Cheeseburger Gothic

Where should Smith and Cady go next?

Posted January 17 into A Girl In Time by John Birmingham

It occurs to me I haven't run a proper spoiler thread to discuss A Girl Time, so I might cheat and have this entry do double duty.

Having figured out the basic mechanisms of The Watch by the end of GIRL, they're now set up to adventure through the 29 alternate realties Titanic Smith created every time he jumped.

We know from the text that some are in the future, some in the wilderness and a surprising number are located in narratively convenient European settings.

He's been to London a couple of times. And Rome obviously. I can't help feeling they'll end up in ancient Greece and Nazi Germany.

But where else would a couple of good looking time travellers be likely to find themsevles in a long running franchise?

Assume it's a spoilerific free fire zone in the comments.

56 Responses to ‘Where should Smith and Cady go next?’

Matthew McNeill puts forth...

Posted January 17
Altamont 1969. Counter culture, violence, confusion. The Stones
Hell's Angels.
Really enjoyed the first one. Cheers Matthew

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Surtac mumbles...

Posted January 17
Interesting question. Somewhere medieval? Or back to Calvary Cross? Too brave?

Anyway aren't you supposed to be writing a space opera right now?

I don't care. Just sell me new words to read.

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Jo MacD mutters...

Posted January 17
Early colonial Australia?
What a pain having to write a time travelling woman though. Constantly wearing the wrong clothes or speaking out of turn. I wonder if there could be a future time that's similarly restrictive for Smith? Seems impossible to even imagine.

Ceramic mumbles...

Posted January 17
I think both Smith and Cady would be considered an anomoly in Mesopotamia.

Sumerians of Mesopotamia invented minutes and hours.
Maybe the watch makers could have started there, or a rogue agent could've settled there?

Quote
Sumerian Civilization: Inventing the Future
Before the Sumerians, a day began with the sunrise and ended with the sunset. People went to work from when the sun was positioned at a certain height in the morning sky and returned to their homes when it set. It was the Sumerians who divided the day from the night by time, by increments of sixty-second minutes and sixty-minute hours which made up twelve hours of night and the twelve hours of the day.

John Birmingham swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 18
The first place Smith landed, which he did not recognise, was Australia, but before human settlement. Abut 50K years ago.

Ceramic puts forth...

Posted January 18
I did wonder if it was Australia. Cool.

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FormerlyKnownAsSimon reckons...

Posted January 17
Far future where their immune systems aren't up to scratch (although Smith is already at a disadvantage for future bugs). Or alternatively somewhere in europe during the plague.

Although it is a massive cliche they can always get caught in ancient mayan culture just when the spanish arrive or about to get sacrificed at an eclipse (even though those guys were meant to be good with calendars and probably had eclipses covered)

insomniac reckons...

Posted January 17
Didn't Mel Gibson cover the latter in Apocalypto?

John Birmingham ducks in to say...

Posted January 18
Hmm, I somehow have this feeling that the watch is a magic aspirin that cures all ills.

FormerlyKnownAsSimon is gonna tell you...

Posted January 18
I was wondering about disease etc.

And yes Gibson did do this. As well as Mark Twain iirc, and TinTin and Enid Blyton. And a quick google search reveals that Columbus apparently pulled this in real life with a lunar eclipse! I guess the cliche has to start somewhere.

How about a stop over in the far future. Would love to see a bit of speculation. No morlocks though . . . or is there?
Or they drop in (or possibly out) and need to hang out with Dead Heads for 24hrs. Everyone loves a bit of counter culture reference and psychedelic drugs : )

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insomniac mutters...

Posted January 17
Smith might get a thrill being at the birth of Jebus.
Will he get to see Chester again? That would be nice.

Ceramic asserts...

Posted January 17
Oh Jebus I hope he gets to see and pat Chester again.

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she_jedi reckons...

Posted January 17
France during the reign of terror. Ancient Egypt in the time of Akhenaten, or Tutankhamen. The Abrolhos Islands during the Batsvia shipwreck :D

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Vovchara mumbles...

Posted January 17
Russia 1917, somewhere around Petrograd. :) Or couple years earlier, to help Stalin rob the Bank.

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Dirk mumbles...

Posted January 17
Europe around 1666 is nice period... Madeira in the 1860's meeting empress Elizabeth of Austria or Paris around 1900. Take your pick

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jl ducks in to say...

Posted January 17
France, Hundred Years War. Berlin, April 1945. The Pan-American Federation, 2342. Wow, so many directions to go here. Or, speaking of the Hundred Year's War, you could get a double hit of plague and ruinous conflict- Calais, 1347. For something nice, agree with Dirk above, Paris 1900-10.

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Rhino ducks in to say...

Posted January 18
If they land anywhere in the US post 1860, Cady should set up trusts with future investments laid out in envelopes with dates. LOL.

Therbs mumbles...

Posted January 18
I was also thinking along the lines of 'Back To The Future" style sports betting cash grabs when they need funds. Mmmm. there'd have to be something stopping them from going crazy with that stuff. Maybe Titanic has a set against gambling and forbids it.

