alternate englands - belated questions

Roslyn rosgross at bigpond.net.au
Tue Feb 15 19:29:21 EST 2005




> Ros said...
>
>> < I was going to say that perhaps Milli's world is somewhere in the 
>> Indian version of Christopher's world, but of course that doesn't work. 
>> For one thing, it's supposed to be a different world, not another 
>> country, and secondly, the Goddess is called Milli and speaks 
>> English...But presumably, it must have been some pivotal event in India 
>> or somewhere like that which caused Milli's version of India-or-wherever 
>> to be created. >
>
> Uh...she names herself Millie after reading some of the books Christopher 
> brings her.  Before that, IIRC, she didn't have a name; she was simply the 
> Living Asheth.

Oh, that's right!

But does the fact that she and Christopher can communicate mean that they 
both speak English or does something magical happen so that people can 
understand each other's languages when people from different worlds meet? I 
can't remember if there are any cases where people from other world don't 
understand each other...there could be, just can't remember.

 > And there's no reason to suppose that Christopher *must* arrive in the 
local
> equivalent of England every time he visits an Anywhere.

Good point.

> The language question *is* an interesting one, though.  If, for instance, 
> we take my previous suggestion that Millie's world was created by the 
> Ancient Egyptians being that world's version of the Roman Empire...how on 
> earth did English develop at all?  Without the influence of Latin (via the 
> Normans), English would be a very different language from the one we know, 
> and probably only semi-comprehensible to us.

Ooh yes, interesting!

Unless people from different worlds just get to understand each other but 
aren't really all speaking English...

>
>> Yep, mermaids that were being butchered and sold in squishy brown 
>> parcels, or something like that, IIRC. But I wasn't arguing that all the 
>> worlds are versions of the Western world so much as wondering, in the 
>> worlds where pivotal events in the Western world do cause splits, what 
>> happens to the other countries--do they 'come along' with the new world, 
>> or what? (I'm being painfully repetitive only because I'm trying to 
>> clarify my own question to myself...)
>
> I would think they would continue to develop in whatever way they would 
> have without whatever influence the split-event had in our world.  Or with 
> a new influence created by the split-event going the other way.  Take the 
> Battle of Waterloo as a random example.  In a world where the French won 
> that, the British Empire might not exist, so India and Australia (for 
> instance) might have been colonised more by France than England.  Or they 
> might not have been discovered/bothered with by Europeans at all.
>
> Or a world where Marco Polo died before he got to China.  China might have 
> happily gone on developing along its own lines, unaware of Europe...or 
> someone else might have got there and dragged it back into our continuum 
> (as it were).
>
> Or a world in which America lost the War of Independence...Colonialism 
> might have taken off earlier or faster, because the British army was now 
> swelled by Americans and could come home to fight in Europe sooner...or 
> the British might have ignored the Far East and Australia completely in 
> favour of spreading more widely over America.
>
> What if, what if, what if...I love alternate history.

Great food for thought!

Ros 

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