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Jay Barrie groaned. He felt someone shaking him, hard. He rolled over and Marcia’s voice came through to him:

“...Jay, wake up. Come on, Mr. Secretary, the President wants to see you.”

He shook his head, hard, and the pain in his temples brought him abruptly awake.

“Here’s your headache medicine and some coffee, sir, and the Marines fetched your evening clothes. Also there’s this...” She pointed out a brand new lapscroll, with a red tab on the upper side. He touched the tab and it read his bio-assay. It lit up, but showed only the expected “EYES ONLY” front page of a single-line machine.

Read more )
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In news of a non-SCA nature, I edited and slightly re-wrote Chapter Two Of SALTARAE II, and then worked on Chapter Three. Word says I wrote 802 words, so with the re-writes call it 830. I still don’t have a clear idea of the arc of this story, though. I know from experience that will only come clear after I write enough incidents...so that’s the goal.

SARÁYI is in a state of cryonic torpor. Pretty much know where I’m going with that story, but the characters are being uncharacteristically silent. When I have a story arc on SALTARAE II, I will spend some time concentrating on SARAYI.

The other project, intended to be a ‘short’ novel perhaps suited to YA readers, has a working title: “A SEPARATE REALITY”. Waiting for what’s next, I am. Will Mindy Barrie, teenaged daughter of the US Secretary of Espionage really go hunting for Russian spies in what used to be Alaska? Sorta looks like she’s that kinda girl...

So that’s the latest news from the Word Mines.

Gotta go. See ya!

Hey There

Aug. 18th, 2015 07:06 pm
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I sat down to work on "A Separate Reality" which is set in a (not Imperial) US Timeline. This bunch intersects with Mr. Rothakis near the end of SALTARAE II.

Anyway, I got stuck, and I realized that I needed to know who's who and what's what. What does the rest of that History look like? So, here is an outline of the Nations and Places of Jay Hussein Barrie's Timeline. Have fun!

Nations with Direct Democracy in one form or another, in order of radicalism:

Least radical:

United States of America (includes all of the former Canadian provinces except Quebec.) The USA is governed by a heavily amended version of its original constitution. Local DD Assemblies do most of the decision-making, only genuinely ‘national’ issues fall to the States or the Federals. Semi-moneyless economy (see “1865” in the Timeline). The US dollar is a strong currency, but rarely used within the country.

Republic of Mexico (Mexico, Arizona, New Mexico, Southern California, Guatemala): Similar to the US, but with severe term limits on elected officials.

Brazilian Federation (Includes most of South and Central America) A raucous Confederacy of City States, tribal areas, and Syndicalized industries. Very dangerous when united.

Irish Commonwealth: Mostly rural and agricultural; hard working, hard drinking citizens with an extremely productive moneyless farming economy and a very weak central government. Defended by a Militia that is rather famous for its cheerful ruthlessness. (“Have a drink, laddie. Now get th’ hell outta here.”)

Germany (includes Netherlands, Austria, Switzerland, and N. Italy): The most ‘conservative’ of the mainland European states, very orderly and rule-oriented people with a mixed money and non-money economy. Heavy industry, regulated to discourage pollution. Small farms, orchards and vineyards.

France, Belgium,Spain, Portugal, S. Italy: Loosely united moneyless economy with a weak central government but powerful local Assemblies. (Imagine if the Paris Commune had been successful.)

Panslavia: Imagine the Shire of LotR, writ large, but with no money and an equitable distribution of labor and produce. Again, very dangerous when united against an enemy. Good friends to have in any brawling, multi-front conflict.

Norsk Federation (Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Greenland): “...and we declare that money is obsolete...What? We have local Things, National Things, and a federal Allthing. What? Mind your own business! We’re reciting the Law here!”

Annamese Federation (Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Siam, Burma): A version of DD reflecting traditional village life in the Mekong Delta and its environs. They are in continual conflict with the Han, though not because they want to be. (“Why won’t you leave us be?”)

Suomi (Finland): Extreme DD. Tend toward Pacifism, but have a lot of heavy weapons situated along the border with Russia.
Most radical.

Other sorts of Governments:

The Republic of Texas (includes Oklahoma) is a representative democracy.

England (Scotland, Wales) and Quebec are constitutional monarchies.

Russia is an absolute monarchy, ruled by a tsar/ina with the aid of a coalition of criminal warlords in the Taiga.

The Empire of Brazil is a grand name for Rio de Janeiro and as much surrounding territory as the Emperor’s artillery can reach. Has a huge Navy, no Army to speak of, and is surrounded by hostile City-States of the Brazilian Federation.

The Han (China, Tibet, Mongolia, Nepal, India, Japan, Korea): polyglot and constantly roiling Empire (hydraulic despotism) ruled by hereditary monarchs from an old cunning Dynasty. Carrot, stick, spies, taxation: that’s what keeps this chaos somewhat orderly.

Manchuria: Unknown number of warlord-states. So barbarous that the Han gave up on them. Now allied (sorta) with the Han, but not very reliably.

Australasia (includes Hawaii): Former English colonies spread over the S. Indian and Pacific Oceans, ruled from Canberra, loosely allied with England.

