Sunday, June 30, 2013

Afterword to "The Right Man"

In my alternate-history story "The Right Man", I take an historical fact, the eviction of the Bonus Army from the Washington Mall, and an historical figure, Major General Smedley Butler, and see what they might do together.

Historically, the violent eviction of the Bonus Army from Washington was an appalling crime and "worse than a crime -- a blunder". Surely a better solution could have been found than the one imposed by General Douglas MacArthur, perhaps one conceived by some other General?

I learned that another solution had indeed been depicted in the film Gabriel Over the White House, and used a variation on it. It seemed like something Smedley Butler might well have done in that position.

What if he had? How would history have proceeded from my version of July 28th, 1932? How might the country have recovered from the Depression, and how quickly? If the recovery had come faster, how might that have affected the events which preceded the outbreak of the Second World War? I really don't know. I haven't thought about it, nor made any plans for a sequel.

But if I did write a sequel,what role might General Butler play in some divergent version of the Second World War? Leading, perhaps, a League of Nations peacekeeping force in disarming Nazi Germany...?

Maybe I will write a sequel . . . .

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Afterword to "The Men Who Saved JFK"

For some reason or other, "The Men Who Saved JFK" is conspicuously the most-downloaded of the stories I have posted for download at Amazon and Google Books. My guess is that a lot of people are doing searches in which one of the terms is "JFK". I suppose what that means is that my next posted story should have been "Lincoln's Doctor's Dog" rather than "[Hansel] and [Gretel] Lost in the Bardo", but I have never been all that practical of a person. In the Fourth Grade, I had a friend who was a "good player", one who could get into character easily and play a role satisfactorily. One of his favorite subjects for play was the resurrection or rescue of President Kennedy through some exotic means. Fred Hatch, the hero of my story, is basically that boy grown up, and retaining that obsession. The title, though, and the tone and organization of my story, are taken rather directly from Alfred Bester's "The Men Who Murdered Mohammed". In that story, Bester invented a rather odd form of time travel in which altering the present is impossible, which inspired my own more conventional time travel format in which altering history is simply...difficult. That story also introduced me to the handy word "chronicide", although I have given it a different definition.