Thursday, 11 February 2016

Fifties-Never-Ended Land

SM Stirling, Conquistador (New York, 2004).

(From a window of his oval office, John Rolfe, Founder of the Commonwealth of New Virginia, can see Mount Saint Helena.)

Through the viewpoint character, Tom Christiansen, Stirling very effectively shows his readers how we might respond if we found ourselves in a place like New Virginia.

Tom stares open-mouthed at San Francisco Bay without San Francisco (here).

"Napa town ended with the abruptness Tom had become used to in this weird through-the-looking-glass place..." (p. 343)

Alice found that what could be seen in the looking glass, like the back of the clock on the mantelpiece, was the same as in her world but that everything else was wildly different - the clock in Looking Glass House has a smiling face.

"Meeting the father of someone you'd been dating was always a bit fraught, and probably more so here in fifties-never-ended land." (p. 365)

That phrase,"fifties-never-ended," is a good expression for the time warp feeling that Tom has experienced more than once.

We feel that we become very familiar both with this New Virginia and with the Angrezi Raj of another parallel Earth. And which would we prefer to live in?

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

Commenting on your last paragraph. I think both the Angrezi Raj and the Commonwealth of New Virginia would be good places to live in. Not perfect, granted, no merely human society will ever be perfect, but GOOD.

But you asked which of the two I would prefer to live in: and I would choose the Commonwealth. Mostly because it's more technologically advanced than the Angrezi Raj.