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The Final Countdown (1980)
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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 14, 2017 7:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

________________________________

The landing gear design is easy to explain, guys — both the "skids" and the lack of a front landing gear.

It's just artistic license, plain and simple. Kelly Freas thought it looked cooler that way, so he took a few liberties.

Ditto for the enormous vertical stabilizer. It makes the aircraft look more impressive, especially in comparison to the aircraft of the period in which the story takes place.

Notice the design of this spaceship in another Kelly Freas cover, and the similarities to the futuristic jet on the cover above.



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It's obvious that Mr. Freas is fond of those exaggerated wings and the elegant curves, along with the embellishments that are clearly aesthetic in nature, rather than practical.


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So, don't worry too much about the perplexing aspect of that beautiful jet fighter which seem less than practical.

However, I too love examining things like this and inventing reasons which might justify the beautiful elements the artist included. It's fun! Very Happy

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Last edited by Bud Brewster on Sat Mar 03, 2018 7:53 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 16, 2017 9:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bud Brewster wrote:
. . . I despise the whole idea that America tried to split itself in half just so the South could enslave Africans and force them to do manual labor, while the aristocracy got rich!

The Civil War is the blackest stain on American history since the Declaration of Independence was signed!

Several years ago I had an idea for a novel that involves an experimental time machine facility which hasn't been tested yet, and a group of White Supremacists who invade the project so they can send a team back to the early days of the American colonies to make their own changes in history.

Holy Smoke! The nation is in turmoil over Civil War monuments that offend African Americans, and because of those nasty "Alt Right" morons who attacked people in Charlottesville.

And all that happened right after I posted my message about the Civil War and the unusual concept I had for a story about two time-traveling groups with very different missions into the past, both concerning the existence of slavery!

Maybe this is the right time for me to write that novel and get it published! It certainly seems to be a concept that would capture the attention of the nation. And my premise offers a radical view of slavery which reverses conventional wisdom!

Slavery throughout the ages is certainly an issue which seems very relevant to the nation today. Obviously it's still viewed as a grievous human rights injustice, regardless of when it occurred throughout history.

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alltare
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2018 5:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another similar story is a Twilight Zone episode called "The 7th Is Made Up of Phantoms". A National Guard tank crew somehow comes upon Custer's impending doom at the Battle of Little Bighorn. The crew tries to intercede. I didn't care for the ending, but otherwise a good episode.
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Gord Green
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2018 1:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like your story angle Bud, but it does seem so similar to Turtledove's.
Below is a synopsis:

Robert E. Lee in The Guns of the South
by Harry Turtledove

Robert E. Lee was in poor spirits by 1864, having suffered a major defeat at the Battle of Gettysburg the year before. However, hope for the Confederacy arrived with the mysterious stranger Andries Rhoodie, a man who represented a group called America Will Break and presented Lee with a new type of "repeating" rifle, called the AK-47. With this new weapon, Lee led the Confederacy to victory in the Second American Revolution.

The first conflict using AK-47s was C.S. General Jeb Stuart's cavalry stopping a raid by U.S. General Hugh Kilpatrick. Although the U.S. forces had maneuvered in an attempt to allow Kilpatrick to slip by, the AWB "Rivington Men" provided intelligence to prevent the Confederates from being deceived. This puzzled Lee, since neither he nor Stuart received any indication of this.

Lee decided to confront Rhoodie on the source of his intelligence. Rhoodie at first hesitated then shared the truth with Lee. He and his men were from South Africa in the year 2014, and had come back in time to secure victory for the South.

Rhoodie told Lee that substantial racial strife had come from emancipation and the South's defeat. Lee had his doubts; although he was a slave-holder, he was no great lover of the institution.

Rhoodie also provided Lee with an appreciation of U.S. General Ulysses S. Grant's opening moves of the 1864 campaign. This proved helpful to Lee in blocking Grant in the battle of the Wilderness. Past this, the course of history diverged from that of the Rivington Men's past. Lee succeeded in defeating Grant again at the Battle of Bealeton which allowed him to capture Washington City and negotiate an armistice with President Abraham Lincoln.

