Conquistador Revisited

Discussion in 'Alternate History Books and Media' started by Strategos' Risk, Sep 8, 2005.

  1. Tom Kalbfus Banned

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    I think it would be interesting to speculate about what would happen if he opened up a gate to a world that did match ours. There are other ways his 2009 differs from ours as well, the book after all was written before 2009, so the author had to speculate a little bit about the future from his point of view. I think he erred a little bit by making it slightly too futuristic for what 2009 actually turned out to be, well that's a valid Alternate history as well. So the Rolfes open up a new gate to our world and find things not quite the same, but close enough for their purposes. Some of the characters on his side of the gate even have duplicates on our side, so close is this timeline to ours. This presents an interesting situation, in that people on our side of the gate can be replaced by "dopplegangers" from New Virginia, it would be interesting to watch them stumble around in a world that is not quite theirs, it would be something like one of those "Slider Worlds" from the television series Sliders, these sorts of worlds are for the most part identical to ours with a few important differences to drive the story.

    I think New Virginia "dopplegangers" could gain control of the "original's" bank accounts and use the money to set up shell corporations just like in the old timeline the Rolfes came from. John Rolfe on the otherhand has no legal citizenship status in our timeline, he has no valid social security number, and officially he doesn't exist, his driver's license would register as invalid if he's ever stopped by the police while in our world. Something would have to be done with the residents of the house he opened his gate into, most likely kidnapped and taken to New Virginia against their will. I think who ever lives in that house would make an excellent point of view character through which to tell the story, as he will have to deal with his new unexpected situation, and perhaps plot his escape.
     
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  2. Tom Kalbfus Banned

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    Let me revise my statement above. the Rolfes don't have to threaten or kidnap the residents of the house they open their gate into, its very simple and John Rolfe will probably express this sentiment himself, he figures that most people can be bought, and those with backbone who can't? He can simply threaten to close the gate and never bother that person again. There are other worlds he can trade with, and he's offering to make the owner of this house very rich and even a partner in the running and profits of the New Virginia colony, you see if he kidnapped that person, there would be a missing person's report at Police and perhaps FBI headquarters and the first place the detectives would investigate would be this house, and he can't afford to have government agents snooping about, specially he wants to keep the New Virginia colony a secret and out of the governments hands, and while it would be a bother to find another world to trade with, he doesn't have the pull with local officials here to cover up investigations like he did with the last one, when he had 55 years to build his empire there, here, he's just starting from scratch and implicitly needs the owner of this house's cooperation and in return, he'll make him or her very rich - and in he event of a double cross, he could always close the gate in an instant as the gate device is located on the New Virginian side this time and FBI agents will be left staring at a blank wall in somebody's basement.
     
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  3. Strategos' Risk Oriental Orientalist

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    Handy post about past-migration population pools for New Virginia:

    I'm kind of wondering who from our world would want to flee to New Virginia at the moment. I suspect there would be a wide-spectrum of Anglo-Americans, from the nuttier of the libertarian Alex Jones-listening Ron Paulites, to Jeffersonian pipe-dreamers who want a classical liberal land free of Obamanomic taxes, to racist white nationalists yearning for an independent homeland. The question is, who among them would the Rolfes choose to bring to New Virginia? And that's just the U.S.- in the Old World, you have all kinds of rightist types fearing a coming Eurabia, not to mention those displaced from resurgent Russian encroachment in the 'stans.

    And on a different track, I still think it would be ironic if former Israeli settlers emigrated there and join the Imperialist Party alongside the racist Afrikaaners from the book, clamoring for the conquest of the territory equivalent to Abraham's patrimony on the other Side.
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2009
  4. Grimm Reaper Desperate But Not Serious

    I wanted to mention that the actual settler population was probably quite small in terms of immigration.

    As a personal example, my grandparents averaged six children in each of the four families so imagine one couple(my great grandparents) immigrating, then having children as they did OTL, then the next two generations having the average of four children mentioned per family in the book.

    By 2009 that would be almost 70 people from one couple after cutting the number in half to give credit to the people who married the children and grandchildren of this one couple.

    If a total of only 3000 young married couples came over by 1950 the actual population would be higher than that given in the book!
     
  5. Tom Kalbfus Banned

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    Israelis aren't exactly leaving Israel in droves, they are not at the point where South African whites were when they were about to lose control of their country to the black majority. The majority of Israelis are still Jews, and by redrawing their borders and keeping "returning" Arabs from settling in Israel proper, they can gerrymander a Jewish majority state by granting land to the Palestinians elsewhere. That said, there are other issues such as terrorism, rockets, car bombs and so forth. There is a corresponding area for Israel in this alternate, the timeline diverged at the point Alexander made his conquests, I wonder what Israeli settlers would find if they went to the land of Israel in this alternate?

