Vast and Cold and Unsympathetic

3 min read

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bensen-daniel's avatar
An excerpt from an email conversation I've been having with a friend:

"That being said, a different sort of story about an alien invasion modeled on the conquest of the new world would be extremely interesting. Better yet, model it on China or India, which were carved up by colonial powers then mastered the alien technology, gained independence, taught the aliens something new, and became major world players.
My problem with War of the Worlds is that I am far more interested with the long term consequences of the invasion than with the invasion itself. I don't like how the disease makes everything go back the way it was.  That never happens with a foreign conquest. Look at Africa, which is a pretty good match for war of the worlds. Even though the foreigners were subject to African diseases and set up few successful colonies, they still radically changed Africa's history. Imagine if that happened in war of the worlds.  The Martians mostly die, but they still have destroyed most of Earth's infrastructure. The next time they come, they do not try to live here, but enslave us to mine resources. Earth is carved into regions controlled by various Martian factions, and as the factions fight, humans are conscripted, traded, killed, or ignored.  When human states are left to become independent, they'd evolve into anarchy or dictatorship.  A story set in this world would consist of solving these problems, and readers would learn something about the situation in Africa, and what they might do about that.

Actually that's kind of an awesome idea.  The story could be set now, in the 2000s.  The history of the 20th century was one of war with various Martian colonial powers.  Some of them want to establish colonies on Earth, which necessitate pressurized domes and sterilization of huge tracks of land.  Others want resources or slaves.  Others want to set up missionaries to spread their religions.  Others don't particularly care about the Earth, but want to use it as a staging point to get to Venus (imagine human slaves being taken to work on the Venus terreforming, forming a triangle trade rout between Mars, Earth, and Venus).  The moon is also useful real-estate.  The history of the twentieth century is composed of some countries falling apart, others striking deals with the Martians, and others frantically trying to reverse-engineer Martian technology and build some sort of defenses.  The Martians, meanwhile, are busily having their own wars and technological developments.  This could be a fascinating way to examine Africa, Europe, and the New World in the 15 and 16 hundreds.  Dude!"
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d4rk3ry's avatar
good idea...that will be a good story i would read.