an over symplafication of the dynamics i know but bare with me.

Kolhammer and uptime tech, the stratagies taught by his people saved a shit load of lives.

You're a man who history showed dyed in the battle of the bulge, this time you and a lot of your buddies are alive, you're a wife daughter sister of said man. Maybe, you're a Japanese pow who was liberated. Favourably disposed to the people who made it possible you think? So they have some funny ideas but they gave me back my life, someone I love, I know this would influence my thinking.

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SJPONeill is gonna tell you...

Posted January 19, 2010
Perhaps Kohlhammer is the wrong uptimer? looking at the Ike/JFK dynamic, maybe the uptimer nomination has to be for someone who was actually in or certainly perceived as being in the fight? I need to go back and reread because the only uptimers I can remember being prominently engaged in combat are Halabi and Prince Harry, both of whom fail the first hurdle for POTUS.

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Abe swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 19, 2010
Wasn't "Boys from Brazil" a Simple Minds track, Jane? I think it was on either Sister Feelings Call or Sons and Fascination, wasn't it?

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Chaz would have you know...

Posted January 19, 2010
Brazil has a fairly significant german expat population down in the south. It's fairly modern if you know what I mean.

Peron was pretty pro-Nazi as in a nutshell peronsim is pretty much national socialism. Argentine volunteers who fought in the battle of britain (had their own squadron) have not been offically acknowledged by the pollies until fairly recently.

Two main phases of german immigration to Argy land, one after WW1 and they went to mendoza and then another lot after ww2 and they went to cordoba or is it the other way around? Anyway lots of german fmailies running vinyards in the wine regions. You tend not to ask when they settled.....

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Bangar mumbles...

Posted January 19, 2010
Just a thought, I'm not overly familiar with electing American Presidents, but could he be appointed Vice or run as Vice and then become President?

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Tarl puts forth...

Posted January 19, 2010
Vice Presidents couldn't be appointed until 1967; the XXVth ammendment.

Kohlhammer could have run as Vice President, but can you see him being willing to play 2nd fiddle? The job of Vice President in the U.S. is, to quote "worth a bucket of warm spit". Because a President can't get rid of a VP, they are usually tremendously reluctant to give a VP any actual duties - being able to control someone and being able to fire him are usually synonymous in circles of power.

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Tarl mutters...

Posted January 19, 2010
This raises an interesting question for trivia in U.S. legal circles for the Axis of Time...

There have been six amendments to the constitution since WWII - 22 through 27. They are:

- Limit of two terms for president (passed while Truman was in office)

- Provide electors to Washington DC (previously, people living in the capital couldn't vote for president)

- Prohibition on charging tax to vote (civil rights measure)

- Vice-presidential appointment (passed during Johnson's 2nd term)

- Right to vote at age 18

- Limits on congress giving itself raises

Many of those are common-sense measures, which I suspect most of the U.S. in 1945 would agree with. I wonder if there would be an effort to bring them forward into the AoT-US constitution, knowing that they eventually did pass in an alternate U.S.

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SJPONeill swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 19, 2010
I think they would pass because, as you say, they are pretty commonsense; I wonder what other ones might be added to them either caused by the Transition e.g rights of uptimers, or that perhaps were good ideas that didn't fly in our time line

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Abigail is gonna tell you...

Posted January 19, 2010
Ok I'm going to get abused by anybody here who doesn't think much of the ladies for putting this comment here, except there is nowhere else to put it, so... Dear JB, your lady pets are humbly asking for clean straw and fresh water for our litte room. Also, some heterosexual discussion/banter would be nice:)

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HAVOCK ducks in to say...

Posted January 19, 2010
its FKN Simple. If Kolhammer gets elected, it means the the PREZ fucked up, and the Kol, commanded the forces and saved the day. SIMPLE.. not fkn rocket science i reckon

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damian has opinions thus...

Posted January 19, 2010
Tarl - going by the attitude of the uptime folks in AoT, they would be operating as though those amendments had already been passed anyway, and any use of the fact they hadn't would be regarded unfavorably.

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Abigail asserts...

Posted January 19, 2010
(oops, John, I did of course mean : when you're deadline is no longer chewing your soul into a thousand ribbons)

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Chaz ducks in to say...

Posted January 19, 2010
Abigail: you're making a pretty big assumption there considering the scribes primary career path..

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drej reckons...

Posted January 19, 2010
Really didn't picture the Hammer as being the sort who would even want the top job. As Savo said, something major must have gone down, which most likely involved smashing Moscow.

Every "eventual" politician alive back then, from the Kennedys to Reagan would be pondering their futures, with many perhaps contemplating running earlier than in OTL.

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sparty mutters...

Posted January 19, 2010
SJP -

Vulan pic :-)

TSR2 :-)

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Tarl mumbles...

Posted January 19, 2010
Hacock - Agreed that the incumbent would need to screw up badly for Pres. Kohlhammer to be a possibility. But Kohlhammer doesn't have to have solved the problem, as much as be seen as the one who *could* solve the problem(s). It's better if he hasn't already solved the problem - In politics, there is a saying that gratitude will buy you a cup of coffee, if you're willing to pay $5.

Damien - agreed. Not only the uptimers, I suspect the courts and congress would also in general be eyeing those amendments as if they were real, mostly because any decisions they made defying them would be over-scrutinized. So congress might simplify their lives by simply passing the amendments as a fait accompli. There isn't anything in them that attitudes at the time would find uncomfortable. Even the poll tax was only used in a minority of districts, not many people would defend it.

Abigail - I guess the only kind of abuse I can come up with for you is to wonder what you consider this is, if it isn't a heterosexual conversation? One of us must be mistaken about the gender of the other :-)

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Abigail ducks in to say...

Posted January 19, 2010
Tarl- I was being quite throwaway when I said it,(about a hetero..) there was no grenade in it.I wasn't talking about the "gender" of this particular topic. However, if you want to discuss it in the ladies lounge, feel welcome. But I'm not trying to escalate a conversation here about it. Chaz-there isn't an ounce of bad blood/ bad feeling/lack of respect between myself and old JB.he's familair enough with my sense of humor and the q was addressed to him. If he had an issue with me requesting "fresh straw...",which is a joke, he knows where I am. anyway, let you get on with the talk.(which so very interesting btw; I just don't have enough background in it to contribute sufficiently interesting comments)

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HAVOCK swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 19, 2010
Abigail...dont start going sot on the fkr now..he does sweet fkn FA all fkn day and then has the fkn audacity to cry like a fkn BIG FKN GIRL, its been a long hard fkn SLOG...

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Harry the Dog puts forth...

Posted January 19, 2010
Matt K, you're quite right that 'That is/was/will be an alternative future where WW2 was not interrupted by a 21st century fleet dropping into the middle of it'. My thoughts were more along the lines of the UK establishment would be aware of what could happen if things went unchecked. Just check out a flexipad!!!

However, whilst contemplating my navel in the smallest room in the house, it occured to me: what about China & the Middle East?