Although the fighting had stopped, the war was by no means over. Confederate President Jefferson Davis and President Lincoln agreed to a peace conference, with each side naming three commissioners. Davis named Lee as one of his commissioners since he wanted at least one military man at the table.

A peace treaty was negotiated whereby the Confederacy abandoned claims to West Virginia and Maryland, while the United States ceded the Indian Territory. Also, at Lee's suggestion, state-wide referenda were to be held to determine the status of Kentucky and Missouri.

Lee as President

The U.S. agreed to the referenda but required an Election Commissioner from each side to be responsible for the conduct of the vote. Davis, once again, appointed Lee while Lincoln appointed General Grant.

While the vote was generally fair, there was one incidence of gun running involving the Rivington Men. This was resolved to each side's satisfaction and on the appointed day the vote was held. Kentucky elected to join the C.S. while Missouri voted to remain with the U.S.

As Davis' term came to an end, he insisted Lee run for president. While initially ambivalent, Lee was persuaded by his concerns about the influence the Rivington Men had on the C.S. When Rhoodie attempted to assert himself over Lee so as to insure the continuation of slavery, Lee would have none of it, harshly rebuffing Rhoodie's presumptuous attitude. Rhoodie's men then supported veteran cavalry general and ardent slavery-supporter Nathan Bedford Forrest. Lee and Forrest shared a deep enmity during the election of 1867, but Lee won.

On the day of Lee's inauguration, March 4, 1868, Rhoodie's men attempted to assassinate Lee. While Lee survived, his wife Mary, his newly-inaugurated Vice President, Albert Gallatin Brown, and General Jubal Early were killed in the crossfire. This action united Lee and Forrest, and the C.S. army did battle with the time-travelers. Through captured history texts, Lee learned the truth: that the group were merely racists who wanted to insure the subjugation of blacks by altering history. He also learned that history had taken a dim view of the Confederate cause.

This knowledge steeled Lee's resolve to end slavery in the C.S. Although Congress was resistant at first, Lee shared evidence of the Rivington Men's original timeline, coupled with recent events and international pressure, to sway a sufficient number of votes to his position.

In the summer of 1868, Lee's bill passed the Confederate Congress, ensuring that slavery would be phased out of existence before 1900.


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And the Wolf that shall keep it may prosper, but the Wolf that shall break it must die.
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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2018 3:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gord Green wrote:
I like your story angle Bud, but it does seem so similar to . . . Robert E. Lee in The Guns of the South by Harry Turtledove.

Actually my story concept is very different. The plot involves two groups who go back in time for very different, diametrically opposed reasons.

The first group are white supremacists who want to keep Africans out of America by preventing slavery, using ruthless long-term methods. Their plan — carried over many decades through violent means, as well as political influence — is to make the world think that Africans should be confined to their home continent, a literal "global segregation" of the black race. Their intention is to insure that America is predominantly Caucasians!

The second team (a racially diverse group) go back in time to stop the white supremacists from changing history and erasing the entire African American population from existence, because doing this would prevent the birth of all the great African American men and women who have had such a profound effect on mankind, as well as the generations of decedents from the former slaves who succeeded — against all odds — in making good lives for themselves in the United States, in despite their long struggle against racial injustice.

But the most appealing aspect of the story is the twist ending! Very Happy

The white supremacist actually succeed! Their efforts cause the vast majority of Africans to remain in their homeland. But the effects of this isolation has a startling result.

Africa gradually grows into a great nation after they manage to unite and become powerful and influential, both politically and economically. Over the decades, of course, they have proven to the world that the global prejudice against them which the time traveling white supremacists caused was actually based on ignorance and lies.

When the two groups of time travelers return to the present, they're both stunned to find a very different world. Slavery never occurred, but because the Africans were neither victimized by all the terrible things which were done to their people, nor hampered by the intrusion of other nations who raided the continent for its resources, the African's have managed to forge a great nation and earn the respect of the world!

