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[TiF] Re: The Way the Future Was and Other Histories

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  • Amy Ransom
    I agree with JLT on the Canadian Dream as problematic, but it is included in Hacker & Chamberlain. I also agree w/M. Ruaud about Vonarburg s work--what
    Message 1 of 8 , Nov 1, 1999
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      I agree with JLT on the "Canadian Dream" as problematic, but it is included
      in Hacker & Chamberlain.
      I also agree w/M. Ruaud about Vonarburg's work--what bothers me about
      Vonarburg's "Voyageurs" as a definite AH is that the historical time line
      from which divergence is made is not identical with the reader's own. So
      far, I have understood that classic AH must have its point of divergence
      from our own agreed sense of history, no? In Vonarburg's work--which is
      extremely complex in the way it handles history--not only does her
      protagonist, Catherine Rhymer live in a timeline different than the
      reader's in its setting of, I believe, 1989-90, but her OWN sense of
      history becomes altered as the novel unfolds. While the fictional history
      lived by the protagonist mirrors our own in many ways, Vonarburg slightly
      skews things. Can anyone who has read it identify, for example, what the
      point of divergence for Catherine Rhymer's world and our own world would be?
      Yet, in previous communications Evelyn Leeper has confirmed that
      "Voyageurs" is accepted as AH and I believe it appears on the "Uchronia"
      web-site--a pretty thorough bibliography for anglophone works. I hope that
      as the backlog of entries narrows, we can persuade Mr. Schmunck to get some
      more francophone ones on the list.
      AR

      At 12:48 PM 10/31/99 +0100, you wrote:
      >Hi,
      >
      >JLT says:
      >>> "The Reluctant Voyagers".
      >>
      >>Published by Bantam, IIRC. (...) The Vonarburg
      >>novel is a definite alternate history
      >
      >Well, no. Not exactly anyway: the context of "The Reluctant Voyagers" SEEMS
      >to be an alternate history for most of the book, but in the end is revealed
      >to be something very different and far more weird... But I suppose it can
      >be considered an alternate history after all, since it works like one for
      >most of the novel, and since Vonarburg also uses it as the background for
      >her novella "Le debut du cercle" (in anthology "Geneses", J'ai Lu, France,
      >1996).
      >
      >Best,
      >AFR
      >
      >
      >
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    • d364034@er.uqam.ca
      ... SEEMS ... revealed ... can ... for ... for ... France, ... If you consider the strictly historical part of it (never mind the ontology of the underlying
      Message 2 of 8 , Nov 1, 1999
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        aef-@... (a.-f. ruaud) wrote:
        >
        > JLT says:
        > >> "The Reluctant Voyagers".
        > >
        > >Published by Bantam, IIRC. (...) The Vonarburg
        > >novel is a definite alternate history
        >
        > Well, no. Not exactly anyway: the context of "The Reluctant Voyagers"
        SEEMS
        > to be an alternate history for most of the book, but in the end is
        revealed
        > to be something very different and far more weird... But I suppose it
        can
        > be considered an alternate history after all, since it works like one
        for
        > most of the novel, and since Vonarburg also uses it as the background
        for
        > her novella "Le debut du cercle" (in anthology "Geneses", J'ai Lu,
        France,
        > 1996).
        >
        If you consider the strictly historical part of it (never mind the
        ontology of
        the underlying world/reality), as history-qua-history, you still have
        an alternate history.

        (But see my earlier comments about Canadian francophones eschewing
        "mere"
        alternate history-telling in order to tackle deeper questions.
        Vonarburg's book is a case in point.)

        The point of divergence? My recollection of the book is growing dim,
        but it
        should lie at least 2000 years in the past since Jesus was born twins,
        IIRC.
        Which may remind some of you of Robert Charles Wilson's _Mysterium_,
        another
        fine Canadian uchronia.

        Jean-Louis Trudel
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