What would the world be like if this day in history turned out differently? On this page two types of entries will be featured. The first will be historical dates drawn from existing alternate histories. These are the points of divergence which lead to those published time lines. The other entries will be fresh essays drawn from the pages of history to reflect in a counter-factual way on the importance of those points in history.
Although contributions are always welcome, entries that do not conform to these criteria will be archived pending changes that will bring them into compliance. Please enter contributions under the appropriate month.
- On this day, extensive radiation began disrupting life on the planet earth. It is thought by scientists that it originated in the constilation Ophiuchus, "the serpent-bearer." There are reports that there was a short-lived star that soon burned out. However, the unseen radiation, named "gamma rays" by modern scientists, seemed to have affected the minds of much of the northern hemisphere. Explorers returning from America del Sur found a population lost to a kind of lunacy which claimed a whole generation.
- Many colonists in the southern hemisphere, realizing the gravity of the situation, returned to their homelands to becoming a new ruling class. Campaigns in the 1650's brought civilization back to Norte America where the English had begun a young colony on what had been named "Virginia." The colonists there had been lost to wars with the aboriginals in those days. The ruling class had recruited hundreds of subjects to fight to claim the continent. Survivors were granted extra privileges not known among the servant class in those days.
- By 1700, the children and grandchildren of the lost generation began to rebel, not being affected by the lunacy or their forefathers. The Conquistadors, the ruling class, had lost much of its influence in the colonies, but the official language in Europe and both Americas is still Spanish. In Africa and the Far East, though, Portuguese is the language of the people. Much of Asia, though, still languishes in darkness, though some of the brightest minds of the 18th century worked unseen to recreate an ancient language and society.
- In our time line, of course, the supernova that was observed that day had no such effect on the minds of those who saw it. The supernova of 1604 was visible for far longer than just a few days. In the scenario above, the intensity of radiation is probably beyond reality, making this alternate history ASB. It is, though, interesting to speculate what might have been if the age of exploration had been left to those who just happened to have already been in the south at the time.