Given the technology introduced by the 21C fleet, China's potential as a formidable superpower would become apparent. Surely the UK would want to reappraise its leasehold arrangement re Hong Kong, given that late 40's China would be embroilled in civil war. Maybe there might even be a larger scale land-grab in China.

With the Middle East, would the US Intelligence/Security world want to stamp out anything that may give birth to an Al-Quada?

Wasn't this the eventual situation that resulted in the Fleet being where it was in 21C time, with a research vessel playing around with wormhole technology.

Interesting yet, could that research vessel (can't remember the name at the mo)turn up somewhere...intact!!!

Cheers guys ;-)

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John Birmingham mumbles...

Posted January 19, 2010
Enjoying your rosehip beer, havsy?

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Brian mumbles...

Posted January 19, 2010
No Israel this time round?

How about . . . .no UN?

Come to that . . . .England never wins another Ashes series as 21st medicine will keep Bradman in his whites until 1957. . . .when he retires due to popularity of 20:20.

Hmm . . .the Dutch get booted outa Indonesia. ASEAN may be borne early . . . .will here be a non-aligned bloc?

(Frag rosehip tea . . .real men drink Emperors Garden Green Tea!)

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Abigail puts forth...

Posted January 19, 2010
(...sorry guys, I didn't mean "heterosexual",honestly, I meant, communal or unisex but I couildn't find the word.I only meant it as a compliment -ie, selfishly, I miss having a big communal discussion in here and it sees like a long time between chats- only, it didn't come out as the light/compliment it was supposed to be.)

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HAVOCK mumbles...

Posted January 19, 2010
yyeeeeep..RADLER FKN WICKED

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NBlob ducks in to say...

Posted January 19, 2010
Abigail, you have wandered through the looking glass here.

I enjoy the light hearted banter about the bunnies and the grotto. In those conversations the wilder the imagination the better.

But occasionally we get serious. Probably entirely too Geeky serious. If anything I enjoy these what if's even more than the Bunny discussions. They are what made me become a regular.

There are quite a few occasional burgers who only really engage in this kind of tech thread. The assembled brains trust JB has here is remarkable. We have burgers with diverse backgrounds, interests, experiences and opinions with a single locus - JB's work. At least 2 wear millitary service ribbons, several have history or sociology qualifications and many with extensive recreational reading & knowledge under their belts.

I'm 100% sure there is NO exclusion intended. However without the starting knowledge of "the story so far" EG the assasin thread building on Without Warning or this one stemming from JB AOT trilogy you're likely to feel exculded. As an aside it's why Jane sh!ts me so. She trolls from her high walled ward without bothering to understand the back story.

I'm not sending, bannishing nor directing anyone [we have a thread cop & don't need another] but you'd probably get more entertainment in the ladies lounge. It was crafted by Italian craftsmen as a refugia of unadulterated Faff. And if you're serving a refreshingly fruity tea, Havsy may just pop in.

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Tarl mutters...

Posted January 20, 2010
Abigail - when I pulled your leg, I didn't mean for it to come off...

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WarDog has opinions thus...

Posted January 20, 2010
An alternate reason for Kolhammer's election might be that its come to light that another 21C (or even late 20C) time traveling cluster has appeared and is in the hands of the Soviets.

With bright minds like Einstein, Dirac and the like all aware that TT can be done, there would have been huge amounts of research in the area aided by the uptimers.

At some point one or more groups *are* going to recreate a time machine and if it skips back with knowledge of the future, post the Kolhammer presidency, then you cause the TT intervention chaos all over again.

More pre-emptive purges .. "you saw the records Kolhammer was going to …”

And the uptimers are now piggy in the middle and no longer hold all (or the most nearly correct) answers.

And if this falls into Soviet hands .. possibly without Kolhammers direct knowledge .. just suspicions because of the near perfect intel that is being used against the US.

OK, hopefully that not too much of a ramble.

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Sweet Jane Says puts forth...

Posted January 20, 2010
Technically, none of the time travelers were born in the US in which they find themselves. Their US is in an alternate reality, different timeline. No time travel can be done in the time line of the traveler.

Therefor, none of them can be president or vice-president (since VP's have a direct line to the presidency). None of them were born in the US of that time line, and one must be born in the US to be able to run for president. Schrodinger would confirm the point. They can only run for president in the US in which they were born.

J.

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Sweet Jane Says swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 20, 2010
Don't question my credentials. I have a major in English (emphasis on literature), a minor in History, a minor in Anthropology, and an endorsement in Social Sciences in Secondary Education. Additionally, I've taught World History, American History, and Native American History.

J.

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Sweet Jane Says mumbles...

Posted January 20, 2010
Oh, I also have a Masters in Secondary Education.

J.

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gtrof ducks in to say...

Posted January 20, 2010
But Jane have you read any of the books JB has written? Since that's what we're talking about.

Back on topic,

Remember in DT black groups were already swarming Kolhammer with requests that he runs for President. So we can guess that he would get huge black support in the North. Plus I see an accelerated Civil Rights movement so maybe Truman or whoever follows him gives out more rights we may even have Kolhammer getting black votes in the south.

However as others have said Kolhammer needs to follow the process to become president. I don't see him or any of the American military personnel approving rigging the elections. It goes against what they stand for as U.S. servicemen. I would see Kolhammer being picked by the Republicans much like Eisenhower, in fact what if Kolhammer was Eisenhower's VP nomination?

Then you have two heavy hitters, Eisenhower for his role as Supreme Commander, Kolhammer as the man who brought new technology and can appeal to democratic and liberal voters. Plus his anti-communist stance will be attractive to conservatives.

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SJPONeill mutters...

Posted January 20, 2010
'Sweet' Jane...I don't doubt you have many masters. Can you teach World History, American History, and Native American History all at the same time with any degree of consistent fact? You make a good point re the Uptimers ability to run for President hence the probable need for a Constitutional Amendment to cover them or even just remove that requirement.

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robW would have you know...

Posted January 20, 2010
I've been biting my tongue since this thread first began. But here are a few thoughts that directly address: "I’m especially interested in how the UK evolves, as it would be a frontline state in this scenario."

I would suggest that the UK, in the 10 years after WWII, could possibly become a great superpower--and a filty rich one at that. In our timeline, the UK was broke after the war. In the AOT timeline, however, the Brits would know about the West Sole Gas Field (discovered 30 September 1965), which was an easy and cheap fuel source for home heating, electrical generation, industrial plant fuel, and chemical (fertilizer) generation. Simultaneously, the Brits could bring online the oilfields offshore Scotland (and probably develop the fields offshore Norway). Within ten years the UK would be producing between 4 and 6 million barrels of oil per day. The UK would be energy independent, have a large, if not huge petrochemical industry, and be a net energy exporter.

The UK would have been the major steel producer after WWII, and given its energy independence, it would make the steel more cheaply than anyone else in Europe, the USSR included. Heavy and light industrial output would follow the same pattern.

After WWII in our timeline London remained the world's largest financial and insurance center. It certainly would have retained that distinction in an AOT timeline.

The UK's relationship to the Commonwealth would have been different, too. Does anyone think that the white status quo--whether right or wrong--in Rhodesia, Uganda, Kenya, South Africa, and other mineral-rich colonies would stand by while they were slowly marginalized? I suspect they would have been much more militant than they eventually were.

