Stupid Luck and Happenstance, Thread III

Or use magic. As Terry Pratchett did with Going Postal, when B.S. "Bloody Stupid" Johnson used "New Pi" to build a mail sorting machine. Caused all sorts of problems when the postmen found themselves delivering letters BEFORE they had been written.
Per the rules of this forum, magic is ASB.

You miss my point... in an Alternate Universe story, created in the mind of a tale-weaver, the laws of our Universe mean nothing!! The "natural laws" are completely dependent on which of the Multiverses s/he is weaving a tale about.

You bring up ASB. As an explanation of a story taking an unusual track, ASB can work. Take, for instance, S. M. Stirling's Emberverse series. In Dies the Fire, Something happens that causes all high-energy 'things' to no longer work. The Change. After which, things aren't the same; gunpowder no longer goes "Whoosh!!" when lit on fire so firearms no longer go "bang"; nuclear, internal combustion & steam engines cease operation; electricity in batteries, generators, etc., no longer work. But life-forms continue to function; nerves still pass electrochemical messages; brains still think. I won't spoil the story, but at an early point, many people adopt an attitude about the Change - ASB caused it, curse Them!! The cause is revealed at a point in the series (ASB are in the running), but I'm not gonna throw out spoilers in case someone here wants to read more excellent alternate history stories.
No, I don't think I miss your point at all. Yes, the author can write whatever he wants. But you might be missing mine. By the rules of this forum, stories that ignore/break the laws of reality go in the ASB sub-forum. ASB is not exclusively 'intervention by omnipotent beings'. P-M has chosen to write in the After-1900 sub-forum, so therefor he's pretty obligated to continue to abide by the laws of physics as we perceive them.
 
You bring up ASB. As an explanation of a story taking an unusual track, ASB can work. Take, for instance, S. M. Stirling's Emberverse series. In Dies the Fire, Something happens that causes all high-energy 'things' to no longer work. The Change. After which, things aren't the same; gunpowder no longer goes "Whoosh!!" when lit on fire so firearms no longer go "bang"; nuclear, internal combustion & steam engines cease operation; electricity in batteries, generators, etc., no longer work. But life-forms continue to function; nerves still pass electrochemical messages; brains still think. I won't spoil the story, but at an early point, many people adopt an attitude about the Change - ASB caused it, curse Them!! The cause is revealed at a point in the series (ASB are in the running), but I'm not gonna throw out spoilers in case someone here wants to read more excellent alternate history stories.
I have to disagree that the Emberverse series is good, personally the magic possession stuff ruined it for me.
 
Part 109, Chapter 1783
Chapter One Thousand Seven Hundred Eighty-Three



1st February 1967

In Transit, departing Lunar Orbit

Yuri Gagarin kept comparing the two space programs and the rockets they used. The Command Module was just had cramped and not a centimeter of space was allowed to go to waste, just like aboard the Russian capsules. Just the engineering was a lot nicer and to use the American expression, it was like going from a Chevrolet to a Cadillac. He wasn’t aware of a more apt comparison. It was certainly far more crowded with five people crammed into such a tight space. Gagarin hadn’t really noticed how much larger it was until the others had boarded the Lander, leaving him alone for a day aboard the Hansa to facilitate the communications between the LM Baltic and Mission Control and to monitor the cameras and other scientific equipment that was aboard the Hansa. Mostly, he had been free to look out the windows at the cratered Lunar surface as it passed below.

This was also the first time Gagarin had been to space after the complete loss of Vostok 5. He and his Co-Pilot had been faced with only a matter of seconds to decide when the main parachute had failed after reentry. Popping the hatch and bailing out been the only course of action available as they had been plunging to earth. Minutes later Gagarin had drifted to ground as the capsule had plowed into the earth, his Co-Pilot had never been found and his presumed death was on the verge of being made official. At the time, it had felt like official Moscow was more upset about the loss of prestige than the loss of life and the scientific data being destroyed. Like everyone else, Gagarin had assumed that pride would cause them to send up another Vostok Mission and pretend that Vostok 5 had never happened.

