1. Rubber Ducky
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    Rubber Ducky New Member

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    Alternate Timeline - Using technologies developed after the split

    Discussion in 'Setting Development' started by Rubber Ducky, Oct 12, 2012.

    I'm currently attempting to outline a novel that is set roughly 100 years after World War II, in a universe where the outcome was significantly different. I've been having a lot of fun devising things to take the place of certain objects, and this is certainly giving a tinge of science fiction to the story. However, where would you draw the line regarding everyday mundane items? Take, for example, Velcro, microwave ovens, digital video recorders, etc. Do you believe that readers would be able to easily accept the presence of such anachronisms? Or would they stand out in a world filled with analogues for our current technology?
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    It's your job to MAKE the reader believe it. But your job will be much harder if you represent one item but omit something with very closely related technology. For example, microwave ovens but no microwave radar or communications gear. Microwave ovens were developed after doctors discovered why people working with microwave antennas were suffering mysterious burns.

    Make sure you understand the basis of the technology, at least to a moderate degree.
     
  3. littleshoe
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    littleshoe Member

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    You should not worry. Only hard science fiction readers will have problems.

    However, you should never pretend you know. Do not try to explain the technology behind, unless you really know it.

    Analogues for our “current technology” are easy to accept because success of technologies and inventions comes from different factors (i.e. market, fashion, commerce agreements, access to resources…), not only technological development... In fact, I believe you have not traveled too much. “Alternate time lines” exist when you visit and live ( not as a tourist) in different countries.
     
  4. Rubber Ducky
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    Rubber Ducky New Member

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    Excellent advice from both of you, thank you. I'll be creating a document to index the technologies I'm using, as well as storing any essential data about them.
     
  5. sharonwagoner
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    sharonwagoner Member

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    If you want to get into detail, are you supposing Germany won? The USA would probably be using the European model of DVDs since the German's did the first TV broadcast, from the Munich Olympics, as mentioned in the movie Contact. Volkswagen and Mercedes would be even bigger car companies. The American space program probably would not have happened.

    I am a big history buff. That said, WWII is not my strongest area, but I would love to chat more about alternate history stories.

    I have thought about alternate history stories for several years. I am finally writing one where, among other changes, Benedict Arnold died, after being wounded at the Battle of Saratoga, so he never turned traitor and is a major American hero with schools are named after him. My heroine knows something is terribly wrong when her new high school is Benedict Arnold High School.
     
  6. Rubber Ducky
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    Rubber Ducky New Member

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    In this particular story, the United States and the Axis coexisted for quite a while following the end of the war, up until about 20 years prior to the "present day" of the narrative. It's been presenting a very interesting challenge regarding the creation of two independent, very distinct trees of technological progression. However, being set another 30 years in the future from today, it gives me a lot of wiggle room for coming up with new creations. I'd likely have a lot more trouble attempting to use this device in a more contemporary setting.
     

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