In short, the UK would have been a very different place from what it was in the mid-1950s in our timeline. It would have been much, much richer, economically far more powerful, and probably still in control of much of its empire.

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Matthew K asserts...

Posted January 20, 2010
H Dawg: "With the Middle East, would the US Intelligence/Security world want to stamp out anything that may give birth to an Al-Quada?"

Yeah not supporting the Mujahaddin against the Sovs! Say what you like about the Soviets at least they had a vision of the future, no matter how wrong headed.

But the Soviet invasion isn't likely to happen this time.

More realistically; Not supporting the house of Saud if it has any truck with Wa'habism, properly conquering and subjugating the whole of the Pashtun area of the Afghan border/ Khyber pass.

Easier said than done.

/Ranting sermon mode off./

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Matthew K is gonna tell you...

Posted January 20, 2010
And robW, I rather like your rosy vision of alternate UK. Most comforting.

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Scott is gonna tell you...

Posted January 20, 2010
RobW, you are right everyone knows where mineral resources are this time. This means that countries in South America the US, Australia, Asia and Europe even Africa can have access to cheap energy without enriching our Arab unfriends.

Add to this America, Britain and Australia have uptimers to kickstart the tech revolution. Doesn't matter that the Soviets have Vanguard, having examples of tech and the data behind it gives you an advantage, but having qualified men and women who live and breathe the tech means that you can skip all the wtf moments.

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Quokka mutters...

Posted January 20, 2010
*NT Bitching Alert*

Just popping in to bitch that the NT seems to have sin binned/spam trapped me AGAIN.

Grumble. Whine. Bleat.

As you were, carry on.

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robW would have you know...

Posted January 20, 2010
Scott, and others:

I doubt they could “kickstart the tech revolution” by much. What constitutes “high tech” today is not simply electronics, it's infrastructure. Take the Interstate Highway system in the US. That was a colossal undertaking financially and industrially and it took 15 years to complete. Developing the smelters to refine the metals that make the alloys used in missile manufacture is complex. The chemical industry took decades just to produce nylon cheaply, what about all the other polymers and plastics?

Here is a real-world example. It isn't as though modern industrial civilization is a big secret. Most librarys have enough in them to get a country up and running technologically. But, given that, why did it take China 50 years to become an industrial power? They knew what the technology was, they had educated people who understood it. Getting the workforce to master the technology, educating the workforce, and putting all the small and large factories that produce the this-its and that-its and widg-its is the hard part. Then, once you have those pieces and parts in place, you have to start scaling production up and up. That scaling would be a hell on wheels and the wheels would fly off the whole thing time after time. I bet by 1955, given all the technical help, they wouldn't be much farther along industrially than 1965 or even 1960.

The social dislocations would probably make governing extremely difficult. In 1945 people in the US still considered social security numbers to be the mark of satan. Imagine telling those people that they would be tracked by computers! That the government could “check them out” and know everything about them in a matter of seconds? They would be burning down Federal buildings and waving pitchforks!

Today we have inured ourselves to the invasions of privacy and iron control that technology has given to government. The people way-back-then wouldn't have become accustomed to it like we are and would be less likely to sit still for it. Heads would roll and governments would fall.

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robW reckons...

Posted January 20, 2010
Here is one more example. When I was a little kid in the 50s I went to Disneyland's "Home of Tomorrow." It had a so-called "television phone" in it that everyone was supposed to be using by 1965. Well, forget that. Even though the "vision" was in place and we had the technology, by 1965 everyone was still using a rotary dialing phone. Even by 2005 only a few people commonly used video-phone. That was 50 years after the promise....

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Matthew K is gonna tell you...

Posted January 20, 2010
True robW, and that brings us neatly back to one of JB's original points in AoT - the sociological culture clash between the 1940s and the 20wheneverthehellthefleetcamefroms.

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NBlob mumbles...

Posted January 20, 2010
SJS "Don’t question my credentials"

I didn't, but now you bring it up (like a rank hairball) I'd like to question your sanity, coherence, capacity for lucid thought, medication, honesty and gender.

I really + honestly couldn't give a flying FCK at a rolling donut about your cultural heritage. Never have never will. You continually make it an issue, must be your issue. Build a bridge and get TF over it.

If you can't make a comment with reference to the original text then you are as welcome as Typhoid in Haiti.

I do wonder what possible satisfaction you get out of your half baked trollery, but then again I don't understand what people get out of scrapbooking, sodomy, or republicanism.

The difference is people with unhealthy tendancies towards scrapbooking, sodomy or republicanism don't directly affect me. You interrupt our stream with inanity and pointless trollery.

I wonder what you have over JB that he permits your continued infestation? Donkey Love isn't the instant social death it used to be.

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Abigail ducks in to say...

Posted January 20, 2010
NowhereB- Oh yes, I understand; that's fine. I like reading these tech "what if" threads, even though my own attempts at participating are too half- baked to bother really- lol- I do enjoy reading them on an intellectual level and I look upon them in awe at peoples' capacity to grasp all the historical knowledge and to strategise using that. (I occasionally get an idea myself except I own they're not good ideas) I came to JB's blog for many reasons- the lighter, fun threads; the more serious and everything in between. (I like JB's serious discussion blogs myself) And, Cheers Tarl.

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damian mumbles...

Posted January 20, 2010
NBob - but this love that dare not bray its name, after being denied so long, would be a big, hard thing to admit to, no?

Having majored in English myself, I find it odd that someone would think it appropriate to declare that as a pertinent qualification for the discussion at hand. And I went to a school with a highly regarded English department - though I appreciate the dynamic where a less well known department would make someone more rather than less confident of their standing on graduation. People value the things they have to work harder for, I suppose.

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andyf is gonna tell you...

Posted January 20, 2010
dont forget that churchill was a bit of a nutter. he wanted to shoot striking miners after all.

how about UK, realising that the empire is too fractious to control easily, either gives independence to its colonies or seats in parliament?

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SJPONeill mumbles...

Posted January 20, 2010
From a storyline POV, nothing wrong with nutters - they add lots of colour...Maybe Churchill will decide that the Sovs are the lesser of the two evils and ally with Uncle Joe to obliterate all evidence of the Transition and the Uptimers? Joe would be up for a bit of miner shooting as well...

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Chaz mumbles...

Posted January 20, 2010
Abi, no I was only insinuating that after so many years as a hack ol JB may not have a soul left!!

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Abigail reckons...

Posted January 20, 2010
Chaz, lol. Well my view there is the old Jabes hocks it and thye know he's good for te money so they let him take it in and out. I think this time he might have hocked his soul for a Crank2 DVD.

Ok, going out on a limb and ignore if this doesn't fit, but doesn't the Midle East play a bigger role in this scenario? No? See, if we altered history so the Arabs and Jewish people weren't set up against one another over land , wouldn't the outcome , as far as allegiances are concerned, have a major impact on how much the Soviet Union is able to rule? Except, I don't know how much Israeli politics intersected (in the real world) with USSR politics, so that's a major blind spot. One argument I have heard is that France has a natural alliance with the Arab side where the US falls into line with Israeli lobbyists. I don't know, I just think the Middle East would loom large in this alternative world, had the land issue been a non starter.

