gillpolack (gillpolack) wrote,
gillpolack
gillpolack

This is extreme live blogging. I'm sitting in a panel on alternate history. Jack Dann is currently talking about alternate history as a thought experiment. He suggests that alternate history is looking at the past to see new ways of looking at it. His James Dean book used the culture of America in the fifties to extrapolate. He did a big panic about reader acceptance of an actor standing for Governor of Clifornia. Then Schwartzenegger did his thing and Jack heaved a giant sigh of relief.

Lewis Morley is interested in alternate history through films. He's talking about the other 20th century as envisaged in the film Brazil and how the Brazil universe worked visually.

Dave Luckett pointed out the 1066 truism, that history is what you think you can remember. He talks about the telling detail used in a novel that turned out to be false, but that worked as a touchstone for readers to bring a novel to life.

He says that to see things in depth you need binocular vision ie more views give you more ifnormation. This is the virtue of alternate history.

Richard Harland was the last panellist to be introduced. Alternate history hinges with our world. How different it is to our work depends on how far away to point of divergence is from our world. Jack's Memory Cathedral has a near POD and RIcahrd's new novel has a further one (nad can get away with juggernauts and things). Napoleon builds a tunnel, invades England and life becomes really interesting after that - but Richard's book is 100 years on. The closer you are to the POD, the deeper knowledge of history you need..

Dave points out that readers don't need to have the POD explained up front

Now they're getting into philosophy of history: how the mechanics of change might work. And they're listing novels and Jak has been scolded for thinking all the nooks are brilliant. "Then start mentioning bad books," he suggests. Pavane, Guns of the South, Joan Aiken's England: these are some of the books mentioned.

Now I'm going to leave you in limbo and just enjoy the second half of the panel. This s because I'm on a panel straight after this (on developing food systems) and I need a break. I'm just going to enjoy the rest! .
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  • (no subject)

    Blogging has had to fade into the background recently. First I didn't have time to read blog posts and then I didn't have time to write them. Now you…

  • (no subject)

    Right now, I spend between 30 minutes and 180 minute a day, every day, answering questions, listening, chatting about subjects of concern. Mostly…

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    I wrote this before I did all my travels. Given it's IWD today, it's not a bad time for pondering from my (very female) perspective. In case someone…