Murphy_of_Missouri asserts...

Posted January 21
Get stock in Carnegie Steel and Standard Oil.

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Jeats reckons...

Posted January 18
Maybe mention the Rum Corp in our very early colonial history. It would be a bit of a laugh and I doubt many people know about it.

Maybe they could run into Kolhammer and the like before the transition...

John Birmingham swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 18
This is the second Rum Corps vote. I might have a look at them stopping over in Sydney, however briefly.

jason ducks in to say...

Posted January 18
If you need some good research check out Leviathan. Should save you a stack in research.

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jason asserts...

Posted January 18
I love a good cross over, World war 2 just after the transition.

John Birmingham would have you know...

Posted January 18
This.

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Dave W is gonna tell you...

Posted January 18
18 April 1930. The day there was no news. Cady and Smith just wander around bored for 24 hours. ;-)

John Birmingham swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 18
This is also a good idea.

Vovchara mutters...

Posted January 18
Can never happen, Cady will find troubles by her very own in the middle of the desert ????

MickH swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 19
yeah, sometimes they need a break or PTSD will set in

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WarDog mumbles...

Posted January 18
Hanging Rock to pick up some extras.

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Abe Frellman reckons...

Posted January 18
Deadwood - feels like home to Smith, but something's not quite right. I, too, would put in a vote for Australia. Either Rum Corps Sydney or WW2 Brisbane, with the latter also providing crossover opportunities: HMAS Havoc gets a reprise.

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Lulu mutters...

Posted January 18
Vienna 1913: Hitler, Trotsky, Tito, Stalin in the same city. Also Freud, Klimt, etc etc.

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MickH ducks in to say...

Posted January 18
Keen to answer this but I'm only half way through the book, so I didn't read all of the spoilers.
I have to say JB that I'm really enjoying this story. IMHO your best yet. Waaay better than Dave

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Therbs puts forth...

Posted January 18
In a visit to 15th Century Holy Roman Empire they see one of the new fandangled printing presses being demonstrated by Johannes Gutenberg. Next bounce is late 1990's and Cady notices one of the first e-readers in a store window.

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DaveC has opinions thus...

Posted January 18
The two of them arrive in a barren landscape with strange alge along the coastline. Then long, strange fish (tetrapods) crawl out of the water to eat bulbs of stringy kelp.
Famennian era in the Devonian period. 375 million years ago-ish. They'd feel a bit light headed from the oxygen levels, but would be fine for 24 hours - except for being weirded out. Admittedly nothing much would happen here. Character development oppertunity?

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MickH reckons...

Posted January 19
If they are bouncing around inside the same realities, can they move up and down inside those same realities?
If this is the case they you can have fun with them changing the future in each and having to deal with the issues that come out of it. Like, say, coming into a later future after Cady saves the day in a primitive society, only to find she is now a Goddess!

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DarrenBloomfield puts forth...

Posted January 19
Hobart, NYE 1989. They can bail me up on Constitution Dock and tell me no matter what, don't hook up with the Rebecca chick, coz she's going to cause nothing but years of grief and bitterness.

Perhaps less selfishly, how about 1921 (not sure of date). I reckon Cady would love to nudge this momentous development in women's emancipation.

"Margaret Sanger and Katharine Dexter McCormick meet for lunch, New York One was an Irish-American anarchist rebel, the other a fabulously wealthy member of America’s industrial aristocracy. But they shared, by smuggling contraceptives and, much later, by funding research into the Pill, this strange alliance which did more for women than any conventional political movement. Sanger (above) wasn’t exactly an admirable woman – a bully, a eugenicist and at times a liar – but then big historical change-makers, I’ve noticed, are rarely nice"

link here. https://www.theguardian.com/culture/gallery/2012/sep/15/ten-history-moments-andrew-marr

John Birmingham asserts...

Posted January 19
Nice!

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Nocturnalist has opinions thus...

Posted January 19
There have been some really cool suggestions for particular moments or events for the two of them to get caught up in, but I can't help thinking that's a card that can be overplayed. If their travels turn into a Forrest Gump-style exercise in "you won't believe which historical even they're going to witness/be a catalyst in next!" it's going to get a bit twee.

Which isn't to say they can't go to cool, dramatic times in history, just that the episodes of "they go to $FAMOUSPOINTINHISTORY and meet $FAMOUSPERSON and accidentally give them the idea to do $THINGTHEYREFAMOUSFOR" need to be carefully rationed.

Like DaveC, I'd be interested in seeing them just end up in some very strange time period and just... soak in its strangeness for a bit. One of my favourite bits of Moorcock's End of Time trilogy, in amongst all the psychedelic zaniness, was Jherek and Amelia just taking a picnic hamper to primordial Earth, kicking back and trilobite-watching.

In terms of big dramatic incidents, I'll nominate the Halifax Explosion of 1917.

jason puts forth...

Posted January 20
While I agree with the comments about this shouldn't turn into a history lesson, i do think that the major events in history generate an energy which draws time travellers to them, much like the brightest star in the sky draws your eye.

