September 20, 2011


Each Tuesday, rather than a POSSIBLY IRRITATING ESSAY, I'd like to both challenge you and lend a helping hand. I generate more speculative and teen story ideas than I can ever use. My family rolls its collective eyes when I say, "Hang on a second! I just have to write down this idea..." Here, I'll include the initial inspiration (quote, website, podcast, etc) and then a thought or two that came to mind. These will simply be seeds -- plant, nurture, fertilize, chemically treat, irradiate, test or stress them as you see fit. I only ask if you let me know if anything comes of them.
SF Tropes: parallel universes
I’ve loved the idea of parallel universes for a long, long time, first coming across the idea in STAR TREK’s controversial episode, “City on the Edge of Forever”. Kirk, Spock and McCoy accidentally travel to Earth of the 1930’s in which a certain young woman named Edith Keeler was killed after being hit by a car. Turns out her death allowed the Allies to beat German and Japan and eventually led to the United Federation of Planets. If she had lived, Germany would have won WWII and there would have been no James T. Kirk and no USS Enterprise.
McCoy may have saved the woman’s life and Kirk and Spock discover that they must let her die – after Kirk falls in love with her.
Complicated, you say? You should read the story about the politics of the people who wrote and USED the story! *whew!*
Anyway, the author has this to say, “Sometimes I would imagine an irreverent me way down the line who refused to fall into place, disrupting the steady progression and creating a new reality that informed the ones that followed.”
Here’s your chance to take it away – in fact, you can take it ANY way you want to. But here’s one possibility: that image that he talks about, the one “way down the line”? What if the image on his left reached out of the mirror, grabbed him by the belt loop and jerked him into the mirror? Sure that’s what happened to Alice – and look at the Adventures she had!
But I’m going to twist this one a bit, in that parallel universe, our character was born – but the past he was born out of a past that included a successful Canadian/British seizure of the President of the United States and the annexation of Washington D.C. and the subsequent Second American Revolution…
You can work out the other details. The question is though, what if he fell in love with a Canadian girl over the summer – and loving her would be considered High Treason?


Paul said...

At first, I thought the author who imagined an irreverent version of himself was the author of "City on the Edge of Forever," Uncle Harlan himself. Harlan Ellison picturing an irreverent version of himself? The mind boggles.

GuyStewart said...

Oh...I think I hurt my imagination with the thought...WHEW!