I keep on coming back to the graphic novel I did a first draft of several years ago, fruitlessly going round in circles.
Where I left off, we'd caused a revolution in Tenochtitlan and had gone flying off into the sunset in our airship. The next thing to do, of course, would be to nip into the future a bit – say 50 years or so – and see how things were going.
Naturally, the answer is badly.
Now, this requires a Plan B. If we can't nip capitalism in the bud, how about we manipulate another crucial turning point? I reckon one of the main reasons the 20th century went so pear-shaped and fucked us so badly is because the wrong side won World War I.
Speaking very generally, even though both extolled God, King, and Country, you can characterise the German side as the progressive, modernist side and the English as the hidebound, conservative side. I mean, just take a moment to compare the two societies on the eve of the War. One was going off, making radical advances in art, science, and technology. The other was resting on its (admittedly not inconsiderable) laurels.
I reckon, if Germany had won World War I, we would now be sweet. We wouldn't have so completely fucked up space travel. We'd have at least one space elevator, and all our heavy industry up in orbit, using resources extracted from asteroids. We would also be establishing viable space colonies, ending our dependence on the Earth.
Instead, we had a stupid, pointless, go-nowhere moon race between the US and the USSR, purely for short-term political ends, and now have a useless space station and an obsolete space shuttle that's only really good for bombing Earthbound targets.
And the thing is that this was our shot, as a species. It's really hard developing a global high-technology society. We're not going to do it again. We've used up all the easily available mineral resources you need on this one. The 20th century was our shot to get our sorry arses off-planet, so we would no longer be able to be completely wiped out by a comet or asteroid strike.
In a few thousand years, if we'd built a big fuck off linear accelerator somewhere between Mars and Jupiter and fired off robot spacecraft to seed other solar systems, even a supernova would not take us out. Unless we met opposition, there'd be nothing to prevent us from creating a Galactic Empire and living into the deep future.
But, no, we had a sordid political squabble instead.
Fuck I hate politics. Left, right, whatever, you can all go fuck yourselves.
Ahem. Sorry about that. I got a little distracted.
So, Plan B is to intervene in World War I to ensure that the Germans win and develop a decent space programme. This would have to include, among other things, mixing it up with the secret agents, revolutionaries, and dadas in Zurich in 1916. That could be fun, eh?