Afro-Arab States (Africa, Arabia, the Emirates, Some Mediterranean islands): City-states and tribal lands, having multiple religious traditions and using various forms of government, including everything from DD to Monarchies. Shifting alliances and a resource-extraction economy.

Central Asian Federal Republic: (The Levant, Palestine, Syria, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, and all of the other ‘Stans’): “Go Away. Or We Will Kill You. We’re Not Kidding.”

Alaska: Claimed by Russia; uninhabitable since the War of '79. There may be a few human descended creatures in the interior, but if so, they are not talking.
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CHAPTER ONE: "...as we know it, Ursula..."

Jay Hussein Barrie strode silently along. He clutched the handle of his briefcase; he stopped to straighten the portrait of Thomas Paine that hung outside the cafeteria.

A tall lanky man of mixed African and European heritage, he wore his thinning grey hair in a short afro. He was forty-seven years old, but looked somewhat older.

The cafeteria door showed him how much older he looked. His reflection in the tinted glass window appeared tired and stressed, and his usually natty suit rumpled and slept in, the tie askew.

“Nothing I can do about it right now,” he grimaced, glancing at his watch. He thought: ‘There’s about time for a cup of coffee and a bite or two before I’m due in the Oval Office.’

He held the briefcase tight as a member of his staff approached: “Not this morning, Marcia. Just get me a large coffee and a breakfast bar, okay?”

Marcia nodded, concern evident.

His senior staff all sat at the usual table in the corner of the cafeteria. He strode over, putting his thoughts in order. As he settled himself, he said: “Something big has come up. I want everyone to be real short in this briefing; I have news for the President that is for her ears only, for the time being. So I want you all out of there by nine-fifteen.”

Read More )

Musings

Feb. 6th, 2015 09:39 pm
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Someone posted a meme somewhere that used that (bogus?) quote about a revolution every twenty years or so...supposedly from Jefferson.

As a guy who writes Alternate History, I occasionally think about such things. After all, the creation of the US was a step forward. If you think about what Frank Herbert called “the Pharaohnic Imperative”, you can see that the Founders resisted that, and created something significantly different than any previous gov’t.

I do not think we have continued that forward momentum.

So, here’s an Alternate History, in the form of a Timeline:

1796-1800: Repeated violent Slave Revolts, violently put down. Abolitionists arm escaped slaves.

1800-03: Guerilla warfare across the South.

1804: The election of President Thomas Paine (first three-term President.) End of slavery; Citizenship for all former slaves. Indigenous peoples create 3 new and separate States, elect first congressmen.

1824: Farmer’s revolution: boycotts of all banks, leading to the banning of usury. ‘Town Meeting‘ democracy becomes the norm all over the US, anticipating the Direct Democracy movement of the century’s end.

1825: Founding of NOWR: the National Organization for Women’s Rights.

1825-42: Rising power of NOWR: demonstrations violently put down.

1843; WOMEN’S REVOLT. General strike by women, backed by Farmer’s Union and the Grange.

1844: Constitutional Amendment: Universal Suffrage.

1865: Constitutional Amendment: Food Clothing and Shelter not to be denied to any citizen. Owen makes first proposal for moneyless economy.

1865-1900: Due to the previous two Amendments, a million flowers bloom: New developments in science and the arts transform society; American inventors advance Babbage’s work to unheard-of heights. First electrical motors, practical lightbulbs, and powered airships.

[1871: the Paris Commune fights off invasion, expands speedily across France. Local assemblies practicing Direct Democracy pop up all over Europe, especially Germany and England. Ireland adopts DD, declares Independence.]

1900: Women take the lead in the US House and Senate, forge ahead with birth control and child health initiatives. Congress votes to arm Cuban and Filipino revolutionaries, but refuses to deploy American troops. (This sets a precedent)

1910: Nikola Tesla (an immigrant from Croatia) creates the first binary computer language. His partner Thomas Edison’s work with vacuum tubes sets the stage for radio and TV.

1921: “New Media” (TV , film, and Radio) declared ‘non-commercial’. Town meetings exert local control over radio, begin to produce TV programs. Advocates of ‘the moneyless economy’ merge with the “Society for the Economy of the Gift” to form a powerful political party.

1932: The “Gifters” eke out a narrow victory over the Meritocratic Party in National elections. Reforms continue, based on the narrow common ground between the parties. “Green Party” founded; problems caused by pollution debated in Town Meetings nationwide.

1955: (January) General Strike by women, farmers, youth, in favor of ‘a more moneyless economy’ and ‘Status not Wealth’. With neither women nor young people working, and in fear what striking farmers will do to the food supply, the Gov’t yields: agrees to study demands, effect change.

1956: National elections divide power nearly equally: Meritocrats, Gifters, Greens, each have about a third of the Congress. Gifters have 34 Senate seats, nearly all women. An obscure academic named Eleanor Roosevelt wins the Presidency for the Gifters; her vice president is a man from the State of Cherokee, who has Meritocratic leanings, but is a member of the Green Party.

1959: Brief war with the Empire of Brazil. Airships from the US litter the country with pamphlets explaining DD and the Economy of the Gift. The Empire falls, breaking into thousands of independent DD assemblies.

Hmmm. I’m running out of steam here. MAYBE, if I ever finish all me other Writing Projects, I’ll do a novel or two set in this reality. Could be fun.


Gotta go! See ya!

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