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Old 05-27-2014, 09:35 AM   #201
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Default Re: New Reality Seeds

Agreed. Any timeline that has an advanced space program requires a reason the political will exists (as in real life this reason need be neither logical or sane). Once you get beyond a certain level of infrastructure the program becomes more likely to be self sustaining.
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Old 05-27-2014, 09:47 AM   #202
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Here's a different reality seed. Thoughout much of ancient history right up into Byzantine times there was somekind of canal between the Nile and the Red Sea. If you assume that the abandonment of Rome was inevitable, Italy in the later Empire was an ecconomic backwater, if for no other reason than the rapid spread of malaria after the 2nd century AD, then moving the capital of the empire east makes sense. So, why not make Alexandria the new Rome?

And Alexandrine Roman Empire would be far more dominant in the Mediterranian basin. Egypt is the best source of grain in the ancient world, a great aid to security. If the canals between the Nile and the Red Sea are maintained, Alexandria gains a better trade location than Constantanople ever had. The Islamic conquest of Egypt was more a matter of the entry of a small but disceplened millitary force into a relative power vaccum than anything else. An Alexandrian Roman Empire would be very stable.

This would lead to a TL3 mega-state based in Egypt facing off against a smaller tougher Caliphate. Good for swasher action with an Arabian Night's flare from the Mediterranean to Cathay.
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Old 05-27-2014, 10:26 AM   #203
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If you assume that the abandonment of Rome was inevitable, Italy in the later Empire was an ecconomic backwater, if for no other reason than the rapid spread of malaria after the 2nd century AD, then moving the capital of the empire east makes sense. So, why not make Alexandria the new Rome?
May I suggest that you read Mary Gentle's Ilario, which uses a rather similar premise to good effect.
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Old 05-27-2014, 11:18 AM   #204
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Ah yes, a surgically modified K'kree in a time machine.
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Agreed. Any timeline that has an advanced space program requires a reason the political will exists (as in real life this reason need be neither logical or sane).
That was the reason for having Korolev survive long enough to put a cosmonaut on the Moon: it pushes the goal for the Space Race to Mars.

I also imagine Johnson winning his second term by exposing Nixon's back-room deals with the North Vietnamese; I can't fathom why he didn't in OTL since he apparently had evidence, but that is the fact. A Johnson who successfully negotiated an end to the Vietnam war would be in a much better position to pursue his interest in space.

One clarification from earlier: the reason there's no space shuttle in Rickover is the same that there are no nuclear rockets in OTL. Since this NASA didn't incorporate the NACA, there wasn't as much impetus to include "aviation" along with the "atomic." A winged space plane would have required inter-agency cooperation, always more difficult that projects done purely in house.

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Old 05-27-2014, 01:58 PM   #205
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The unnamed virus that infected ancient Africans causing us to produce digestive amylase not merely in our gut but in our saliva never existed. This leads to us never loving pure starches. This would almost certainly stall agriculture by millennia.
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Old 05-28-2014, 01:21 PM   #206
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May I suggest that you read Mary Gentle's Ilario, which uses a rather similar premise to good effect.
Noted. Thanks.
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Old 05-28-2014, 01:24 PM   #207
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That was the reason for having Korolev survive long enough to put a cosmonaut on the Moon: it pushes the goal for the Space Race to Mars.
Korolev would be key in keeping them in the race period.

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I also imagine Johnson winning his second term by exposing Nixon's back-room deals with the North Vietnamese; I can't fathom why he didn't in OTL since he apparently had evidence, but that is the fact. A Johnson who successfully negotiated an end to the Vietnam war would be in a much better position to pursue his interest in space.
Johnson feared that exposing Nixon would expose him for wiretapping. Handle that issue, or torpedo Nixon's stunt early, and either a Humphrey or a Johnson Presidency would be much more pro-Space.
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Old 05-29-2014, 12:42 PM   #208
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An interesting reality seed might come from keeping the Norman Kingdom of Sicily alive. The Scilian state promoted a great deal of cultural exchange, it was to their advantage as it let them understand their competitors.

Outremere might last longer. The Fourth Crusade might have attacked Islamic lands. If nothing else, more Ancient Greek, Ancient Latin, and Medieval Arabic, text and knowledge might have lasted until the printing press in the late 1400s.

It might set up a TL5 Elizabethan England.
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Old 05-29-2014, 08:04 PM   #209
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An interesting reality seed might come from keeping the Norman Kingdom of Sicily alive. The Scilian state promoted a great deal of cultural exchange, it was to their advantage as it let them understand their competitors.

Outremere might last longer. The Fourth Crusade might have attacked Islamic lands. If nothing else, more Ancient Greek, Ancient Latin, and Medieval Arabic, text and knowledge might have lasted until the printing press in the late 1400s.

It might set up a TL5 Elizabethan England.
That could be interesting. Straight TL5, or split, with some areas being TL5, and others being still TL4?

Something I've been thinking about:

Suppose Pope Pius XII dies in 1942 or thereabouts, and the Axis powers decide controlling Papal succession is worth the trouble? I could see this resulting in a modern schism, albeit not necessarily a long one, as the cardinals from the Allied nations (who might not even have been allowed in) would probably be pressured to elect a different Pope, and the neutral nations with cardinals might decide that neither 'captive' Pope serve the interests of the Church.

After the war, the Churches might reunite, but then again, they might not, particularly if the neutral and Allied Popes won't agree on who is more legitimate (though I think they'll both agree that the Axis Pope isn't).
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Old 05-30-2014, 02:21 AM   #210
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Suppose Pope Pius XII dies in 1942 or thereabouts, and the Axis powers decide controlling Papal succession is worth the trouble? I could see this resulting in a modern schism, albeit not necessarily a long one, as the cardinals from the Allied nations (who might not even have been allowed in) would probably be pressured to elect a different Pope, and the neutral nations with cardinals might decide that neither 'captive' Pope serve the interests of the Church.
Since the Roman Catholic Church went through a lot to get rid of outside interference in conclaves, they'd put up resistance all round. You might well get an "Axis pope", which the rest of the world's Catholics wouldn't acknowledge, but I doubt anyone else would be willing to elect another Pope in opposition. There would, in effect, be a long interregnum between Popes.
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