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Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

[FORUM] What fictional universes do you like to analyze?

‚ÄčThinking about last night’s post on the position of religion in <I>Star Trek</I>, I realized not for the first time that I think way too much about the way that fictional universe plausibly works.

I am quite fine with that. It is a source of interest for me, an intellectual game playing with a setting that plenty of others know and can engage with. It can be fun, so why not go ahead?

That is me. What about you? What fictional universes do you like to try to analyze?

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Written by Randy McDonald

December 10, 2016 at 11:30 pm

One Response

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  1. A really disturbing one, which I got onto courtesy of Allen Guelzo.

    Fictional Universe: the one that develops after Lee wins at Gettysburg.

    Instead of retreating back into Virginia, his army rampages around Pennsylvania helping itself to whatever it wants. Lee meets with suddenly politically powerful northern peace Democrats, persuades them to force Lincoln to the negotiating table, whereupon Lincoln has no choice but to agree that the Confederacy is now a separate independent country, with human bondage as its primary economic organizing principle.

    What happens to northern opposition to the expansion of slavery into the western territories? The Confederacy is now the fourth greatest economy in the world. What can stop it from expanding southward, into the Caribbean, possibly into South America (which is home to another huge slave economy, Brazil)?

    The Brits today (in the actual universe) tend to not dwell on their actions and policies during the Civil War. I took “diplomatic history” in my undergrad years, and I can tell you this issue got very little coverage in the courses I took, and the assigned readings. It was only after reading American history that I learned the United States sued Great Britain after the Civil War over the CSS Alabama and other Confederate blockade runners and warships that had been built in allegedly-neutral Britain. The US won the suit, and for a while toyed with demanding Canada as compensation, and eventually settled for $15 million.

    How anti-slavery really were the Brits? Not so much, perhaps.

    So Lee wins at Gettysburg, Great Britain carries on as normal, democracy fails in North America — what happens to Canada?

    Steve Aplin

    December 11, 2016 at 11:09 am


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