Sunday, 7 February 2016
Eutopia, Westfall And America
Cross-time traveler Iason Philippou:
lives on a continent called "Eutopia";
is currently visiting a timeline where that continent is called "Westfall";
remembers visiting yet another timeline where it was called "America."
A region that is preserved as a wilderness for hunting on Westfall is, on Eutopia, groves, gardens, aesthetically designed villages and athletic fields. Because dielectric motors have not yet spread this far north on Westfall, Iason smells gasoline fumes and:
"He had thought that stench one of the worst abominations in America - that hogpen they called Los Angeles!..." (p. 118)
We are still rereading SM Stirling's Conquistador in which New Virginians unfavorably compare FirstSide, including LA, with their own unpolluted North American environment.
Iason mentally reviews the history of the American timeline:
Alexander the Great died from the fever that he had contracted in Babylon;
wars of succession destroyed his empire;
"Hellas and the Orient broke apart" (p. 125);
early science degenerated into metaphysics, then mysticism;
cold, cruel, uncreative Romans, claiming the Greek heritage while destroying Corinth, took over;
men despairing of life adopted a mystery cult founded by a heretical Jewish prophet;
this intolerant cult denied all but one way of seeing the God;
its priests cut down the holy groves, destroyed idols, martyred free men and kept their grip for nearly two thousand years;
after that, it became possible for science to be reborn;
however, the idea of conformity in belief remained;
hence, totalitarianism and the threat of nuclear war;
that history is filthy, wasteful, ugly, restricted, hypocritical and insane;
pretending to be an American was Iason's hardest task.