    There is a chance that Solomon's temple might still be standing, there might even be native Hebrews still worshipping there. The Conquistador timeline is almost certainly a world without Islam, though Buddism and Hinduism might still exist here as they are older religions. Most of the events depicted in the Old Testament occured prior to Alexander's time, so the land would undoubtably still be holy to most Jews. If there is a really fanatic sect of Jews willing to leave it all behind, they might even be willing to forgoe all modern conveniances and live like the natives do while trying to rebuild the ancient state if Israel the way the Bible said it was. With a slight technological advantage, they might even dominate the region. I doubt John Rolfe would want to recruit a bunch of Hasitic Jews, if he feels they simply want to go over to that timeline's equivalent to Israel and set up a new nation. Rolfe wants people who will benefit his colony. A lot of people will simply go for the opportunity to make their fortunes rather than to escape from something. Rolfe's philosophy is simply that if there is less diversity in his settlement, there will also be less racism, and prejudice as well, he's seen Affirmative action, and he feels its expensive and it doesn't really eliminate the racism or prejudice anyway. John Rolfe wants a largely Christian oriented conservative country, so he doesn't actively seek out religious Jews to recruit, so a bunch of hasidics in black hats aren't going to be on his list of desireables I think, and if he doesn't want them, they aren't going to find out about this place period.
     
  6. Strategos' Risk Oriental Orientalist

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    I thought Judaism was Hellenized in the timeline due to Alexander's empire standing.
     
  7. Tom Kalbfus Banned

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    This is the least plausible thing if you ask me. All the Jews suddenly decide they'd rather worship Zeus, the god of Storms or Ares the God of War, than Yaweh. I don't see that it makes much difference whether the Hebrew religion survives or not. If not Judaism, it would have been Buddaism or Hinduism. The Hellenic Religion is about different gods controlling different forces of nature, the Jewish religion gives the Ten Commandments tells people how to live, while Greek Gods are capricious, and self-centered and do whatever they want, worshipping them and making sacrifices is sort of like a protection racket. If you want you ship to survive the ocean crossing you better placate Poseidon, if you don't want anything unfortunate to happen to your troops when you fight that battle you better make the necessary sacrifices to Ares, I have trouble seeing the Jews go in for that sort of stuff after thousands of years of worshipping Yaweh and adhering to his moral precepts and dietary laws.

    The Buddists aren't just going to fade away either. Buddism is a philosophical religion, as is Hinduism, these aren't rain gods that can easily be disproven. I think monotheistic and philosophical ethical religions have an inherent advantage over religions that explain the universe with a god for this and a god for that.
     
  8. chris N Well-Known Member

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    I would be interested in where does everyone see things going in the world that the Rolfe's have created? Stirling made a mistake in having the machine destroyed and then when repaired it opened not to the original time line but one in a more prehistoric alternative earth, Might not futher tinkering with it result in it opening on other worlds.
     
  9. Polish Eagle AntiFa Supersoldier

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    Well it seems logical that tinkering can fix it. Stirling should really have made a sequel exploring their newfound ability to pick and choose different TLs.

    But, using canon (the book), let's assume they can't return to OTL. Their society might have to go to 19th century production levels. It was made very clear that any "fine industry", like computers and optics, had to be imported from OTL. However, steam engines and telegrams can be easily manufactured.

    Eventually, they will continue expansion through North America and the Pacific. The thing about frontiers is that people who don't agree with the old ways can just move to the edges of existence. People with more "liberal" ideas can move to the colony near Denver, or start new cities on the Mississippi, like the original settlers of North America did.
     
  10. Valdemar II Banned

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    My biggest problem was that the Alexandrian Empire disintegrated into citystates permanently after 600 years of unity, simply because they were Greeks, the inability for literacy to spread. The Indo-European China was at least interesting if completely unlikely.
     
  11. Kevin Renner Well-Known Member

    Rolfe's discovery of Gate Technology was a "happy" accident. Or better yet a fluke. Of course it is hard to believe that with all of the work done on shortwave sets previous to that nobody else stumbled across the technology. And if the technology that opened the gate was as simple as Rolfe's shortwave set then I can understand why the New Virginians didn't mess with it. Clearly IMO they have no idea of how it works. The grand daughter states that when the Bay area suffered an earthquake the gate conection was broken and it was touch and go whether or not the Earth Prime side could re-establish contact with New Virginia. As to why they never tried to duplicate the technology and open more gates to other TLs? They are trying to conquer one time line. Why bite off more than you can chew. But eventually the Russians that had smuggled in a couple of pet physists would of duplicated the Gate simply to avoid Gate Security
     
  12. Strategos' Risk Oriental Orientalist

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    So do you guys reckon the Rolfes would have let in Tea Party protesters and Palin supporters in, or not?
     
  13. Bill Cameron Banned

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    SR,

    Well, as has already been discussed in the thread, the 2009 of Conquistador is very different from our own. That means the Tea Party protesters and Palin-ites most likely don't exist. There's no mention of the credit crunch, no mention of Obama, no mention of anything like that. In fact, Stirling's cardboard cutouts talk about how the world is slowly returning to normal after what can only be assumed is a "victory" of some sort in the "War on Terror".

    Assuming there are analogues to our 2099's Tea Party types and Palin-ites, I'd question if any of them feel persecuted at a level great enough to forever leave the world behind. The Tea Party protests of the spring are now old news in September and Palin has resigned from and/or abandoned her governorship. Are any of the true believers of six or nine months ago even interested anymore? I saw both movements as little more than tyros with no real depth or lasting consequences.

