Monday, April 14, 2014

And then there was Oberon

In an alternate dimension, in an alternate universe there is a planet that is almost identical to earth in every way you can imagine except one. In 1967 the hippies took over. From there on out things are so much different.

Meanwhile on the earth in our dimension and galaxy, a clinically insane experimental physicist working on some weird thing about patterns, that nobody understands, made a discovery. It wasn't anything too crazy and he attempted to publish some articles but for one reason or another they never made it into any of the major scientific journals. But he did manage to put together a few bound volumes that explained it all that are still sitting on the shelf of the most unvisited area of the library in the university that employs him. His real name is not relevant, but in most situations when you ask him what his name is, he will pound his fist on the bar and announce, as if he is the ruler of Russia, "My name is Monk James!" and then settle back into his bourbon. No need to say another word, you are wasting your time.

You can't rely on Monk to tell his story anymore. Instead you have to rely on others to pass on the lore. Some get it right, most get it wrong, but everyone telling it admires the man in ways that won't make sense to you right now. I'll talk more about that later. Right now you won't get it, so I won't push him on you since it only depresses me to think you would not see his greatness, instead you will focus on your disbelief and misunderstanding.

The hippies made some interesting changes. The most significant change was in technology, basically it didn't advance. This led to a population of space explorers that built ships powered by computers that can barely calculate 32,768 squared.

The preferred system for explorer ships was the Star 100 for power systems operations and the PDP-8 for the rest. Of course, in our dimension, the thought of piloting a space ship with any combination of the two will send a couple vintage computer geeks into the streets laughing their asses off.

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