The current theme for submissions over at Crossed Genres is Alternative History–and writers take note, they are not only especially interested in Alternate History stories involving non-Western cultures and civilizations but they are also seeing a drop in submissions for this theme–so it got me thinking: the primordial element in the construction of an alternate history story seems to me to be the isolation of a focal point in the timeline of a people or nation, and speculating how a particular addition or omission might radically alter the course of history. While weighing the possibility of submitting to Crossed Genres, I’ve come up with a list of “what ifs” grounded in turning points in our history, and I thought I’d list them here for purposes of discussion/critique, or in the event that they can aid anyone planning to write an alternate history set in the Philippines; not all are major events in and of themselves, but some of the best stories I’ve read have dealt with the chain reactions caused by a shift in a minor detail.
Note that while I have been trying to brush up on Philippine history, I’m by no means an expert and as such I’m open to suggestions if I missed or mistakenly added anything. Also, I’m limiting these to possibilities that had an actual chance of occurring (rather than any number of way-out alternatives such as “What if the Rice Terraces became sentient during World War II?”) — although of course for purposes of a Spec Fic tale, the reason why events took a different turn may be as fantastical as the writer desires.
- 1400s – What if Muslim missionaries had spread across more of the Philippines, entrenching Islam before the arrival of the Spanish?
- 1500s – What if Portugal had discovered the Philippines?
- 1762 – What if the British had conquered the Philippines?
- 1767 – What if the Jesuits had not been expelled?
- 1887 – What if Noli Me Tangere had been written in Tagalog?
- 1897 – What if Bonifacio had executed Aguinaldo?
- 1898 – What if Aguinaldo had not accepted United States aid?
- 1899 – What if Willy Grayson had not taken that shot?
- 1902 – What if the Philippines had won the Philippine-American War?
- 1941 – What if MacArthur had repulsed the Japanese attack against Clark?
- 1942 – What if Corregidor had never fallen?
- 1945 – What if the Philippines had remained under Japanese occupation?
- 1945 – What if the Philippines had become a state of the United States of America?
- 1946 – What if MacArthur had implemented Japanese-style reforms in the Philippines?
- 1946 – What if Taruc and the other five Democratic Alliance candidates had not been denied their seats in Congress?
- 1950 – What if the Huk had overthrown the national government?
- 1957 – What if Magsaysay’s plane had not crashed?
- 1972 – What if Marcos had never declared Martial Law?
- 1983 – What if Ninoy lived?
[More after the jump/cut]
Ah, the power of the internets+cooperation: start out with a random idea, end up with approximately a hundred stories, transmitted through twitter over the course of the day; sure they’re six word stories but they are a hundred six word stories that didn’t exist before Independence Day 2009–and boy, some of those concepts are just itching to be made into longer works.
Thanks to everyone who joined in the fun–here’s the roster of authors and some of my favorite contributions:
(Note: Dom has some explanations for his six word stories here. I’ll follow suit in a later post.)
Edit: Sean over at “To the tale, and other such concerns” sends in some good ones – segregated by genre too. My favorite:
Balut vendors terrorized by giant duck.
Edit 2: A late submission from Andrea D.C. follows:
One diwata. One Chinay. True love.
I’ve got the full screen-grab of stories (and some tagged banter) after the cut. Some are NSFW and not everything is, strictly speaking, six words–but each one helped make this an Independence Day to remember for me. You’ve seen my favorites above… Which ones tickled your patriotic fancies? Let us know in the comments!
Again, thanks to everyone who participated, who spread the word, and even those who just read the stories. Once more with feeling: Happy Independence Day Philippines! See you all next year ^_^
And now: the stories…
(Just be a bit patient as it’s a large file.)
Most of the time I don’t realize that a long weekend has arrived until I realize I’m not the only one in the house anymore–but tomorrow, June 12, is Independence Day… something worth celebrating regardless of how you may feel about what we’ve done with that independence.
While wondering what I could do to commemorate the occasion, I stumbled across an admittedly dated–but still awesome–collection of six word stories over at Wired magazine, and I got to thinking: why not do some six word stories tomorrow to celebrate? And I knew just the place for it:
So, if you’re on twitter, and you want to do a six word micro SF story, tag it #RP612fic so I can track them down for posting here later. If you’re not on twitter, but still want to participate, just send the stories to me and I’ll post them when I do a round-up post on Saturday morning.
No real rules, though obviously I’d love a good spec fic micro story more than anything else; I don’t think it needs to be tied directly to independence: any story about/involving the Philippines or Filipinos should do.
As for me, I’m trying to come up with 24 that I can release every hour via Hootsuite – here’s a sample tweet:
#RP612fic Makati’s secret: the statues are alive.
I’ve already got contributions from @ekmisao and @blissery but there’s always room for more. C’mon–it’ll be fun! (and you can honestly say at the end of the day that you finished a story–always a good thing right? ^_^)
(Image of old school Philippine soldiers from Filipiniana.net – click the pic to see a translation of the Declaration of Philippine Independence)