The Null Device

Novel (never written)

Mitch has an outline for a counterfactual historical novel, in which Islam conquered the world centuries ago, and the Caliphate of central Asia is the world's sole superpower:
One day, out of the blue, the Al-Aqsa and An-Nabawi mosques are destroyed, with great loss of life. A third sneak attack in Mecca itself is foiled only by the brave actions of unarmed pilgrims. Never in history has there been such terrorism in the heart of Islam. Blame falls upon the much feared Crusaders, a radical Christian movement based in remote North America, where Europeans who refused to convert set up a patchwork of states many centuries ago. The new caliph in Kandahar, Osama bin Laden, sends his warplanes to bomb the Republic of Texas, which is hiding rebel leader George W. Bush. But even though a new government (the "Southern Democrats") is swiftly installed in Texas, victory remains elusive. The global crusade makes attacks across the civilized world, especially in Palestine, where for several years Christian colonists have been agitating amongst the majority Jewish population, urging them to secede from the caliphate.

There are 3 comments on "Novel (never written)":

Posted by: Mike Farahbakhshian Tue Oct 14 14:07:11 2003

This is too topical, too recognizable as an attack against current policy rather than a genuine exploration of the what-if history, and also the concept was handled much better by Kim Stanley Robinson in _The Years of Rice and Salt_.

Posted by: Ed Tue Oct 14 14:07:37 2003

It remembers me of a couple of historic fiction novels:

'Pashadaze' by Jon Courtenay Grimwood in which Germany and their allies won the first world war and then eventually the Ottoman Empire becomes a world superpower as the United States are totally depressed.

Then there's Harry Turtledove's 'Agent of Byzantium', which takes place in 14th century christian Roman Empire (that never fell), and in which Saint Mohammed (!) is patron saint of the Orient - also a delightful twist.

Posted by: mitch http:// Tue Oct 14 22:44:51 2003

Actually, it's *not* an attack on current policy, it is simply a role reversal. My own counterpart in the other world would probably be a reluctant Javanese supporter of Osama. But yes, eventually it just turns into an ingenious way of saying if things were different, they'd be different, which is why I'll never write it.