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Chaz ducks in to say...

Posted January 20, 2010
Abbigail.

The issue with the ME is that at the time of the AoT books they are now in Allied hands. Now assuming that using the info that the uptimers have brought the Poms esp wish to avoid the headaches of the future, they are going to adjust how the Gulf is carved up post conflict. Now everyone is going to know there's black gold under them there sand dunes so the Allies are going to need to defend the supply against Stalin's hordes.

I just can't see stalin pushing further west when there's alot of resources to plunder in the ME. It would make sense to try and co-opt the arab secular nationalists and top the religious nuts. Avoiding the Suez crisis would be a good idea so tryign to get Nasser on side would be good. Less hard of course if there is no Eretz Isreal.

Of course Gaddafi would need to be removed to keep Libya onside.The House of Saud would be told to lose Wahabism. And Iraq and Perisa would be encouraged to follow a line that would mean te allies defend them against uncle Joe.

I could easily see Beirut becoming a sort of spies paradise where the NKVD, the quiet room and Six all knock heads in some sort of incestuous love/hate cage death match. With a few ex nazis to spice up the mix.

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robW swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 20, 2010
Chaz:

Jews, having seen the possibility of Israel, would not rest until the state was created.

Fundamentalist Christians in the US, having seen the possibility of Israel and fulfillment of Revelation, would not rest until the state was created.

And, in any case, British and American Jews, beginning in the 1910s & 1920s, ensured that there would soon be an Israel. It seems like one of those inevitables.

Eretz Israel is probably a multiverse nexus, impossible to escape.

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Chaz swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 20, 2010
Rob,

Sorry mate I disagree.Securing the ME will be a primary policy aim for Britian inorder to secure petroleum products. the british at this time are very pro-Arab and so will with the information now available try and ensure security in the region. That will mean that Stern gang and Haganah et al will be removed one way or another. especially as British forces know about their plans for the King David Hotel. thereofre you are more liekly to see a disarming of the jewish brigades because they would be seen as not being trustworthy.

At best Palestine would become a proteo-Ulster with british forces protecting the palestinian arabs against jewish terrorists. At worst forced deportation of jews back to europe.

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Abigail reckons...

Posted January 20, 2010
Chaz, you are the gun, honestly. I see this in your posts on a lot of these kinds of geeky things.

robW - See, I agree about the mulitverse nature of an Israeli state; In an alt hist scenario where the timeline starts before the real life fate the "One Arab Nation" , I'd put Israel right smack in the middle. But then see , Chaz makes a good point about the way the Arab countries would be carved into in this scenario just as Israel is likely a multiverse reality, the resources issue would compete big time with that idea , so what we might end up with is a simple rearrangemernt of the pieces, ensuring the same outcome: a ME peace crisis no matter what; back to square one??.

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What’s up this all this Birmoverse stuff? « The World According to Me… mumbles...

Posted January 20, 2010
[...] thinking about the questions posed and subsequent dialogue on Cheeseburger, I am finding that I am able to view our current environment through a slightly off-centre [...]

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SJPONeill mumbles...

Posted January 20, 2010
You really wouldn't have to do much different to improve the Israel/Arab relationship - the way 'we' did it was pretty dumb "here you go, Israel, you're a state now - see ya, have fun..." and let the Arabs and Israelis go at it for the next 60 years. The promise of a Jewish homeland was made well before WW2 so the expectation was already there; mix in the Holocaust and you have a lot of very capable people (as it turned out) who want a homeland really badly - deporting them all back to SovBloc Europe is probably no more a recipe for global peace than playing with wormhole generators in your basement - it might be fun but it's not going to make you many friends. I think that there is an opportunity in the Birmoverse to do it a lot sharper 'this' time round with a facilitated and managed process that brings the Jews and Arabs together as a new political dynamic rather than just blunder down the same old timeline but with a few more toys...

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robW asserts...

Posted January 20, 2010
Chaz:

I think (?) I showed above that the UK would be energy-independent within 5 years, given the North Sea deposits and West Sole gas field. In addition, they had no need of securing the middle eastern oil deposits--they already had them: British Petroleum (Anglo-Persian) controlled 23.7%, Royal Dutch/Shell controlled 23.7%, Compagnie francaise des petroles (CFP) controlled 23.7%, and NEDC (a consortium controlled by Standard Oil) controlled 23.7%.

The remaining shares were controlled by "Mr. Five Percent" or Calouste Sarkis Gulbenkian; although Mr. Gulbenkian was born an American, he was a naturalized Briton, and he would have sided with the British. So, even before the beginning of World War II, the British controlled over 52.4% of the oil in the middle east. There was no securing needed, they already had it all.

As far as Israel, I really do think the support for Israel from American religious fundamentalists would have been overpowering. For the fundamentalists, those were exciting times. Revelation was coming true with the advent of Israel, and the rapture was close at hand. I think people underestimate the power and influence of the "Hella Christians" in America.

There would have been no forced deportations.

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SJPONeill would have you know...

Posted January 20, 2010
If the UK is now on the front line of the AoT Cold War++, might its oil and gas platforms, shipping and other infrastructure in the North Sea be somewhat vulnerable to Sovbloc interdiction, sabotage and general meddling and interference...? In which case they might want to secure a more secure source of oil, like the Middle East; although they will know about the big field off the Falklands, I think that Argentina and Chile might keep them on their toes down that way as well...

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robW swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 20, 2010
SJ:

Good question. The British takeover of oil interests in the Middle East--to begin with--was to please the Admiralty and convince them to convert the British fleet to oil from coal. Marcus Samuel, founder of Shell, made that happen (he also made that happen for the Japanese Fleet--he posted his brother to Japan and brought Shell Oil there). The whole Anglo-Persian oil & Mr. Five Percent scenario was constructed to please the Admiralty in the 1920s-1930s. They had to be assured of oil supplies before they would convert from coal.

During the Cold War years the RAF/NATO flew helicopters over Russian trawlers that lurked too close to platforms. The Norwegians did the same. The SAS frequently had drills/exercises that would "take over" platforms. Subs would often pop up and mysteriously vanish minutes later.

Probably the best protection for a vulnerable resource like this would be the nuclear option.

Here is another question: What is to stop the Soviet Union from doing a China on us and running a free market, but centrally controlled? China has certainly proven that you can have a market economy controlled by a bunch of old commies. Although in the case of China, maybe it's a cultural thing.

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Chaz ducks in to say...

Posted January 20, 2010
There is something wrong with playing with wormhole generators in your basement? ooops!

Rob sorry I'm sounding very contrary. I'm not certain you could get the offshore fields up and runnning that fast. it is not only a technology issue but a skills/experience one soonest i think you'd be able to get the north sea up and running full steam, would be at least the early 60's. Yes protecting them would be an issue but with suitable CAS and ISR coverage things should not be too bad!

