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mark211Let's have an SFF Fiction Saturnalia ...2015-05-17 11:05:36
mark211In the unlikely event that anyone is unsure of the meaning of 'Saturnalia', let me quote Wikipedia on this: "Saturnalia is the best-known of several festivals in the Greco-Roman world characterized by **role reversals** ... Slaves were treated to a banquet of the kind usually enjoyed by their masters. ... Saturnalian license also permitted slaves to enjoy a pretense of disrespect for their masters, and exempted them from punishment. It was a time for free speech ..."2015-05-17 11:08:24
mark211OK, so what do I mean here? I mean role reversal: How would the Galaxy far, far away and a long time ago have turned out had Darth Vader won? For that matter, what would the whole 'Star Wars' Trilogy have looked at as viewed from a perspective in which the Emperor was the hero? Or a universe in which Lord Voldemort was the hero/protagonist and Harry Potter etc. nasty little terrorist wizards? What other classic role reversals can you imagine? How might they pan out?2015-05-17 11:11:48
IronspiderThe Mirror Universe in Star Trek is an obvious existing candidate - interesting to see how the Federation would turn out if it took a more militaristic approach. But what if Vulcans put their emotional training and Surak's teachings into a military mindset? Probably no Romulans; with Earth as a vassal state of a Vulcan Empire. In England (though it stems from Roman times or possibly even earlier) we had a celebration called 'Misrule', which followed the traditions of Saturnalia and allowed peasants license to ignore the rules of social propriety. I borrowed the concepts of Misrule as the basis for stories where Man are the 'bad guys', more by ignorance than intent. A friend and I once speculated as to what would have happened in Blade Runner had Dr Eldon Tyrell developed a way for Replicants to retire after their 4 year term, to continue to exist as humans. Would that prevent them from becoming violent or unstable, or, understanding themselves to be inferior, would they then fight to be free? In 1984 Winston Smith is swallowed by a totalitarian state; but what if that's the only way to maintain the (limited) freedoms for the majority of the populace? What if Senator Kelly were right and mutant's were a threat - though I dare say there's a Marvel re-imagining somewhere that puts Kelly in the position of hero...2015-05-18 00:28:21
micheledutcherWith Star Trek classic there are two examples that I can readily think of: City on the Edge of Tomorrow - where Kirk goes to Earth in the 1940s and has to let Edith die so the Nazis don't win WW2; and Bread and Circuses about the Roman Empire having taken over a developing world, so they have gladiator fights on TV. Alternative histories. Good weekly question Mark211! 2015-05-18 06:31:31
mark211Speaking already existing examples of role reversals and alternative perspectives, did I hear this right that someone has written a version of LOTR told entirely from the perspective of a band of Orcs? I'm sure I heard that somewhere.2015-05-19 00:34:55
mark211"In 1984 Winston Smith is swallowed by a totalitarian state" Actually, that would be brilliant - a re-telling of '1984' told from O'Brien's perspective. Yes, he already takes up a good chunk of the book talking to Smith during the interrogation, but what of his inner world? It might be interesting to hear a non-cynical true believer perspective of this agent of the totalitarian state really thinking he is doing good in the world. It might be a bit like that student from London you might have heard about in the news recently - apparently she is a diversity officer who has been openly racist to white people, but she believes fervently that she is on the side of good. 2015-05-19 00:40:26
mark211"Alternative histories." Yes, these are always intriguing but I had more in mind the idea of "Alternative tellings" of stories that are already out there. But yes, 'Fatherland' by Robert Harris is a great alternative history for sure.2015-05-19 00:42:02





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