Wednesday, 3 January 2018

Divergent And Convergent Narratives

Space travel narratives diverge. For example, the many fictional versions of Mars are mutually incompatible and cannot exist in the same Solar System. Robert Heinlein and Poul Anderson each present several alternative versions. CS Lewis even has a habitable Mars in a novel and an uninhabitable Mars in a short story. Even extrasolar planets can diverge. James Blish's Lithia explodes in 2050 in one future but still exists millennia later in another. Larry Niven and Alan Moore each wrote a composite Mars combining elements from several previous works but, of course, they cannot, and do not attempt to, unite entire alternative narratives into a single consistent account.

Potentially, alternative Earth narratives converge. A single multiverse could incorporate the alternative Earths of Wells, Lewis, Heinlein, Anderson, Stirling, Turtledove etc. In fact, in some scenarios, the multiverse does encompass every possibility. Rhysling has visited the Old Phoenix.

At Blog Central, we are following Anderson's The Complete Psychotechnic League future history and Stirling's Emberverse alternative future history, soon to be joined by a new Stirling World War I alternative history series.

Onward, upward and sideways!

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