Now one thing I am ignorant on is the actual influnce of the extreme religious right in the 40's. Now I know the 'rapturistas' are now powerful and have been for about 20 years but seriously were they THAT vocal in the 40's? This is why I doubt there would be that much suppoprt in the USA for Eretz Israel esp with the knowledge of what they were capable of. Considering the popular cultural bias against Judaism prevelant from Vladivostock to Paris Seattle I can't see that there would be the same moral imperative to from the state of Israel from the Palestinian Protectorate.

Don't underestimate Stalin. He could easily have ordered the survivors of the camps executed or forced into the bio-zone.

Churchill could create a secular state of Palestine using Ataturks Turkish Republic as a model.

Can't see the Sovs doing a china esp under Stalin. He'll also have disapeered anyone with any entrepenurial skills from uptime 'just to make sure'. Only Mikhail Kalashnikov abnd a few others are likely to survive the purges.

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SJPONeill is gonna tell you...

Posted January 20, 2010
Chaz, I think that the mere existence of Israel in our timeline would be a massive catalyst for it to be created in the AoT line and would generate the grassroots demand for it from both Holocaust survivors and expat Jews...if everyone was aware of the problems that arose afterwards (which were already bubbling away pre-war) then they could have taken steps to ensure harmony and stability in the ME i.e. a transition (small t) force to oversee the handover for the fist decade or so; at the same time invest some $ and tech into greening up the Sinai and everyone might come out a winner.

Agree on the Sov free market - anyone who showed that sort of free thinking and initiative under Uncle Joe would be lucky to get off with an all expenses holiday to the salt mines...

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Scott puts forth...

Posted January 20, 2010
SJPONeill, Harmony in the Middle East are you joking?

No amount of goodwill negotiation will keep the Arabs and Jews from each others throats. Britain didn't want the Jews to set up Israel. When the Jews declared nationhood the Brits pulled out.

Immediately the Arab states told their citizens to leave the newly created Israeli territory, this exodus formed the core of what later became known as the Palestinian refugees.

Following this the surrounding Arab countries pigpiled on Israel and were handed a monumental arsekicking. Israeli Arab conflict is one of Birmo's nexus' "bound to happen no matter the quantum reality".

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SJPONeill ducks in to say...

Posted January 20, 2010
Not much point writing an alternate history if you're just going to have the same old stuff in it as reality...

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Scott has opinions thus...

Posted January 20, 2010
A bit of a difference between a few believable changes and fantisy. Birmo keeps the personalities of the time true to form. The middle east will be different no doubt. But Jews can't, probibly won't want to stay in Europe. The personalities in the Arab countries are already anti-jewish. The whole riegion has been a battleground since Roman times, with a few lulls. The Brits may encourage a larger Israel, a stable Jewish state may be preferable to instable Islamic ones. Especially with the Brits knowing about the Global Jihad of the 21st c.

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Scott has opinions thus...

Posted January 20, 2010
With the Soviets moving in on the riegion the Brits and Americans may think that Israel could give them a reliable stageing ground for operations. Btw me thinks that the security services of all countries and there hit-squads are going to be worked overtime taking out undesirable future oponents. In some cases this will quicken the revolution/movement they are trying to prevent.

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sparty asserts...

Posted January 20, 2010
I agree with SJ to a point. The legitamacy of Kolhammer would be questioned probobly in court before the election (HIS people would probobly have thought about it before it occurred to the opposition). I also think he would win that argument (but not before alot of lawers get rich and teh supreme court has their say. Incidently appoining supreme court judges would be much harder given knowledge of future decisions of any prospective candidate.

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SJPONeill is gonna tell you...

Posted January 20, 2010
However the more that events drift away from the 'real' timeline the less relevant will be the future history - it may actually be a cause of conflict in AoT when people may be judged by what they did in 'our' time but which they will not do in AoT e.g. JFK was being judged on his performance as president when he was still only a JG. There is a novel named Replay by a chap called Ken Grimwood (Grafton Books 1988 ISBN 0586074627). I really like it so it's probably dodgy but it is about a guy who gets to go back and relive his life over and over (not like Groundhog Day and without the rodent) - it has some interesting insights into reliving the past with knowledge of the future.

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Scott reckons...

Posted January 20, 2010
SJPONeill, I remember that one!

Liked it too.

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Guy ducks in to say...

Posted January 20, 2010
RobW - a very nice point about the UK oilfields. I had not considered this and you are right that it would provide a huge income stream for the British government just at the time it was most needed. In our timeline the UK was broke after the was and conditions were worse in teh late 1940s than they were during the way. With the potential of the oil-fields the US government/banks would happily lend large amounts to the UK right away in the happy knowledge that Britain would certainly be in a position to repay in full once the oil came on line.

This extra wealth combined with the direct tech boost from the Trident and her crew and the inevitable tech tranfer from the US, would ensure that Britain was stronger and more confident after the war than it was in OTL. The UK would therefore have a stronger voice in the Western alliance (although that alliance would still inevitably be US led). It would seem likely that the British withdrawal from "east of Suez" would not have taken place.

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Scott asserts...

Posted January 20, 2010
What ever happens the western powers are not going to allow themselves to be at the mercy of OPEC, especially a certain kingdom.

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NBlob mutters...

Posted January 20, 2010
How ?

Dont get me wrong, I'm as keen on a non-carbon based, distributed generation, electric society as the next man (unless the next man is PNB then I want it more.)

But Imagine trying to build it with post war fabrication technology; little or no industrial ceramics, Polymers are a pipe dream, fine netalurgy like alloys are super specialist items (except Aluminium which is/was made by the mile)and synthetic fibres are coming on stream but slowly slowly. Perhaps worse is the sudden loss of fine control in the manufacture thus in-consistancy of stock materials.

Admirable aim but an interesting job.

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Scott mumbles...

Posted January 20, 2010
From the 3 books we get hints that the war on terror gets a lot nastier. The taskforce comes from 2021: now 11 years otl.

How many new oil fields were found in that period?

Just in the last few years some megafields have been found outside of the middle east, Africa and South America. West Australia is coming along as a major energy exporter. With higher tension in the mid east I could see western countries developing alternate sources for oil and gas. Remember that demand for oil in 1940/50 is a lot lower than today, fields in Australia, Texas may be able to handle demand until offshore ffields can be brought in to production.

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Scott asserts...

Posted January 20, 2010
Btw, by book 3 Birmo had western armies using nvgs, the airforce using heatseeking missiles and the Havock using mk48s.

10 years later the uptimers would have had time to train at least 2/3 classes of engineers scientists and assorted other skills all of wich are too numerous to mension. That assumes of course that each class takes about 3 years, this might be excelerated. Personally I think they will have a patchwork of 21st tech, internet using phonelines much like us in the early 90s.

Complex stuff like mono bonded whatsits won't sho up till later.

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Bangar reckons...

Posted January 20, 2010
Something to consider surely it's better to exploit foreign fields of resources quickly and totally and save home resources. Thus you go in exploit and remove the possibility of the enemy having them, mind you this is a two edged sword that the Soviets would wield better.