Instead they had made a surprisingly pragmatic choice and applied for entry into the European Space Agency. Gagarin had been among those sent to Waltz Center in Peenemünde to join the Taxidiotis Program. It was rumored that the Czar had personally intervened to make that happen. No one was sure if that was true or not, just it had given Gagarin and Leonov the opportunity to go to the Moon. It was something that was a profound honor.

Glancing over his shoulder, he saw that Sigi had fallen asleep and the activity in the aft compartment of Hansa wasn’t waking her. She had been at the center of the frenetic activity over the previous day and even before that she had hardly slept after they had launched from Cam Ranh. It was the consensus of the crew that they let her sleep for the entire allotted time that had been scheduled for her. Sigi probably wouldn’t be happy with them doing that, but she would be a mess if she didn’t get some rest.

After the Hansa had docked with the half of the landing module that launched them back into Lunar orbit, leaving the landing gear, decent engines and much of the equipment, Sigi had helped unload the rock and soil samples as well as the tapes containing data. They had jettisoned the Baltic so that its decaying orbit would cause it to crash near the site of the original landing so that scientists could get a reading on the seismic equipment that they had left on the moon to broadcast data back to Earth. Then had come the engine burn that had put them on a trajectory to return to Earth in a few days if all went well.

Gagarin had frequently joked that having Leonov along was a risk because he tended to get himself into the hairiest of situations. Leonov had pointed out that because the ESA preferred to land in the Ocean, he was unlikely to encounter a bear this time in reply. To that, Gagarin had pointed out that they could still encounter a shark or perhaps a bunch of really mean tuna. Leonov had told him to fuck off, ending the conversation.



EMI Studios, City of Westminster, London, England

A few months earlier when the Moondogs had scraped together the resources to record a new album none of them had predicted that John would be in a mood when he turned up at the Abby Road Studios. It seemed that he had been reading several newspapers and John being John, he had read a great deal between the lines and had gone searching for additional information. All of that had informed the songs that he had written.

Paul had made several attempts to get John to tone it down during the recording sessions only to get rebuffed. Just that afternoon, John had summed up his attitude the last time Paul had talked to him.

“More people died in China last year than the entire First World War” John had said, “It went entirely unmentioned because no one cares. The Greeks and Turks are deliberately killing civilians, again. Poland is on fire. The American South is a racist pesthole. Africa is a post-colonial mess because what’s left of the British Empire profited from the collapse. And all anyone seems to care about is some German bird who climbed down a ladder and recited a line about peaceful cooperation that no one really believes.”

Getting John to drop some of the worst expletives had been the best that Paul could do.

George had been a bit put out as there wasn’t a whole lot of room for his contributions this time. John was a force of nature when he was like this and he hadn’t been interested in the sort of compromise that fitting in songs that had been written by others required. Normally, Paul and Ringo would have joined George in pushing back against him. This time though it was clear that John was on a roll and everything he was coming up with was brilliant.

The music that went along with it though had been unlike anything that they had ever done. Aggressive guitars and drums. Amps cranked up till the tubes were on the verge of shattering with layers of fuzz and distortion. John’s sense of outrage at the world was clear throughout the album and Paul had struggled to write the music to go along with it.

Now, Paul had gotten a call from the Executives at EMI who were horrified by what they were listening to once they heard the rough mix completed only hours earlier. They feared that it would be widely banned from the radio and land with a thud in record stores.
 
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Ike Turner beaten to the punch on creating the distorted guitar sound?
No, that is what happens when you turn up tube amps all the way and it is debatable of who invented that. Ike Turner was just the first to deliberately put it on tape. Also, a device called the Arbiter Fuzz Face, one of the earliest effects pedals, was a rare novelty at this point and heavily used by John Lennon, the guitar parts in Revolution being the best known example.
 
It sounds like the Beat... I mean Moondogs... are getting heavier on their next album (White Album?)? Speaking of heavier rock music, will we start hearing from a band from Hannover, possibly named after predatory arachnids?
 
