Discussion in 'Alternate History Books and Media' started by Flashman, Jun 21, 2017.
About a theoretical Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, I doubt that something like that would be able to be built in a Medieval America. Even Medieval China found it incredibly difficult as a united entity to construct the Grand Canal across largely flat terrain. A divided Medieval America will find it incredibly difficult to do embark on a project like that.
Weirdly enough while I would argue technological-wise it's entirely possible seeing as it was proposed in early republican years; I do flat-out hard agree there is no hope in hell of it being done in an extremely divided-politically medieval America.
As @Umbric Man said, it should be technologically possible-it's only a quarter of the distance of the Grand Canal (not even counting the fact that about half of it, the section from D.C. to Cumberland, Maryland, has already been built), and the terrain may be bad but it's not insurmountable.
And while I do agree that there's very little chance of it happening in "current" conditions, I think it could very well have happened before the Regression came into full force, in the last two or so political generations before the US was reduced to a Chesapeake trading state. The technological capabilities would have been better than "present", but already people would want an alternative to increasingly thin motorized transport, and it would, given that it benefits both sides of the canal, have been economically feasible, as well as a great but ultimately futile attempt for the federal government to assert their authority.
I agree with @frustrated progressive on the canal issue. A lot can happen in 900 years, after all. Plus they can utilize what pre-Regression tech they have to build the canal before it's completely regressed. Maybe a group of prescient people build it as a way to prepare for a world without trains, planes, or automobiles.
Hey buddies, I have a new question:
What would be modern "Tales", such as Superheroes/Disney Princesses become in the Medieval America? Some kind of "Skalds" record them, and propagation them across the land?
well I did the Avengers as a bardic tale of legendary warriors, and Loony
toons as Brer Rabbit like tale skewering the nobles and church and merchants
Would certainly put a new meaning to the phrase "The Dark Knight". I guess Superman would probably be synthesized with Jesus or Moses too.
Oh, superhero stuff. A specialty of mine :
1) I imagine Superman mostly goes back to his more Golden Age portrayal of Outgoing and Cocksure, but also of Being Fed Up With Evil's Shit. Still protecting common folk against corrupt nobles (Archduke Lex Luthor, anyone? He's a mad alchemist and improves military tech in his spare time, useful against Superman, and goes full rogue mad scientist in time...), hordes of baddies (cowboy raids) and natural disasters. His basic powers of strength, durability, speed, flight, and heat vision and powerful breaths exist if appropriately toned down for the age.
A lot of his Kryptonian elements could merely be re-packaged into heaven-based stuff, like being blessed by God or angels or something as he's sent away from a dying land or town (hey, the place name suffix -ton can be Krypt-Town, a pun on a Dying Town). I could see his enemies being de-tech'd: Brainiac's just a crazed foreigner using black magic to collect all knowledge ever for ultimate powerr and revive himself in new bodies and various superpowers as need be. Zod is a surviving noble from Krypton cursed by Satan and gathering an army to invade Metropolis when he isn't leading a pack of soldiers. Metallo's a sadist stuck in a powerful suit of armor warped around him. Toyman's still a beta, bitter manchild lashing at society and just one helluva blacksmith. And so forth.
2) Batman and Robin can go almost unchanged. Bruce Wayne the benevolent lord takes on the various outlaws plaguing Gotham. His detective work and rogueishness is more played up and the Batmobile a black horse. Probably stoic and vaguely Adam West/Brave and the Bold cartoon-like in persona to make him more friendly for all ages, in he's Serious and Determined but not excessively grimdark.
3) Wonder Woman would be much more serene as she originally was in the Golden Age (and contrast to Good Ole' Boy Superman) and it's not hard to just have Amazons get in touch with God as a more generic paradise of women, and her enemies just representing some sort of human prejudice.
4) Green Lantern's ring and corps are simply from the Old World. No change to its powerset. He's just the first of the old Union to be made a member of this legendary peace corps.
.....in fact, many of the powers, costumes, origins, etc. are themselves so fantastical in the first place it is simply re-adjusting the power or tech level. Medieval society wouldn't be adverse to heroes shooting lasers out their eyes, magic lassos, or a ring that make light constructs, it's just restructuring the origins of those powers for their societal norms.
How about a warped version where The Dark Knight is considered an enforcer of property rights for the nobility, while Robin (Hood) represents the people, the two forces keeping each other in check in the mythological narrative.
Alternatively, the myth could center around The Iron Knight, where Batman and Ironman are synthesized to represent just a rich, enforcer for the nobility (this could also synthesize the Toyman idea Umbric mentioned).
That might actually be interesting if Robin Hood, the Joker, and Red Hood all get syncreticized into the Dark Knight's great foe - the dour, dark, martially adept noble lord locked in an eternal struggle with the light, joking, thief who steals from the rich and gives to the poor. Depending on your interpretation and social status, the Dark Knight is the noble defender of the innocent against crime and chaos, or the Robin Hood is the kindly highwayman who protects the people against the excesses of a lunatic noble.
Love the idea of mixing Robin, the Joker and Red Hood!
And I guess the Disney Princesses would become the remaining "Knowledge" about Europeans and the other side of the Atlantic among the folks?
An interesting thing I discovered is that the Chesapeake & Ohio canal, (which I don't think would exist in a Medieval america) is largely parallel to the old National Road which is an important route across the Appalachians.
It does show up on the trade map, a relatively minor route across the Appalachians.
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