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Scott would have you know...

Posted January 20, 2010
Bangar, good suggestion.

What we need to do is not give the mid east countries self-rule, extract what we need and then leave, while containing uncle Joe. Now how do we keep our bleeding heart leftys in line while we do this?

*no sarcasm is meant in this comment* Realpolitik will be the order of the day. The only question is can western countries get away with it.

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Harry the Dog has opinions thus...

Posted January 20, 2010
Hi Yawl

Could be way of course here, but given that the US has now been blessed with a pool of 21C engineering, telecoms and aeronautical (I hope I spelt that right!) talent, would they possibly start thinking beyond Earth!!! No... not Star Trek or anything like that!!!

Putting up a few comms satellites would strengthen Communications within the Western Alliance (if there continues to be one, additionally the early reintroduction of Internet could post a whole raft of possibilities.

I don't suppose o'l Joe would have too many software engineers to hand!!!

Better get back to work now, the Boss is circling!!!

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Guru Bob mumbles...

Posted January 21, 2010
Sorry - I have been away from the thread for a while I haven'tr checked if this come up again - but someone mentioned Kolhammer as VP on an Eisenhower ticket. But would Eisenhower even get a look in for President? In 1942 wasn't he just another staff officer? In OTL his main work was still yet to happen after the AOT event occured. Without his great achievements actually behind him (ie D-Day, defeating Germany etc) would he have any appeal at all to voters? I can't recall how he is depicted in AOT either...

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Guru Bob puts forth...

Posted January 21, 2010
Another thought - that by the time the fleet is coming back we will have seen increase in knowledge and technology to create cheap and easy renewable energy. Rather then the development of a society and technology that is hugely dependent upon oil. This mostly happened in the 50s and 60s in OTL - the uptimers can change the entire paradigm of western development and dependency upon oil (and therefore the Middle East) through introduction of widespread cheap and easy renewable energy technologies such as hybrid cars, wind power, solar power etc.

This combined with ideas around community development would also have huge impact upon development of what has become the 'third world' in OTL.

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SJPONeill asserts...

Posted January 21, 2010
Re 'cheap and easy renewable energy', hallelujah, brother!! So very right...

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robW ducks in to say...

Posted January 21, 2010
The problem with the 20th century was that petroleum was the cheapest form of fuel to produce "energy". Drill a hole in the ground, wait for the oil to spew out, light a match, and bingo! You are transforming chemical energy into heat energy.

The most efficient energy source is electricity from a nuclear power plant. Unfortunately, the public isn't educated about what nuclear energy really means, the politicians are lawyers and are not known for their understanding of science, and the designers of nuclear power plants are engineers who are great at designing gizmos but wouldn't last 30 seconds as a bona fide bench scientist. Yep, there is a huge difference between science and technology, and rarely do the two meet. It's a shame, really, but it's true.

Also, oil is the backbone of modern materials science. Oil is the source of pigments, paints, polymers, solvents, plastics, wow, the list goes on.

So-called "renewable" energy sources (energy cannot be "renewed") are complex and not necessarily efficient. They come at a high price and few are willing to pay that price.

Another huge problem would be how to train the engineers and scientists in "system science" which is more or less the paradigm in place today. In programming "system science" is called "object oriented programming" and it didn't come into play until the late 1990s. A program "object"--let's call it a gizmo--has certain methods of execution and data properties; say, for example, an object called a "timer" that calculates differences between dates and executes calls to subroutines.

The "Object" concept is also used in manufacturing. Take, for example, the K-car in the US Chrysler line up. There were about 15 or more cars based on the K-Car concept (chassis, drive train, etc.). The different models were "elaborations" upon the basic "object" design.

Add to this the concept of supply and fulfillment--Just in Time or JIT, for example. In the 1930s & 1940s industry warehoused parts, they didn't have the communication precision to manufacture and transport parts just as they were needed.

In short, you would have to reeducate the local savages on EVERYTHING THEY KNEW and break ALL THEIR ASSUMPTIONS. A good engineers in 1945 could calculate cosines, tangents, and secants in their heads; they had excellent drafting skills, could print wonderfully, and they could draw a diagram that would know your socks off. Good engineers in 2010 usually can't do any of that, but they can pick and choose appropriate "object" systems; identify the interfaces; and integrate the disparate systems into a whole. They go by the same name, but it's a completely different skill set.

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Scott puts forth...

Posted January 21, 2010
If I remember right Birmo had the ships in the 21 c fleet using fusion. Copy larger models for civilian use. Take longer but.

Also, the anti-nuclear movement doesn't exist yet. Before it gets going get companies to develop safe nuclear energy, using 21 c knowhow.

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Guru Bob has opinions thus...

Posted January 21, 2010
Rob - thanks for that but we also have to assume that the Uptimers have had an extra 10-15 years to work on 'renewable' energy sources and make them cheaper and easier to use. For example it is my understanding that the solar energy panesl which we are currently being encouraged to purcahse would have been completely unaffordable 10-20 years ago - in fact solar energy panels are now used on a wide variety of things (garden lamps, public telephones, street lights etc) that would have been unimaginable just 10 years ago due to cost factors.

The dependency of the US economy on Middle Eastern oil is now seen by both sides of politics as a serious economic and strategic weakness of the that country. Given foreknowledge of that issue surely Kolhammer would work towards ensuring that it had less relevance in the other timeline? The zone would be geared up towards producing cheap and easy energy.

Besides which the uptimers would have been acculturated into being adverse to messy heavy petro-chemical based industry and would want to avoid the whole issue happening 'again' if possible. It woudl be another cultural clash - just as significant as their attitudes towards race, sexuality and warfare.

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SJPONeill would have you know...

Posted January 21, 2010
Allegedly there are also many technologies that have been bought up and hidden away by the oil companies (apparently they are all stored in the next bay along from the lost Ark of the Covenant - neuter the power of the oil lobby from Day One of the post war era and develop these alternates to oil and coal based power. If the demand for fossil-based fuels are reduced dramatically, it is likely that most non-ME oil resources could satisfy demand for other oil-based products; this might equal a level trading field for oil meaning prosperity for the Gulf states but not the stranglehold they develop in this timeline. Take away the extravagant opulence of the Gulf states might also make them more stable as the haves v have-nots rift never develops...

So far as new engineering paradigms are concerned, they can be taught - the next AoT book is looking at 10 years on so consider how much we have had to relearn in the last ten years as technologies have evolved - I think that the 1940s engineers of the AoT universe would be up to it - in the free world anyway; probably a different story in the Sovbloc.

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sibeen puts forth...

Posted January 21, 2010
SPJ, you're right. Any decent engineer who was trained in the 30s, 40s or 50s has probably got a better maths grounding than engineers around today, and I speak as an Electrical Engineer.

Give these old timers a few basic primer courses on the new tech, print them out the textbooks and watch them devour it.

Some of the engineering services probably don't require any form of extra training. Tell a Civil engineer that you now have access to all these new high strength materials and they would rub their hands in glee and set to designing even bigger and better bridges, roads etc.

The biggest hurdle would be in the material sciences.

