Category Archives: Future History

ALTERNATE HISTORY: BIETIGHEIM (1886)

BietigheimBIETIGHEIM (1886) – Published anonymously in 1886 this work of alternate history accurately predicted some of the actual results and fallout of the coming First World War (1914-1918). Bietigheim is presented as a series of John Minor lectures about world history as seen from “futuristic” 1932.

First off, a summary of the book’s accurate predictions:

a) Tensions between Germany and assorted other nations cause a war that sweeps up many of the Great Powers as well as several other countries. 

b) American entry into the war proves decisive.

c) The German side loses the war.

d) The old European monarchies fall.

e) In the wake of Germany’s defeat a popular figure arises and rallies millions to him with his plans for the future of Europe and Russia.

Just before the 1890 outbreak of the war Germany and France are pushing their claims to Alsace-Lorraine, Italy is demanding Austria turn over portions of northern Italy, Great Britain and Russia are clashing over preeminence in India and Afghanistan, plus the Slavic nations are feuding with the Ottoman Muslim Turks over their own future and control of the Dardanelles. Continue reading

Advertisements

2 Comments

Filed under Ancient Science Fiction, Future History

HOMBRE (1981): SPAIN’S POST-APOCALYPSE HERO

HombreAT THE END OF THE RIVER – More Weirdness at the End of the World, this time with an adventure featuring Spain’s answer to Mad Max: Hombre himself. This character was created by Antonio Segura and Jose Ortiz in 1981 in the Spanish publication Cimoc. Hombre went on to appear in notably “adult” comic books and magazines around the world, including reprints in Heavy Metal here in America.    

In this age of non-stop comic book adaptations for movies and television I’m amazed that the excellent Hombre series hasn’t been tackled in some form. The adult sexuality, graphic violence, Alien-style mutated life-forms, relentlessly grim storylines and gratuitous nudity are tailor-made for a cable series or R-rated films.

Hombre 2The title character Hombre roams our post-apocalypse planet armed to the teeth and ready to kill or be killed on a daily basis. His first-person narration echoes the best aspects of hard-boiled Film Noir detective stories while the action and mis en scene combine the best elements of Spaghetti Westerns, Post-Apocalypse movies and Martial Arts flicks. Think Six-String Samurai but without the rock and roll samurai.

There is no optimism in the world inhabited by Hombre. Antonio Segura’s writing features often tragic endings which must have put 1980s readers in mind of the downbeat stories on Hill Street Blues and Saint Elsewhere.

Hombre 3Segura mostly avoided easy narratives and my least favorite storyline involved Atila, the badass woman warrior. The character was great, but the tale seemed very UN-Segura-like to me. I probably would have liked her in her own spin-off story but having two such nigh-indestructible figures in one tale put things too far into the realm of upbeat fictional tropes to me. I’m virtually alone on that, by the way, since most fans LOVE the Atila story.

AT THE END OF THE RIVER – Back to the main topic of this blog post, one of the Hombre tales that best exemplifies the series’ aesthetic sensibilities. Our protagonist is the best there is at what he does, but in a much grimmer and more adult way than Wolverine ever managed.  Continue reading

20 Comments

Filed under Future History, Neo-Pulp, Superheroes

DYSTOPIA NATION: DEMOCRATS PERSECUTE VOTERS OF COLOR WHO LEAVE THE PARTY

More dystopian musings from possible futures.

” In the final third of the 20th Century the speakers and money people of the Democratic Party ( which spawned the Liberal fanatics just as the Republican Party spawned the Conservative fanatics ) began developing a very proprietary, some would say condescending, attitude toward African Americans. The 1960s generation of American Liberals in particular had often treated the lives and history of African Americans as a kind of hobby.

These patronizing dilettantes originally demonstrated a protective, or at least supportive, attitude toward African Americans, who in turn rewarded the Democratic Party’s candidates with almost unanimous support.

Mascot sword and pistolHowever, as the decades wore on and African Americans had greater opportunities open up to them many of them began making up their own minds about what political attitudes they would embrace and what political candidates they would support. This did not sit well with the Democratic Party’s power brokers and the nascent Liberal fanatics in their ranks.

A large portion of the American Left’s power structure rested on the myth that all African Americans were still Liberal Democrats. The mere existence of increasing numbers of African Americans choosing their own political affiliation was a massive threat to the left’s decades-old propaganda advantages: their false claim that they and they alone represented the wishes of all minority groups and their incessant accusations of racism aimed at all dissenting voices.

The whitebread Democratic Party leadership and the African American demagogues they used as alleged spokespeople for “all African Americans” began a campaign of harassment against any African Americans who declared their political independence from the oppression and condescension of the Democratic Party.