    Now compare that to the refugees the Rolfes have accepted; people fleeing death in its many forms and various man-made disasters. I don't think you can compare Prussians in 1946 and Afrikkaners in the 1990s with the shallow, noisy assclowns who held tea parties this spring.

    Another aspect to consider is where these prospective refugees are coming from. Unlike many of the refugees the Rolfes have been accepting who were fleeing unsettled and fluid situations with little or no active government, these prospective immigrants are coming from a still functioning US with a rather extensive surveillance system left over from the War on Terror. When they fall off the grid it is going to be noticed.

    Gate Security can frame the people they snatch to New Virginia and otherwise manage their disappearances because those kidnappings are relatively few in number. Having somewhat prominent and vocal political opponents of the current government stepping through the Gate and disappearing from our world will get many people in many places curious.

    IMHO, the Rolfes will avoid recruiting the Tea Party and Palin types for two reasons; they're insufficiently motivated to emigrate and their disappearance will be noted.


    Bill
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2009
  14. jacobus Well-Known Member

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    It kind of bothered me that Rolfe named his new land "New Virginia." They were in California, not Virginia! He should have named it New California. If he wanted to settle a territory and name it New Virginia, cross the continent, populate Virginia, then name it New Virginia.
     
  15. Strategos' Risk Oriental Orientalist

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    The only part of your post that's wrong- get ready for non-stop coverage of the 9/12 Project! Hoo boy.

    Fair enough, lemme backtrack to what other possible real-world refugees that the Rolfes would try to settle had they established contact with, say, our world instead of their wacky 2009 where VR headsets exist.

    I'd say the main ones would be Georgians, possibly. They're going to have a rough time with the Russians who are already in New Virginia. I think over the next decades they will probably have a bunch of xenophobic white chauvinists from European fleeing Muslim immigration.
     
  16. Bill Cameron Banned

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    SR,

    Agreed, partially.

    The existence of Georgian refugees in the 2009 of Conquistador depend on Russian activities in the Caucuses in our 2009. As already mentioned in this thread, the US and her allies deployed ground forces in Central Asia during the "War on Terror", something that points to a far weaker or divided Conquistador Russia than our Russia.

    Whether a Conquistador Russia would be as frisky in the Caucuses as our Russia is and has been is debatable.

    As for tensions between Russians and Georgians, the Rolfes were able to get Nazis and Jews to (somewhat) behave with regards to one another. I don't think there'll be much trouble.

    (FWIW, I would have loved if the book visited Perlmutter's alternate version of San Francisco. I somehow got the felling that things were less autocratic in that domain.)

    Again, I partially agree.

    The West has won, given an unknown value of "win", the "War on Terror". How that war and it's victory effects Muslim immigration in Europe is, again, debatable. There could be more immigration, less immigration, more efforts at assimilation, less of the same, we just don't know.


    Bill
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2009
  17. B_Munro Member

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    Well, this being a Stirling-verse, perhaps all Muslims have been ISOTed to Hungry, Hungry Dinosaur world. Or perhaps we've simply shown such more-than-Jack-Bauer-esque atom-bomb throwing ruthlesness that they are all prostrating themselves in terror before our enormous national dick. :rolleyes:

    Bruce
     
  18. Tyr air in space

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    I wouldn't agree Europeans fleeing muslims would appear in any significant numbers.
    Islamic immigration just isn't that big a deal, there'd be very few people getting that worked up about it. And those who are do so because its their land they're taking over, they wouldn't want to run away.


    Maybe Assyrians could go to New Virginia?
    They (and other non islamic minorities) have been leaving Iraq in large numbers anyway but with a worse war on terror maybe the situation would be a lot worse.
    And central Asian Russians?


    addition- Europeans fleeing muslims isn't likely but how about European muslims fleeing far right governments in Europe?
    With a worse war on terror it could happen...
     
  19. Bill Cameron Banned

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    Bruce,

    I see that your opinion of Stirling's "work" is roughly in par with my own. ;)

    The more I read his stuff, the more I'm convinced he was really, really, really, bullied as a child.


    Bill
     
  20. Bill Cameron Banned

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    Tyr,

    Except for the small percentage of Dutch who were thinking of emigrating in the OTL after the Pym murder and all that nonsense.

    Europeans with their knickers in a knot over a Muslim "invasion" are made to order for New Virginia's recruiters. There's not likely to many of them, so they won't be missed, and they'll be sufficiently motivated to leave their lives behind.

    Just as importantly for the Rolfes - and their creator Stirling - Europeans are white. Which brings us to your following suggestions...

    People from the Middle East? No way in hell. Jews are only in New Virginia because Sol Perlmutter was part of Rolfe's combat outfit.

    Russian Russians are a stretch. A polity that already explicitly states that it will not allow Asian immigration isn't going to recruit Central Asians of any stripe. Maybe the USSR's Russian "colonists" in Central Asia, but I got the feeling that's where most of New Virginia's Russians came from.

    Muslims in New Virginia? Again, no way in hell. You've got to remember who wrote the book and created the Rolfes.


    Bill