Dave W has opinions thus...

Posted January 20
But there's also a risk that it turns into Dr Who, always major events and always running.

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w from brisbane mutters...

Posted January 19
I enjoy a sea tale. Cady and Smith find themselves on a boat: Carribean pirates, smugglers in Asia (pick your century), Ancient Egypt riverboaters, or maybe the Mississippi, or an Ancient Greek trireme.

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Turlogh Dubh O'Brien would have you know...

Posted January 20
In no particular (not even chronological) order:
1) The Balkan Wars of 1912
2) The Battle of Kursk, summer of 1943
3) The Santorini Eruption, c.1650 B.C.
4) The Salonika Front, 1917
5) Fall of Constantinople 1453
6) Cochinchina Campaign, 1858-1862
7) ice free Antarctica, c. 35,000,000 yrs ago
8) Byzantine-Norman wars 1040-1185
9) Tunguska, 1908
10) 5 billion yrs into the future, when the sun burns out

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Rob swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 20
I think they should go to late 80s Brisbane and meet a guy who has way too many flatmates, smokes way too much weed, can't decide which degree to finish and wants to be a writer.

she_jedi mumbles...

Posted January 20
THIS! And Cady can tell him all about her years eating rice and sleeping on the floor to get her game off the ground, and how not to give up on his dream of owning a gold plated hovercraft :P

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Murphy_of_Missouri asserts...

Posted January 21
I think they should visit Alexander Hamilton and have him give them a long lecture about what he really meant in the various Federalist Papers he wrote during the effort to ratify the Constitution. That way there will not be the same heartburn over Federalist No 68 that we saw recently.


They might also either aid or block the Aaron Burr conspiracy to set up his own country. Saving Hamilton from getting killed in a duel is optional.

MickH mumbles...

Posted January 22
And then maybe they shouldn't. That's far to american and most others would fall asleep from boredom after reading a couple of paragraphs. Particularly after it would make no sense when America voted in trump.
Maybe a lecture on how an oligarchy works would be more relevant?

Murphy_of_Missouri swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 23
I don't know. Everyone seemed pretty fascinated with Federalist No 68, enough so that they probably sent sales of The Federalist Papers through the roof. Seems to be the perfect thing.

MickH would have you know...

Posted January 31
i have tried responding to this twice now. they just arn't sticking (or they're being deleted) see how this one goes

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PuffinMuffin would have you know...

Posted January 22
They land in our reality, find you and ask if you can send them somewhere else?

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Mac Twain asserts...

Posted January 22
Putting in my Two Cents:
Has anybody heard of Jesus Christ? Have Cady and Smith show up in time to prevent the Crucifiction! Give us the "real" story of what happened. Save this man who is just trying to teach the populous about love, compassion, and faith in God. Start a new timeline where Jesus escapes Crusifiction and the story of a timeline without the influence of the most influential person the world has known. Smith gets shook in his belief in Jesus as Savior and Cady picks up a (little) bit of humility and belief in God from her interface with Jesus.

Or, opposite track. Jesus as a young jew is conscripted into the Roman Legionaires. He is trained in Rome and eventually becomes a Roman Senator. Here comes Cady and Smith to the rescue. Gets Jesus Romanis to get back to Judea to raise the dead, heal the cripple and discovers his true Heavenly Father and Cady and Smith tearfully watch the Crucifixion. Smith has saved the day for his Lord and Cady begrudgingly picks up some belief in Jesus. Oh, and they fight off Pontius Pilate troops single handedly

John Birmingham ducks in to say...

Posted January 23
This idea is well suited to the next reader fiction collection, I reckon. I'd get howled down if I attempted a JC story.

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Brother PorkChop would have you know...

Posted January 23
Had my say over the other place but Shogunate Japan around 1605 and the Tunguska event

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DaveC would have you know...

Posted January 24
Battle of Omdurman, between the British and the Dervishes (Sudanese Mahdist Army) in 1898 outside Khartoum. One of the large major Cavalry charges in history. Might bring back Smith's Civil War PTSD. Perhaps a young Lieutenant, Winston Churchill, could yell at them from horseback. 'What the blazes are you playing at?' He'd take to Cady because his Mother was an American...

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ronS has opinions thus...

Posted January 24
the penny dropped - just saw Kate and Leopold

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Erko King is gonna tell you...

Posted February 6
Sorry late reading book.
How about 1946 alternate reality and King George the VIII does not abdicate and becomes allied to Hitler?
EK

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Unpossible mumbles...

Posted February 10
The Hopi indigenous Americans of arizona, around the 1700s. You have got to, got to, see how things play out between them in a matriachal society because Smith is gonna have to do some learning if he is gonna have a chance with cady. Also, playing out a few chapters in post contact but pre 'wild' west is gonna do Smiths' head in, in a major way. Cady is gonna be sorely tempted to step off the train at this station.

Smith: Boy howdy, how do these them here squaw fellas put up with this ma-tri-a-chy?
Cady: Oh, hell, no.

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