March 18

The Worlds I’ve Wondered

 

lizardbirdDiscussions on the History, Flora and Fauna of the Destroyermen World from the perspective of Courtney Bradford.

As time goes by, this is where I will collect the meat and bones of Courtney’s “book,” The Worlds I’ve Wondered, and eventually post it as a separate semi-static category, still subject to editing and addition.  Your comments and observations are welcome!  I’ll include some of Courtney’s monologues from the series (few of which have ever appeared in the audios) and may expand on them with pics, maps–the works.  Or I may add entirely different “chapters.”  Most important, this will be for us, and anyone who visits here, purely for our enjoyment. Feel free to contribute, within the guidelines set by the categories above.  Print it, bind it, whatever you want–for private, non-commercial use.  (I have to say that because the site is copyrighted, and so are some of the things I’ll post, such as maps, etc).  For that same reason, please do not post OTHER copyrighted materials!  They will be rejected.

I suppose contributions here could be considered “fan-fic” of a sort, so don’t create storylines for them.  At the same time, as I will freely share things here, you must consider your speculations and comments freely shared as well–or do not make them.  But do be sure to “footnote” yourself, as a “source” Courtney might quote in his book–in case your contribution gets included in the afore mentioned “semi-static category.”   Enjoy!

                                                           “The Worlds I’ve Wondered”

                                                                    Our History Here                                                  

By March 1, 1942, the war “back home” was a nightmare. Hitler was strangling Europe and the Japanese were amok in Pacific. Most immediate, from my perspective as a middle-aged Australian petroleum engineer stranded in Surabaya Java, the Japanese had taken Singapore and Malaysia, destroyed the American Pacific Fleet and neutralized their forces in the Philippines, conquered most of the Dutch East Indies, and were landing on Java. The one-sided Battle of the Java Sea had shredded ABDAFLOAT; a jumble of antiquated American, British, Dutch, and Australian warships united only by the vicissitudes of war. Its destruction left the few surviving ships scrambling to escape the Japanese gantlet, and for most, it was too late.

With a few other refugees, I managed to board the old American destroyer USS Walker, under the command of Lieutenant Commander Matthew Reddy. Whether fate, providence, or mere luck intervened, Walker and her sister Mahan, their gallant crews grimly winnowed by combat, were not bound for the same destruction which claimed their consorts in escape. Instead, at the height of a desperate action against the mighty Japanese battlecruiser Amagi, commanded by the relentless Hisashi Kurokawa, they were . . . engulfed by an anomalous force, manifested as a bizarre, powerful, squall–and their battered, leaking, war-torn hulks were somehow swept to another world entirely.

I say “another world” because, though largely geographically similar, there are few additional resemblances. It’s as if whatever cataclysmic event doomed most of the more frightening prehistoric life forms on “our” earth many millions of years ago never occurred, and those terrifying, fascinating creatures endured–sometimes evolving down a wildly different path. We quickly discovered “people,” however, calling themselves “Mi-Anakka.” They are highly intelligent, social folk, with large eyes, fur, and expressive tails. In my ignorance and excitement, I promptly dubbed them “Lemurians” particularly because of a vague, if more feline, resemblance to the giant lemurs of Madagascar. (Growing evidence may confirm they sprang from a parallel line, and only the most distant ancestor connects them to lemurs, but “Lemurians” has stuck). We just as swiftly learned these folk were engaged in an existential struggle with a species commonly called “Grik;”also bipedal, but somewhat “reptilian” with bristly crests and tail plumage, dreadful teeth and claws, and which were clearly descended from the Dromaeosaurids in our fossil record.

Aiding the first group against the second—Captain Reddy never had a choice—we made fast, true friends who needed our technical knowledge and expertise as badly as we needed their support. Conversely, we now also had an implacable enemy bent on devouring all competing life. Many bloody battles ensued while we struggled to help our friends against their far more numerous foes and it was for this reason I sometimes think, when I’m disposed to contemplate “destiny,” that we survived our previous ordeals and somehow came to this place. I don’t know everything about anything, but I do know a little about a lot. The same was true of Captain Reddy and his US Asiatic Fleet sailors. We immediately set about trying to even the odds, but militarizing the generally peaceful Lemurians was no simple task. Still, to paraphrase, the prospect of being eaten tends to focus one’s efforts amazingly, and dire necessity is the mother of industrialization. To this day, I remain amazed by what we accomplished so quickly with so little, especially considering how rapidly and tragically our “brain trust” was consumed by battle.