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Sweet Jane Says would have you know...

Posted January 21, 2010
The next book in the series would have to be steampunk. Steampunk would definitely increase your fan base. Go for it.

J.

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NBlob asserts...

Posted January 21, 2010
I know it is perilously close to steam punk, but I love the idea of hand made cruise missiles running on bakerlite processors.

I was ruminating about the relative complexities of technology.

Is (That's a question!) Is there a significant difference in the complexity and therefore time to train new technicians / operators, between internal combustion based systems & new whizzo electric motors?

I was thinking that electric systems are compound technology, IE alternator / charger / generator - battery -DC/AC inverter- motor etc etc etc, compared to in an IC motor where if you have spark, fuel & timing you are on your way.

Would this lead to a resistance to uptake the new systems?

On a tangerine, instead of investing in the super interstate highways for truck based transport, imagine if a Kohlhammer presidency invested all that & more on high speed rail networks. The state mainatins ownership of the tracks & private co's provide rolling stock.

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NBlob ducks in to say...

Posted January 21, 2010
WWAAARGHHHHH

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SJPONeill reckons...

Posted January 21, 2010
WHn I first started with Telecom in 1983, I was on the first electronics course that they ran in NZ. Although we fried a lot of very expensive (then) chips til the concept of a anti-static strap caught on, 90% of the old and bold who had spent their careers working on mechanical switch based systems picked up the theory and practice of electronics really quickly so I don't think that there would be a big problem especially with the GI Bill and new school leavers having that technology as all they know...

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Matthew K has opinions thus...

Posted January 21, 2010
That sounds like socialism Nbob! ;)

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NBlob ducks in to say...

Posted January 21, 2010
Not Socialism Matt! Crikey, that'd make me like a Red or sumthin!

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Guru Bob is gonna tell you...

Posted January 22, 2010
RE: I know it is perilously close to steam punk, but I love the idea of hand made cruise missiles running on bakerlite processors.

So what are the difficulties of developing an IT industry jumping straight from valves to silicon chips? Bypassing 60-70 years of industrial and technological development in one hit?

There is also an underlying assumption that a 50s era population will want their i-phone and hip hop music.

Which comes to another thing. In this timeline the underlying social movements that led to large black communities in northen industrial cities like Detroit won't actually happen will they?

I suggest that there would be a widespread backlash or 'techno-phobia' which could drive the Uptimers out of the states into off-shore retreats - say Cuba where they coudl work with a young firebrand named Fidel Castro to set-up a utopian future community...

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NBlob mumbles...

Posted January 22, 2010
GBob, I understand that the knowledge is available to the zone & America at large, however I think there would be a prolonged period in which the supply lines would have a great deal of catching up to do.

Making Magnesium Alloys essential for airframe manufacturing(just as an example) require very very fine control of the % of ingredients, and temps at the foundry. I don't wish to sugest that late 40's manufacturing was at 1500's levels, but the advances would need to be massive, fast & deep. Convincing the Temps that this level of accuracy would be challenging. Without consistantly accurate raw materials, manufacturing would be hamstrung. Sort of like the difference in tolerances in miliing- componants in Rolls Royce Jet Engines are accurate to fractions of MM, farm machinery +/- several mm is acceptable.

Any irregularity in the electrical insulation or heat dissapation properties of the silicon base stock would make 21C chip manufacturing impossible.

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damian reckons...

Posted January 25, 2010
NBob - re internal combustion versus electrics... There were already machines and systems using the petrol/diesel generator, batteries, electric motor combination that we'd call hybrid today. The first generation of German WWII tanks did this, IIRC. FWIW there were electric cars before there were petrol ones, just no adequate battery technology.

Alloys for modern battery making, I have no idea how producible they'd be in the 40s, though one would think there'd be at least a few uptime engineers who new the chemistry well enough to give a clue to the 40s engineers, and they'd have something to get along with working together. The same applies to microelectronics, in truth. Among the uptimers there will be folks who understand the basis of a transistor well enough, but we're only talking a 10 year jump there. Integrated Circuits have a history of industrial development that one feels would be hard to short-circuit (ha), but enough knowledge from the 21C could speed things up a little.

There already were cruise missiles (aka V1) but electronic control with valves would lead one to suspect the robustness of the valves. Relays and some sort of primitive transistor would work but we're adding weight, whether that's bad or not I don't know.

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Matthew K puts forth...

Posted January 26, 2010
A last, non technical, point from me. Who watches the watchmen?

The British Empire, as it still would be in the AoT universe, obviously needs reform if it is to be kept going. Some kind of free trade federation where all countries are equal, maybe with a rotating presidency like the EU.

However. To avoid the mistakes of ex colonies in our timeline the leadership in many of these countries needs supervision in order to be kept competent and honest; some countries like Ghana and Malaysia could well be superpowers by the 21st C with disinterested external policing of the independance of the judiciary and honesty of police, civil service, elections and politicians.

Dominions such as Australia and Canada clearly did not need such an eye kept on them, even before 1939. Indeed they could be an invaluable part of the federation's supervisory framework of public standards.

How to find a polite but firm way of putting this into practice would be the problem.

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Willet's warrior asserts...

Posted January 27, 2010
Who has what cards to play by the end of the third book has already been determined. The americans were most resistant to the uptime social progress including military technology. Early in the second book Kolhammer is attempting to convince the navy to fix their sub torpedo's and the army to adopt a basic assault rifle. That resistance lasted until the invasion of Hawaii. Contrast this with the specialised advantages gained by the other allies. The Australians who end up with doctors trained in advanced medical techniques and world class forensics (with the training from Dr. Francois and the W.C.I.U.).

Like the Australians repeling IJN forces the British were quick to utilise 21C weapons. That's what they are best with. I would forsee the Brit's further developing the weapon's that served them well in operation sea dragon and democratising some trident tech. If they can get land based versions of the Trident's sensors and anti-air missile systems that will free up the trident to focus on the continent. Also don't forget that Karen Halabi works for a zone company focused on getting satelites into orbit.

Satelites will improve fleet comunications and provide orbital imaging, possibly in real-time for 21C ships.

Halabi will personally make sure the Trident gets access to these satelites, while keeping the (soviet controlled) Vanguard in the dark.

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Madoc would have you know...

Posted February 23, 2010
Folks,

Late to the party... oh well.

First up, the Soviet Union. Not only did Uncle Joe do a massive land grab that got him the bulk of Continental Europe he also did a massive purge of anyone and everyone who "the future's records" proved were against him. That means the post-WW II Soviet Union is an even more hideous place than in OTL. Anyone who evidenced even the slightest drive or competency in the OTL post-Stalin years would either have been pre-emptively liquidated or is off in a gulag being worked to death.

In post-WW II Russia there'll now be no originality or anything other than truly blind and slavish devotion to following orders from Moscow. And this'll be at exactly the time when the Soviets need even more local command flexibility as they try and absorb the new lands they've just grabbed.

Which means it'll go bad all that much faster. Which means they'll get nastier all that much faster. And, due to the future records, the West will have all the proof it needs of this to trot out and around.

