So, first a brief note.
Due to my experience driving with a permit for three years, I know everything there is to know about driving… right? I certainly didn’t think so… which was good. Because I killed a street sign today.
My mom was directing me as to where exactly to turn, but since neither of us was sure which road that happened to be, I got the message a little late and murdered the stop sign with my car. It put up a good fight, though- it ripped off my driver’s side mirror and shattered the driver’s side window. Also, you can now see the inside door handle from the outside. My knowledge of automotives may be limited, but I’m pretty sure that’s a bad thing.
Anyway, I’m fine, my mom’s fine, my car is… doing okay. I’ll need to vacuum out all the glass tomorrow…
And now, for a bit of random Alternate History that’s been trying to pound its’ way out of my head for a few weeks.
Point in time: the 1980s.
1806: Thomas Wedgewood creates the world’s first photograph.
1843: Scottish mechanic Alexander Bain creates the Fax Machine (predating the bicycle, telegraph, internal combustion engine, and the potato famine, among other things).
1983. Viewtron is created by Norman Morrison in Florida. Later renamed the ‘World Wide Web’.
Dueling sticks around until about the 19th century, but the Victorian Era’s ‘Gentelman’s Code’ of sorts keeps It going. However, it takes on a small connotation: In most duels, your honor is diminished if you actually kill the guy to win. So duels to first blood are more common than death duels. Dueling is identified with fencing throughout the 20th century.
In fact, having a duel aboard an airship placed into an Urban Fantasy novel being written by an inhabitant of this Alternate Timeline (ATL) would be pretty much the same as putting in a paintball battle, tennis match, or political debate- not very jarring.
Also, the Hindenburg Disaster never happened, and gas production stabilized after WWI
Notes of Cliff
So: Due to the earlier photography, we’ve pictures of the Napoleonic Wars and the War of 1812 (among other things). We’ve fax machines and never had a telegraph. We’ve printers, we’ve scanners, and we’ve the internet.
We also have zeppelins. And dueling. And motorcycles.
Culture and Fashion
When invited out to a social event, one often brings several changes of clothes, and they often change part or all of an outfit during the evening.
Eclectic outfits are even more popular- Cyndi Lauper? Pssssh. Too mundane. Add some bright dye and some hair gel; a pair of mechanics’ goggles; a leather jacket or crop top for guys and some rolled up jeans, or really loose high-waisted pants and pretty much any shirt for girls; you’re golden.
So, in other words, while this may or may not happen in this ATL… picture a charity fundraiser. Cindi Lauper and Michael Jackson are dueling for fun and charity on a zeppelin. MJ is wearing goggles on his forehead, and CL has bright blue hair with green highlights. Paul McCartney is singing in the background, and at least twelve crowd-members are videotaping it so they can upload the cassette to the Web.