In the meantime, we discovered other humans—friends and enemies—who joined our cause, required our aid, or posed new threats. Even worse than the Grik, (from a moral perspective, in my opinion), was the vile “Dominion” in South and Central America. A perverse mixture of Incan/Aztecan blood-ritual tyranny with a dash of 17th century Catholicism flavoring the technology brought by those earlier travelers, the Dominion’s aims were similar to the Grik; conquest, of course, but founded on the principle of “convert or die.”

I still believe that, faced with only one of these enemies, we could’ve prevailed rather quickly. Burdened by both, we were unable to concentrate our forces and the war lingered on. To make matters worse, the Grik were aided by the madman Kurokawa who, after losing his Amagi at the Battle of Baalkpan, began to pursue an agenda all his own. And just as we came to the monumental conclusion that not all historical human timelines we encountered exactly mirrored ours, we began to feel the malevolent presence of yet another power centered in the Mediterranean. This “League of Tripoli” was composed of fascist French, Italian, Spanish, and German factions from a “different” 1939 than we remembered, and hadn’t merely “crossed over” with a pair of battle-damaged destroyers, but a powerful task force intended to wrest Egypt—and the Suez Canal—from Great Britain.

We had few open conflicts with the League at first, though they seemed inexplicably intent on subversion. Eventually we discovered their ultimate aim was . . .

Excerpt from the Forward to Courtney Bradford’s “The Worlds I’ve Wondered”

University of New Glasgow Press, 1956



Copyright 2017. All rights reserved.

Posted March 18, 2016 by Taylor Anderson in category "The Worlds I've Wondered

393 COMMENTS :

  1. By Taylor Anderson on

    Yeah, and I recently had to add an anti-spam service. Don called about this–and I got his voicemail a couple of days later–(I was away from phone service, dealing with rhino pigs with the .50-95)–but then it just went away! Don, sorry, but I just got a new phone too (I HATE new phones) and lost your number to call you back. Give me a shout if you like. Oh, and since I’m answering this on a different computer, I’ll bet a different booger comes up. Ain’t technology wonderful?

    Reply
    1. By Justin on

      I think it’s because of a different email, rather than a different computer. I’ve get the same booger posting at home and from the library.

      Reply
        1. By Lou Schirmer on

          Really? I have two for you. One might be through your publisher though.

          Reply
      1. By Justin on

        Hmm, maybe it’s the IP?

        (Goddamn, I didn’t think mine could get any uglier…)

        Reply
  2. By Justin on

    I wonder if there’s any lost expeditions roaming around the Congo? Probably not… but if the Union and/or Republic bump into several pith-helmeted Victorians riding a pack of Baryonyx, I damn well called it.

    Reply
  3. By Justin on

    Speaking of natural wonders, all that glacial meltwater probably means colossal waterfalls up in Washington and Montana. For example, Dry Falls was twice as high and five times wider than Niagara – the Imperials really should think about putting that on the travel guide.

    Reply
      1. By donald j johnson on

        the flow down the Zambezi aught to make some impressive falls. i wonder how the Grik bypassed them to get their ships and barges down the Zambezi. would take very impressive engineering

        Reply
    1. By Steve Moore on

      Thinking about the power of falling water; another possibility for Baalkpaan industry after the war; hydropower. Lemurians supposedly are great pump designers, they’ve got generators knocked, and they’ve got great bracing designs. Not to mention, irrigation pumps and farm machinery for Austraal.

      Then, of course, that could segue into lock-building up the Zambezi with labor from the Free Grik Empire, into the heart of Darkest Africa. That’s probably about Book 21m I’d guess…

      Reply
      1. By Justin on

        Sure. More like Book 30, though – the nearest river, the Mahakam, is 100km north of Baalkpan. Any aspiring hydro engineers will likely have to start in the Republic or the colonies.

        Reply
        1. By Steve Moore on

          Was thinking of the colonies, but it’s also technology the NUS would understand, at least the dams and such.

          Reply
          1. By Justin on

            Sounds good… unless they start building in Yosimite or the Amazon, in which case the locals and/or Imperial naturalists (as in OTL) will understandably scream bloody murder.

