Saturday, 5 August 2017

March 17, 1998

Where were you and what were you doing on March 17, 1998? After that date, in SM Stirling's Emberverse timeline, you would most probably soon have died. If not, then your life, like that of every other survivor, would have diverged totally from what you now remember.

I was still working in Merseyside and would never have started to work in the same profession in Lancashire in September, 2000. If I had survived the Change, then I would have become a subject first of Mad King Charles, then of his son, the King-Emperor of Greater Britain, William V. Although the Church of England returned to Rome, I would have continued to practise Zen - maybe with some visions of Buddhas in the Changed theological regime? Hopefully, our nearby Buddhist monastries, Manjushri and Throssel Hole, would have also have survived and become centres of a new British Buddhism.


Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

Interesting, what you said about March 17, 1998. I do remember that year but not, for sure, what I did THAT day. If the Change had been real (shudders) I'm 95 percent sure I would have died very soon. And, even if I survived my life would have drastically changed. Living as I do in MA, my best chance might have been to join up with the people who founded Norrheim, in the old state of Maine. Altho I hope I would have refused to become a pagan.


David Birr said...

I was stationed in the Washington (D.C.) Military District, specifically in Arlington, Virginia. As I've said before, I would've died within a year even if not by violence, famine, or plague, because the synthetic thyroid hormone I need to take daily would no longer be available (I've never been permitted to possess more than a three months' supply at a time).

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, DAVID!

And you touched on a point I think Mr. Stirling could have mentioned, how the Change would have been a disaster for people like you (and diabetics and all others needing medicines like yours). The advanced chemistry and industrial technology needed for producing things like synthetic thyroid hormone reasonably cheaply would no longer be available.

And you needed this synthetic thyroid hormone even in March 1998?


S.M. Stirling said...

Yes, anyone dependent on that sort of thing just dies. (It's noted in the ISLAND IN THE SEA OF TIME series that pretty much the same thing happens.)

Though Type II diabetes would become much rarer, since there would be little or no obesity and a lot of strenuous effort.

I'm diabetic myself (Type II), but regular exercise is crucial to keeping it controlled. My blood sugar levels can drop by a third or more after an hour and a half at the gym, which I do six days a week.

Sean M. Brooks said...

Dear Mr. Stirling,

Yes, I remember Jared Cofflin thinking sympathetically about how the last person with AIDS died maybe a year or so after the Event. The retrovirals and other medicines needed to control the disease were simply no longer available. And the same problem would apply to diabetics, even tho Type II patients, with some luck and a lot of hard work and exercise might be able to survive a long time.

But, as you said, NOTHING could be done for persons who needed synthetic thyroid hormone. I did wonder why no mention was made of that kind of thing by post-Change physicians. After all, as time passed, people would again be afflicted by such problems.