In short, things will be going to hell in the Soviet Union at record speed. They'll have more to administer, fewer capable administrators, _AND_ they'll also have a very active insurgency being spread nation-wide back by the Quiet Room's resources. Not a good combo for the Reds.

And, speaking of the Reds, Soviet espionage efforts will be laughable in the timeline. First off, all their existing networks will be rolled up. All their existing assets will either be arrested outright or compromised through and through or be treated by Moscow as having been compromised through and through. Not only will the West know about them all, the West will also have that super-truth serum to administer and thus be able to extract the necessary information from even the most ardent Soviet spy.

Yes, the Soviets will attempt to put more agents in place. Developing worthwhile spy networks takes years. And in this case the West will be thoroughly on the look out for it. We weren't in OTL and that's why the Soviets got in so deep. in the AoT universe, that's simply not the case. Plus, with the release of all the information about how gawd-awful the Soviets are, they'll find it a lot harder to recruit fellow travelers and useful fools to their cause.

I don't see China going Red. Japan's vaporizing defeat and the Soviet land grabs in that theater dictate against the US being so hands off as to allow it. Instead, I think China would be a battleground arena for the US to "contain" the Soviets and "not let history repeat itself" even though it had yet to happen.

Overall, I see much of the leftist political causes, movements, organizations, ideologies, and individuals all being hugely discredited as a result of the Up-Timer's info. Sure, social progress is great, but all the repetitive failures of the Left would be highlighted in those records.

And since we're speaking of a rather more "conservative" time in general, I think it'd be pretty easy to make a very strong case against such leftist policies.

Thus, a lot of the travesties and political disasters inflicted by the left - particular when evidence shows Communist support of those things - will be crushed before they ever arose.

Look for England to remain pretty much on a war footing, for it to be "on the front lines" in Europe, and for it to go whole hog for what ever wealth building opportunities it can find from Up-Time.

I'd also look for Stalin to push harder faster and nastier. With all his spies cut off, with knowledge of the Soviet Union's eventual demise, and with knowledge of how the West is running away economically, militarily, politically, and socially, there's no hope if he bides his time. So, a sooner war than a later one.

And if the big K is The Man by '52, then I'd say he was a war-hero President and that the Soviet Union is nothing but multiple nuke craters by that time.

Madoc

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Respond to 'The Union of European Socialist Republics.'

A Sweet Jane alt-hist challenge!

Posted January 9, 2010 by John Birmingham
Yep, you heard me.

She too has reached faff saturation point and so she tweeted the other day asking what might have happened if the US had entered the war earlier in 1941. Specifically, in January when Japan attacked American Samoa and Pago Pago in small scale raids.

But the US, as Jane points out, did nothing. Why? What would it have meant if we might have responded?

(Excuse the typo in the earlier version of this post. I wasn't really awake. Possibly still not).

154 Responses to ‘A Sweet Jane alt-hist challenge!’

Quokka mumbles...

Posted January 9, 2010
Perhaps if you put links to Mayhem's and Madame's blogsites here it would contain the faff?

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Paul Nicholas Boylan would have you know...

Posted January 9, 2010
I have it on very good authority that everything would be exactly the same as it is today, except that every American would have red teeth (something to do with chewing some narcotic nut native to certain Pacific islands).

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Paul Nicholas Boylan would have you know...

Posted January 9, 2010
I still maintain that a better, more substantial alt-hist discussion would center on exploring if Pizzaro's invasion of Peru would have succeeded if, prior to the invasion, the Incas had escalators.

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Tarl reckons...

Posted January 9, 2010
Entered the war earlier? The U.S. was attacked on 7 Dec 1941, and fought a battle at Wake Island lasting through 23 December. Or does merely declaring war and fighting not count as entering the war?

As for operations in Pago Pago and Samoa, what assets would we have carried them out with? Aside from the aircraft carriers which were so fortuitously absent from Pearl Harbor, most of the pacific fleet assets were somewhat damaged on the day the war started.

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Abe has opinions thus...

Posted January 9, 2010
Not sure I understand. Didn't the US enter the war in Dec 1941?

Pearl Harbour had been bombed and Wake Island had fallen by the time a Japanese sub lobbed a few shells at Pago Pago in Jan 1942. Yes the Americans were worried about the comms chain across the Pacific to Australia and NZ, which is why they landed some marines there later that month.

I think a more interesting question would be what would have happened had the allies worked out the significance of Rabaul to the Japanese plans and reinforced the small Australian garrison there.

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Bangar asserts...

Posted January 9, 2010
Let's assume that America enters the war before Pearl Harbour. America would have a fleet to use immediately, a fleet that would follow the old "battleships are kings of the battle" thinking instead of using what they had aircraft carriers and subs.

You would also have to question the will of America without the unifying caused by the sneak attack.

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John Birmingham mumbles...

Posted January 9, 2010
D'oh. 'Scuse typos. She would have meant Jan 41. I'll fix it up. That'll learn me to do these things before I'm fully awake.

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Murphy swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 9, 2010
1942? Is SJS in one of my history classes? That sounds like the sort of question I get, right up there with, "Did we fight the Japanese first, then go after the Germans?"

Ah, no. It kinda sorta happened at the same time. Sheesh.

Sitting here pondering the matter, the only point at which I can see the US going to war sooner would be 12 December 1937 when the USS Panay was sunk on the Yangtze River. That said, while public opinion turned against Japan here in the US, the powers that be worked very hard to avert an escalation.

Things might have turned out differently though. The US was not quite at the same level of pre-war mobilization in 1937 as it would be by 1939-40. That said, I think Bangar has the jist of it about American willpower. The urge to remain neutral and pacifistic was very strong right up until Pearl Harbor.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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Abe swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 9, 2010
JB: "She would have meant Jan '41"...

--------

I can find plenty of stuff referring to subs shelling Pago Pago in Jan '42 but nothing in Jan '41.

Maybe because it didn't happen until Jan '42?

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Moko asserts...

Posted January 9, 2010
IT's interesting to me that Americans entered the war before America did. Those are the ones that need special mention. It seems to me America entered when they were lacking other options.

The Battle of/for Britain was fought and won before the Yanks reared their ugly heads. They only started considering supporting Britain - offically - after that battle. Roosevelt sent William Donovan to make sure they were still alive. He went back and said, "Yep, most of them" and suggested Britain be supported by the yanks because they had a chance of survival. Gee, thanks.

...so umm... what was the topic again?

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HAVOCK has opinions thus...

Posted January 9, 2010
OK..so just to clarify, so we dont get bucket loads of FKN FAFF and all sorts of other shit. SOMETHING happened..WHAT specifically WHO cares. It was of sufficient magnitude to DRAW the US in early..eg...41.

Lets also assume, that the US fleet was not touched, so the catalyst might be an island attack or sinking of a ship somewhere ELSE on the planet. Sufficient to outrage the US to levels caused by Pearl Harbor.

Would the US have adopted full the doctrine of CARRIER warfare, or would it still be centered around the Battleship. Not sure there, though they were already well on their way. pearl caused them to accelerate this as they had no other offensive assets. Same goes for the subs.