Tuesday, June 22, 2010

What If ...

Alternate history is a fascinating genre. The further back in history you go, the more a little change can change all kinds of things. This is known as the "butterfly effect" whereby something as little as the death of a butterfly might start a chain of events that would totally alter the course of the world.
There is an old proverb that goes like this:

For want of a nail the shoe was lost.
For want of a shoe the horse was lost.
For want of a horse the rider was lost.
For want of a rider the battle was lost.
For want of a battle the kingdom was lost.
And all for the want of a horseshoe nail.

--Wikipedia article

The concept is the germ for all sorts of speculation. And thus, some very interesting fiction. In such fiction, real people in real situations are used. When things change, then new people may, and most likely do, come into existence.

A lot of alternate history is "wishful thinking" on the author's part, but if done right this avenue can be used for great philosophical musings. The old film "It's a Wonderful Life," starring Jimmy Stewart, was a fanciful look at a world minus just one man. A couple of theological titles have queried the idea "If Jesus had not come," though the one I read did not do the idea justice.

Along side the "alternate history" genre comes the "time travel" device that comes to the rescue in some science fiction (most notably the Star Trek franchise). In such cases, the theory of quantum physics leaves room for countless "alternate realities" to exist along side each other. The sci-fi favorite "Sliders" played on this theory.

Anyway, that is what I am "into" these days. Maybe a book will come of it someday -- but only after two or three OTHER books are written (some of which are half-way done now!).

Saturday, June 12, 2010

I Really am still alive

For a really committed blogger for over six months in 2008, I essentially "burned out" and quit the blog-o-sphere. What could have made me do such at thing? Well, here are a few things:

  • I lost my job. But really, that was in April of 2009, and my only blog of 2009 before that was on January 1. So that was no excuse. You'd think I would do a lot more blogging with more time on my hands.
  • I got into editing my mom's book on her dad's life. That really did take a lot of work. She even paid me in lieu of a Christmas gift. We got the book published in early 2010.
  • I discovered Facebook. That most assuredly took the place of the blog-o-sphere. "Friends" on Facebook tend to react a lot faster than followers of blogs.
  • I started writing alternate history articles at althistory.com. That has been fun, but the audience is only about twenty people! I thought there was more interest than that to such an intriguing genre.
And so, I have not blogged in quite a while. But perhaps I should return to this avenue of expression. I returned here today to add a widget based on an old Bible Code I found a decade ago. The date of 6 Av 5770 (or July 17, 2010) popped out of the "Antichrist Code" in 1 Samuel.

That date is just a little over a month away. I have begun the "countdown clock" to that date. The time on the clock is GMT, but based on sundown in Jerusalem on July 16, 2010. This is because the Hebrew calendar begins the day in the evening (Gen. 1 -- the evening and the morning, one day ...). The terminal time in Greenville will be 12:45 pm on July 16th.

When this date comes, we'll see what happens! If nothing of significance happens before 12:45 of the 17th, then that will be that. Then I'll change the clock to count down to the "great American eclipse in 2017! I KNOW that is going to be an event to look forward to. It starts in the Pacific Northwest and ends just off the coast of South Carolina. But more on that later.

The clock is ticking.