As time wore on and the 21st Century rolled along this harassment increased and intensified in direct proportion to the number of freethinking African Americans who resented the whitebread Liberals of the Democratic Party establishment and broke away from the fold. Continue reading

12 Comments

Filed under Future History, LIBERALS AND CONSERVATIVES, opinion

DYSTOPIA NATION: THE NEW COLONIALISM

FOR A LOOK AT MY PREVIOUS DYSTOPIA NATION POSTS CLICK HERE

Mascot sword and pistolTHE NEW COLONIALISM – Here’s another situation to embellish and extrapolate from in standard Dystopian Literature format. It’s the way that isolated, heavily-populated regions of pompous snobs, cowardly hypocrites and hilariously pretentious asses consider themselves the rulers of the entire rest of the nation.

Part of the inspiration for this installment came from the way Ben Franklin observed that – leading up to the Revolutionary War – even everyday citizens in Great Britain would snobbishly refer to Americans as “OUR subjects in the Colonies.”

That possibly apocryphal account easily puts one in mind of the snobbish way that Democrats pompously think they know how everyone else should live their lives. And if the people they consider to be THEIR “subjects” don’t agree, well, in the words of the fictional Darth Vader “Then they should be MADE to agree!” That’s the Democrats’ mantra. (I’m an Independent voter.)

mapAnyway, in our fictional future for this time around, the isolated areas of Democrat Supremacists or “Blue Meanies” began to panic as they felt their tyrannical grip on their “Colonies” slipping.

As far back as the early 21st Century the Democrat Supremacists had formed masked hate groups like Antifa – really KLAN-tifa – to inflict violence on dissenters.

The Dem-Sup control of the media, internet and film-making ensured that the only opinions that got wide-spread exposure were the opinions shared by millionaires. Dem-Sup contempt for the working class and the poor grew in direct proportion to the way in which the working class and the poor rejected the “One True Worldview” being forced upon them by Dem-Sup plutocrats.     Continue reading

10 Comments

Filed under Future History, Neo-Pulp, opinion

DYSTOPIA NATION: TECHNO-TYRANTS OF SILICON VALLEY

Mascot sword and pistolHere at Balladeer’s Blog I write plenty of items about myths from around the world. I often mention that my blog posts about figures from the American West are along the same lines to me since I think the exaggerated tales of whatever their real-life stories were originate the same way that many religious fables do: the usual human tendency toward superstition and embellishment.

Dystopian literature is similar but instead of embellishing figures and events from the past this type of fiction involves taking contemporary problems and/ or trends and extrapolating them into larger than life menaces in the near or far future.

Soylent Green did it with overpopulation and food shortages, One Blade of Grass did it with environmental issues and Orwell’s 1984 did it with totalitarian political forces which still threaten to use his nightmarish novel as their road map. Countless other examples could be cited.   

THE TECHNO-TYRANTS OF SILICON VALLEY – The modern-day versions of the disgusting old Robber Barons might well be the corporate fascists aka techno-fascists in assorted tech industries, not just regarding Silicon Valley but also  privacy-violating rich pigs at Facebook and elsewhere.

In fact, you could make the case that people like Mark “Skippy” Zuckerberg and his fellow corporate fascists are even worse since I don’t recall bloated rich pigs like E.H. Harriman or Cornelius Vanderbilt trying to police other people’s every thought, word and deed. The invasive and ever-expanding tentacular reach of techno-fascists or in this fictional case Techno-Tyrants would make these villains a very credible threat to political freedom and freedom of expression. Continue reading

10 Comments

Filed under Future History, Neo-Pulp, opinion

ATROCITIES OF THE 2nd U.S. CIVIL WAR

VICTIMSWelcome back to more of my findings from my fictional role as an archaeologist recovering relics from the future.

Last time I translated the foreward to a history book from roughly 2109 -2120. The book dealt with the Second American Civil War of 2037 – 2039, at which point China became heavily involved and the conflict morphed into the Third World War.

This time around I was able to finish a fragment of an early chapter of that same book. This chapter was examining the atrocities perpetrated by some of the units from both the left- wing and the right-wing sides of the war. The Liberal fanatics and the Conservative fanatics were both claiming to be the legitimate government of the former United States, if you’ll recall. Here are the latest lines I was able to translate from the dominant Earthly language of the 22nd Century. 

” In the final third of the 20th Century the Continue reading

6 Comments

Filed under Future History

FUTURE HISTORY: MORE ON THE SECOND U.S. CIVIL WAR

Welcome back to more of my findings from my fictional role as an archaeologist recovering relics from the future.

Last time I translated the foreward to a history book from roughly 2109 -2120. The book dealt with the Second American Civil War of 2037 – 2039, at which point China became heavily involved and the conflict morphed into the Third World War.

This time around I was able to finish a fragment of an early chapter of that same book. This chapter was examining the atrocities perpetrated by some of the units from both the left- wing and the right-wing sides of the war. The Liberal fanatics and the Conservative fanatics were both claiming to be the legitimate government of the former United States, if you’ll recall. Here are the latest lines I was able to translate from the dominant Earthly language of the 22nd Century. 

” In the final third of the 20th Century the speakers and money people of the Democratic Party ( which spawned the Liberal fanatics just as the Republican Party spawned the Conservative fanatics ) began developing a very proprietary, some would say condescending, attitude toward Continue reading

34 Comments

Filed under Future History, LIBERALS AND CONSERVATIVES