In the story's conclusion, both groups of time travelers discover that America has actually suffered because it lacked the diversity which (in the original timeline) helped make it great, while the new nation that Africa has become is now prosperous, progressive, technologically advanced, and socially well balanced — welcoming people of all races to be part of its bright future.

It's a classic case of "Be careful what you wish for!"

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Last edited by Bud Brewster on Wed Mar 28, 2018 4:16 pm; edited 3 times in total
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Custer
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2018 3:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's a few years since I read it, but Ruled Britannia is another excellent "alternate history" by Harry Turtledove. This time it looks as if the Spanish Armada wasn't defeated, and Britain is ruled by Spain. Which causes problems for a certain Mr Shakespeare. "An intricate and thoroughly engrossing portrait of an era, a theatrical tradition, a heroic band of English brothers, and their sneering overlords," is the review from Publishers Weekly quoted on the back cover...

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Gord Green
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2018 8:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bud Brewster wrote:
When the two groups of time travelers return to the present, they're both stunned to find a very different world. Slavery never occurred, but because the Africans were neither victimized by all the terrible things which were done to their people, nor hampered by the intrusion of other nations who raided the continent for its resources, the African's have managed to forge a great nation and earn the respect of the world!

I think what you mean here is that "institutional African slavery" did not occur as it did in our reality. Slavery of some kind existed everywhere throughout the world to some degree.

The development of the African continent could very well have happened by the extension of the Egyptian Empire and the Phoenician-Carthaginian Empire southward past sub Saharan territory. Bolstered by native cultures the development of the continents resorcces would have produced great wealth and power to the extent that Western European influence on world history would have been greatly reduced.

Further, if a refformation of Islam had occurred science and technology would have progressed at an unprecedented rate making Africa the prime player on the World stage..

All and all, it's a thought provoking idea that would make an awesome novel!

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Now this is the Law of the Jungle -- as old and as true as the sky;
And the Wolf that shall keep it may prosper, but the Wolf that shall break it must die.
Kipling
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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2018 3:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gord wrote:
I think what you mean here is that "institutional African slavery" did not occur as it did in our reality. Slavery of some kind existed everywhere throughout the world to some degree.

Actually the supremacists’ conspiracy to prevent slavery is even more ambitious than that. It affects the institution of slavery on a global scale!

For example, they used methods like bribery and intimidation on politicians and prominent citizens to persuade them to oppose the importation of African slaves. But these evil men also assassinated pro-slavery members of the government, and they used similar tactics on European leaders.

They spread lies about diseases they claimed the Africans would spread if they were not contained in their homeland. They even started actual plagues in African to back up their lies, killing thousands of people — both there and in countries where visitors to Africa spread the diseases! Shocked

The white supremacists aggressively influenced the selection of European leaders and American politicians, assisting the men who had the same racially-motivated preferences for Caucasians that the supremacist had.

Bear in mind that these men had a time machine built into a large, supersonic airship. Possessing a time machine meant they had unlimited financial resources by making investments placed in one era and collecting the profits years later — although for them these two events would happen on the same day, using the time machine.

They also had other advanced technology, including weapons. And they had all the time they needed to bounce around throughout history and target both the people and the periods they needed to.

One very effective and ruthless technique the supremacists used to thwart the advancement of American slavery was to simply destroy slave ships from the air as they sailed from Africa to America!

The supremacists would control the world’s news media (naturally), and the media would blame the mysterious disappearances of the slaves ships on the death of crews who became infected by the "African Plaque".

This decades-long campaign of lies and violence would convince every nation on Earth that Africans should be confined to their own continent for the safely of the world. As a result, the widespread enslavement of Africans would be greatly diminished.

This, of course, would be fortunate for the millions of Africans who would otherwise have been abducted and sold into slavery. But at the same time, most of the African continent would be isolated from the world. And yet this near-complete confinement for over a century had an unexpected benefit.

Left to their own devices, the African's succeed in conquering the land which had presented them with brutal challenges throughout their long history. Free from the destructive interference of other countries, they emerge from this ordeal as a strong and noble raced who created a new and powerful nation!

What began as an ignoble attempt to repress an entire race of people ends up elevating them to one of the most successful nations on Earth!

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