It sounds like the Beat... I mean Moondogs... are getting heavier on their next album (White Album?)? Speaking of heavier rock music, will we start hearing from a band from Hannover, possibly named after predatory arachnids?
Entering the club, Zella saw that some rangy looking teenagers were packing their gear up. The fact that the club was extremely empty wasn’t a good sign as their abilities. The noticeable absence of John Elis was hardly a surprise. Whenever a new band played in the club, he found an excuse to be elsewhere.

“Who are they?” Zella asked Sarah, who was behind the bar tonight. The members of the band were hanging around at the other end of the bar drinking beer and trying to act grown up. They were failing at it.

“Forgettable for the most part, mistaking volume for skill” Sarah said.

As Zella ordered a drink and waited to see how things would pan out for the night, it didn’t look like anything was going to happen. Walter was starting to fidget, and she figured that it was probably not going to be a good night around the V8 Club. Which meant that she would probably be home and asleep by midnight. How very disappointing.

“Do you come here all the time?” One of the boys from the band asked as he walked up to her. The others had obviously egged him into talking to her.

“Not as much as I would like” Zella replied pensively, she wasn’t interested in being anyone’s entertainment. “And you are playing way over your division.”

Sarah looked like she was trying not to laugh. “I warned you about this sort of thing Rudolf, the local wildlife doesn’t like being bothered.”

With that Rudolf retreated to be among his friends. Him screwing up enough courage to speak with a woman so obviously out of his league would probably be one of the high points of the night. Walter was older than them, it was absurd that one of them even approached her.

“They are harmless” Sarah told Zella, “Visiting the big city and learning that being a big deal in their own minds somewhere out west doesn’t mean a damned thing here.”
From Chapter 1681, that was Rudolf Schenker who was bugging Zella.
 
This was also the first time Gagarin had been to space after the complete loss of Vostok 5. He and his Co-Pilot had been faced with only a matter of seconds to decide when the main parachute had failed after reentry. Popping the hatch and bailing out been the only course of action available as they had been plunging to earth. Minutes later Gagarin had drifted to ground as the capsule had plowed into the earth, his Co-Pilot had never been found and his presumed death was on the verge of being made official.
That must have been one hell of a ride and could have been so much worse. It would also have hit the entire Russian Space Agency hard, not just because of the loss of life, but that it happened at the end of what would have appeared to have been a successful mission. Similar to the more recent Apollo IV disaster, the only good result from the failure of the main chute is that they know their system for blowing the hatch worked when it was needed.

Glancing over his shoulder, he saw that Sigi had fallen asleep and the activity in the aft compartment of Hansa wasn’t waking her. She had been at the center of the frenetic activity over the previous day and even before that she had hardly slept after they had launched from Cam Ranh. It was the consensus of the crew that they let her sleep for the entire allotted time that had been scheduled for her. Sigi probably wouldn’t be happy with them doing that, but she would be a mess if she didn’t get some rest.
The crew is very supportive & protective of the CO, which means that she is a damn good one. Which is good, because I have a feeling that she might need that support ground-side. The gutter press being what it is & misogynists being what they are.

Gagarin had frequently joked that having Leonov along was a risk because he tended to get himself into the hairiest of situations. Leonov had pointed out that because the ESA preferred to land in the Ocean, he was unlikely to encounter a bear this time in reply. To that, Gagarin had pointed out that they could still encounter a shark or perhaps a bunch of really mean tuna. Leonov had told him to fuck off, ending the conversation.
Cue Gagarin accidentally falling into the Pacific as he tries to step from the capsule to the recovery boat & Leonov pissing himself with laughter as a result.


As for the Moondogs & their latest album, I'd say EMI's... concerns... stem less from the 'hard' sound of the album, than from the extremely political nature of the songs. Remember that a more sugary style & tone is what people are accustomed to and they are right to fear the songs being banned from radio stations. There were strict controls on who could operate a station & this lead to a very conservative approach to broadcasting as the owners didn't want to upset (the rest of) the Establishment & lose their broadcasting license. Paul was right to get John to remove the more explicit profanities, because that is what would cause the Censor office to ban it. Regardless of whether the album is banned by the stations or the censors, the mere fact that its been banned will cause it to become popular by default; forbidden fruit etc. And if it IS banned, well, The Boat That Rocked has to have its origins somewhere.
 