  4. By Lou Schirmer on

    It’d be a pretty awesome sight, I think, watching the tides at the Pass del Fuego. Water draining out at both ends as the tide passes & then the surge when the tide comes back in. Depending on the width of the pass & shape of the entrance, you could have a wall of water over 100′ high coming in. It’d be like watching some sort of cosmic or biblical event each day. Make a hell of an artistic subject. Any ships IN the pass would be toast & the ships heading west had best be in a hurry after the initial bore fills the pass or they might not make it by the ebb & get caught in the pass when the next tide starts pulling water. They’d have to start well outside to be safe from the initial surge & probably only go with a good wind. How they get ships through going east would be an interesting problem. Figuring 60-100 miles of Pass, plus say a 10 mile safety zone & time for the initial surge to settle, the Dom ships would have to cover 70-110 miles in 10-11 hours. Heading east, the liners would probably need assistance from a high speed tug to make it through in time.

    Reply
    1. By Generalstarwars333 on

      There should totally be a scene from the pass of fire for a book cover. That’d be great. Or like a picture on the website. Someone with artistic skills exceeding stickfigures needs to get on this.

      Reply
    2. By Justin on

      There was a map back in Storm Surge: https://vignette.wikia.nocookie.net/destroyermen/images/2/22/El_Paso_del_Fuego.jpg/revision/latest/scale-to-width-down/1000?cb=20151001102258

      It’s right on the border between Nicaragua and Costa Rica – about 200km long (125 miles) – but it’s also 30km wide, and there’s cities right on the coast, so it can’t be any more cataclysmic than a giant flash flood or the tide at Talbot Bay.

      As for crossing, don’t forget that they’d be going with the tide; the real problem seems to be navigating the currents and clearing the strait before the back-surge kicks in. Anson also notes that there’s a bay halfway through for the ships that won’t make it in time.

      Reply
      1. By Lou Schirmer on

        Yeah, saw that map & those bays on the north side would be great for concentrating a tidal surge, especially the first one, La Calma. The cities in the pass are probably set back some distance from the shore & their harbors would have some bodacious breakwaters to protect them.

        You’d be going with the tide whichever way you went, but the liners are slow enough, they might need help getting through before the tide swings the other way. I’d suppose it would depend on how deep the pass was as to how dramatic it would be. Maybe Taylor will let us know in some future book.

        Reply
      2. By donald j johnson on

        Using your figures then NO ship can make it in one tide. They will have 6 hours of tidal current in one direction then 6 hours in the other direction. if the tidal current is 6 knots and the ship can add another 6 knots then they can only go 72 knotical miles per tide. this means at least 2 tides or 3 tides per trek with an anchorage parking at the change of tide. This translates into at least a day and a half minimum. I do not feel that there will be a tidal bore problem as the tides themselves will scour the bottoms of the passage.

        Reply
      3. By Lou Schirmer on

        Looking at the map again, I still think there would be a respectable tidal bore going into the pass. The bay on the eastern side would cup the flow into the pass. There might even be some sort of standing wave there while the tide is coming in. I’ve seen something like that in bay & harbor entrances before. If an asteroid did hit there, there would probably be a significant depth change also. Looks like something took a bite out of Nicaragua between Monkey Point & San Juan del Norte & the bay at La Calma might be what’s left of Lake Nicaragua.
        As far as scouring out the pass, it depends on how long it’s been there & how deep the bedrock is.

        http://www.mapsland.com/maps/north-america/central-america-and-the-caribbean/detailed-political-map-of-central-america.jpg

        Reply
        1. By Lou Schirmer on

          OK, I’ve been checking out tidal bores & while most are not too dramatic, dangerous but not dramatic, some can get surreal. The “Silver Dragon” is a tidal bore on the Qiantang river in the city of Hangzhou China. Showing how land shape can change a regular tide into something spectacular. Several other videos out there, like the Bono in Indonesia.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cAGABdvv5u8

          Reply
        2. By Justin on

          There seems to be one big semi-concentric hole where Bluefields would’ve been – that might be it. Still, even an asteroid-sized depth charge wouldn’t’ve cut a near-straight channel through a continent, nor triggered volcanoes.

          Central America formed in the first place when the Cocos and Caribbean plates collided and cut off the Central American Seaway. Perhaps they’re now sliding or drifting apart for some reason.

          Reply
          1. By Lou Schirmer on

            An asteroid strike could trigger local volcanoes, if they were anywhere near erupting, local fault lines also. I could see it opening things up to Lake Nicaragua, but as you say, not all the way. The fault lines & plates may be slightly different in that world & with most of the volcanoes on the western side of the country, a large caldera collapse near the coast might finish the job.

            Or, an asteroid strike may have shifted things enough that the Central American Seaway never closed completely & is just now in the process of closing.

          2. By Lou Schirmer on

            One hyperlink doesn’t get moderated. Two or more do. Probably an anti-spam measure by your IT guy.

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