Conquistador Revisited

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

  1. Strategos' Risk Oriental Orientalist

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    Okay, one last segment of random notes, and I'm done with this thread. No one's replying anyways. If anyone wants the appendices I can post them on some other thread.

    * The gang kill a bunch of evil Afrikaaners. They all happen to be named after the characters from Guns of the South- which is a real book in this world because it shows up in Adrienne's library. This scene really pissed me off when I read it the first time because it just seemed like genre fanservice.

    * Fuck New Virginia, part eleventh:


    * S.M. Stirling teaches us about Russian culture!

    * The Commission has about a dozen Mosquito fighter-bombers. About the same amount are kept by some of the Families, "they maintain them for the Commission's use in lieu of taxes." And those couldn't possibly ever be used to topple your government, nosiree John Rolfe.

    * "a lot of them had Red Army medals jingling on their chests—Russkis were strange that way, wearing decorations on combat fatigues."

    The last chapter where Adrienne single-handedly destroys the Gate is the dumbest thing I have ever read.

    * Emblems! The Families have shoulder flashes: the Rolfe a lion, the Pearlmutter the Seal of Solomon, the Von Traupitz an eagle, and the Colletta a tommy gun.
     
  2. Strategos' Risk Oriental Orientalist

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    I've written too soon. Alright, some extra stuff. Notes I've found from discussions on SHWI, specifically what Stirling says.

    Conquistador with good guys

    Samples of Conquistador by S.M. Stirling


     
  3. modelcitizen note2self, no ranting ninjas

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    nice of me to respond to something from like a year ago, but hey...


    six-wheeled land rovers
    are used by the Australian army, so, the vehicle, despite being over the top, does exist.


    amusingly, according to http://www.allisons.org/ll/4/LandRover/Perentie/ the ADF is replacing their six-wheeled land rover with the Gelandewagen/g-class Mercedes, the better to appeal to ex-KGB warlords perhaps ;)

    Land_Rover_6x6_light_vehicle_DSEI_2007_UK_London_001.jpg
     
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  4. modelcitizen note2self, no ranting ninjas

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    that is very cool, because I've actually thought of what I would do, given a 'tract' or something like that to populate as I would like. :D Kind of sick, I know...


    Given time, that is, without a time machine, I'd assume some kind of connection to 'first world' over the last four or five decades.

    I think from the 1960s on, there are a good number of refugee groups more than suitable for populating the odd nook and cranny in a productive fashion...

    Make that from the late 1940s on, why not? I'm only 38 years old, but I guess I can presume that "I" would have a scope of opportunity similar to King Rolfe's.

    I'd be slightly "pragmatic" in my selections, in other words, even though I'm Jewish and my parents are Israeli, I would be happy to grab some Palestinian refugees from 1948 et al. Why? As far as I can tell from personal experience and randomly absorbed "knowledge," as a group, they are an urbane, fairly sophisticated and decently educated population. They're industrious, big into hospitality, and they like to have big families.

    During the 1970s, I'd be shopping aggressively for Cambodians fleeing the Khmer Rouge --appealing qualities have lots of overlap with the Palestinians noted above-- and for Vietnamese refugees too.

    Any time Haitian politics gets ugly, well... I think some proactive "skimming" of the Caribbean for particularly crowded rafts bound for capsizing en route to the United States could yield some grateful settlers, eh?

    There are numerous opportunities for "population shopping" any time Africa has a serious conflict. Congo, Sudan, and the list just gets insanely long from there. Any time and place where a group of people are fleeing for their lives is a productively high-yield area for this purpose. Just imagine showing up in Rwanda with some military hardware and a heavy retinue of transport aircraft... I get to fulfill my fantasy of saving the oppressed and I get population at the same time.


    Very very rigorous schooling would be crucial to providing as much cultural unity as possible on this "New Atlantis" or whatever the heck one could call it.

    I would want to recruit some Gurkhas for training and organizing our conscripted military, another potential source for cultural unity.

    Oh yes, we would ah try not to kill all the folks already in the Western Hemisphere... there's got to be a way to avoid that...
     