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I am very concerned about the situation in China in it's ongoing Civil War as the temptation for other countries to back their favorite faction or that makes it even worse a fractious China means they don't bother their neighbors as witnessed by the Sino-Korean Conflict and makes it more advantageous to keep China at war with itself.
With that in mind how is Jack Kennedy dealing with his friends in British Intelligence?
 
I am very concerned about the situation in China in it's ongoing Civil War as the temptation for other countries to back their favorite faction or that makes it even worse a fractious China means they don't bother their neighbors as witnessed by the Sino-Korean Conflict and makes it more advantageous to keep China at war with itself.
With that in mind how is Jack Kennedy dealing with his friends in British Intelligence?
From the point of view of the neighbours, keeping China occupied is a double edged sword. They might be too occupied with fighting each other to mess with them, but they might not either. A warlord could very easily decide to expand his power base & gain a few more resources by trying to carve off some turf from a smaller neighbouring nation such as Mongolia or Tibet, gambling that can pull it off.

As for Jack Kennedy & his friends across the Irish Sea, not to mention their counterparts in Ireland, Jack is probably wishing that he had a longer spoon. Of course, both the British and the Irish (official & unofficial) almost certainly regard him as a relatively neutral party & conduit between the respective parties. Plus there are his ties with the Germans. He is trustworthy because everyone knows that he works with the others.
 
From the point of view of the neighbours, keeping China occupied is a double edged sword. They might be too occupied with fighting each other to mess with them, but they might not either. A warlord could very easily decide to expand his power base & gain a few more resources by trying to carve off some turf from a smaller neighbouring nation such as Mongolia or Tibet, gambling that can pull it off.
Knowing OTL Chinese warlords, foreign expansion doesn't seem too likely. If anything they'll do whatever they can to suck up foreign investors (like our favourite Blofeld stand-in) to get weapons for the next bout.

Also, most Chinese warlords (IOTL at least) are provincial in nature - take Yan Xishan as an example, he's content with running Shanxi as his personal fiefdom with no real plans of conquering all of China after he got his ass beat in the Central Plains War.

Also, and this is IMHO crucial, there shouldn't have been enough challenges to KMT rule that would push the country back to warlordism after CPC was eliminated or otherwise rendered politically irrelevant. By V-J Day IOTL all of the former (?) warlords were only able to mount passive resistances (and often ineffective ones at that) to the ROC central government, so unless some off-screen event(s) happened that weakened Chiang Kai-shek's (?) rule from TTL's V-J Day onwards (or before - an alt-Ichi Go, for example) China would at most be a gigantic poor third world country instead of Super!Syria.

Marc A
 
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The music that went along with it though had been unlike anything that they had ever done. Aggressive guitars and drums. Amps cranked up till the tubes were on the verge of shattering with layers of fuzz and distortion. John’s sense of outrage at the world was clear throughout the album and Paul had struggled to write the music to go along with it.
*Gasps*

The Beatles are starting the path of Heavy Metal?

Yes, please!

Please @Peabody-Martini, you got to do this. Heavy Metal is Love, Heavy Metal is Life. \m/
 
How many people died in TTL's WWI? Because this sounds like the higher end of Cultural Revolution levels of slaughter compressed into a year.
Probably just not slaughter but also famine, pestilence, and epidemics, and we must remember that John may not be the most reliable source of that information.
 
*Gasps*

The Beatles are starting the path of Heavy Metal?

Yes, please!

Please @Peabody-Martini, you got to do this. Heavy Metal is Love, Heavy Metal is Life. \m/
Have the Rocking Vicars in Berlin at the same time as the Moondogs, (maybe opening for the Moondogs), then let loose upon the world a bass player influenced by the hard moondogs sound, Berlin gutter Jazz and Blues.

I wonder how that would turn out? :evilsmile:

I just thought, what is the legal status of amphetamines? Are they still given to Luftwaffe pilots?
 
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