Sunday, 23 June 2013

Different Skies: One World One People

So back to something a little more cheery, well sort of, picking up with the third story in Different Skies; 'One World One People'.

Like 'Changing Times' this story is set in an alternate universe and like the Changing Times universe space travel is more advanced with bases on the moon by the time the story opens in 1968. Where it sharply diverges is that in One World the Third Reich has survived the Second World War and is locked into an endless battle against insurgents in Russia and Asia at the same time as competing for control of the high frontier with the North American Union, which is a sort of NATO/EU organization formed by the USA.

The story centres around the journey of Klaus Kittel from watching the first man in space on TV to being an astronaut at the German moonbase on a mission that could tip a world on the brink of Armageddon over the edge.

So why 'Nazi's on the moon'? OWOP came out of the accounts from a number of astronauts of how profoundly the experience of seeing Earth from space affected them. I wondered how someone would square such an experience with living under the tyranny of the Nazi's belief system? It essentially comes down to sharply contrasting visions of what the words in the title really mean.

Now I actually wrote OWOP before I wrote Changing Times and I originally thought of them as completely separate stories but it did occur to me later that perhaps they represent two different outcomes for the same departure point from our history. In Changing Times World War II works out much the same as it did historically while in OWOP things take a turn for the worse during the war and the USSR is defeated allowing the Third Reich to survive; so in a sense they represent the opposite sides of the same coin.

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