  5. Yossarian Member from the dawn of time

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    I think if you really want to be a good guy with the gate you should just reveal it to the world. You'll probably still end up being rich and famous as the discoverer, but this way the whole world gets to benefit from the discovery, not just you and your cronies.
     
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  6. Coley Well-Known Member

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    I could see recruiting from regions hit with economic meltdowns,beyond the Rhodesians and Afrikaners.People like Newfoundlanders when the Cod collapsed,Argentinians during their meltdown,recruiting from poor regions like northern Maine and upstate NY,Mennonites from Belize and Paraguay,Mormons from Mexico.
     
  7. Burton K Wheeler l'état profond, c'est moi Moderator

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    Thanks to @Strategos' Risk for all the analysis.

    Conquistador is one of my guilty pleasures. I only read it once, because the plot was paper-thin and I found most of the characters pretty repulsive for one reason or another, but it definitely stuck with me. The idea of what I'd do with my own gate into California is a pretty appealing fantasy.

    Has anyone ever done a map based on the description of Family territories at the end of the book?

    The only Conquistador map I could find on this site:

     
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  8. Strategos' Risk Oriental Orientalist

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    I was going to make a new thread called Conquistador Re-Revisited, but this is a pretty great discussion with annotations and is useful for historical reasons- not to mention it was bumped before (and allowed by a mod, too).

    It is now 2019, ten years after the book's original future date of 2009. Not only has that year diverged heavily from ours, our reality has continued in dystopia ways. Though we are finally now seeing the prevalence of VR glasses, and Segways being mainstream seem more believable what with "hoverboards" being a silly fad and app-driven scooters becoming an actual mode of transportation in some cities.

    As far as right-wing forces on the march... yikes. I remember when white supremacist neo-Nazi terrorists were the staple of techno-thrillers and safe super villains for Hollywood during the '90s. In some ways, the calcified, xenophobic, reactionary, white nationalist societies of New Virginia appear more present than ever. Or at least the yearning for such spaces.

    It would appear with the events of the last five years or so, there would be more takers for this sort of thing. Many more.

    This world, and its worldview, is depressing to view through the lens of our own depressing world. At least we have smartphones, I guess.

    On a more quaint note, I do like the minimally-described 2009 of that book. I wonder what other examples of near-future sci-fi are there to laugh about how naive they were in retrospect, or gasp at how prophetic they are. Some of Charles Stross' and Ken MacLeod's works come to mind. Accidentally alternate history.

    Does anyone still think of this book?
     
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  9. modelcitizen note2self, no ranting ninjas

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    I would so vacuum Syrian refugees into my "New Atlantis." Just thinking of the restaurants!!! And many educated professionals too.

    And maybe no heartbreaking image of a dead child face down on a beach.
     
  10. CraigD6 Well-Known Member

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    Despite his control of New Virginia being saved in some part by the actions of a native American tracker and an involuntary colonist that is not white, sadly I think that if Rolfe and his like minded committee still retained (or regained) a gateway to our world, they would continue to take the same sorts of people as they did before and ignore the rest. Whilst our world is in many ways increasingly xenophobic and divisive and there would indeed be many takers for joining this new world, I don't see them getting let in. Rolfe would get an intake of people from the Baltic states and Ukraine, who have reason to fear a resurgent Soviet Union. Then he would get the many that these days feel disenfranchised somehow; the WASP Americans that hate the influx across the border to the south, the right of centre and far right of Europe that object to the tide coming across the Med, maybe the smaller wanna-be independent states (Catalan and Scottish to the front of the queue). Many wold be of a similar mindset to the original families. Legitimate refugees from the Middle East, Africa, Asia, would be few and far between, and probably be cherry picked rather than bought across in large numbers.

    Despite the unpleasant tone of the book, as seen by the attitudes of the settlers, it still remains one of Stirling's better books and I would have liked a follow on rather than the saga that spun off of Islands in the Sea of Time. I imagine that old man Rolfe would like to see the new world found at the end used firstly as a massive hunting preserve.
     
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