Changing the timeline
October 7, 2020 5:19 PM   Subscribe

Two short scifi stories about changing history, in the small and in the large. "The Day Alan Turing Came Out" by Leonard Richardson (disclaimer: my spouse), wish-fulfillment alternate history. "Turing reaches for the RUN button in the corner and my breath catches. This is the moment when I always found that I had mistyped a line and had to go through the magazine listing again, looking for errors. Turing does not worry." "This Must Be the Place" by Elly Bangs, a partially-requited romance with a "deterministic dolt." "It's probably simplest to say that I first met Loren Wells in a club in San Francisco. We'll set aside for the moment that it wasn't the first time he'd met me."
posted by brainwane (9 comments total) 26 users marked this as a favorite
(I checked with the mods and, per the revised rule about friend-linking, it's ok to link to my spouse's work in this post. Thanks for the confirmation, mods!)
posted by brainwane at 5:19 PM on October 7, 2020

Fun! I love some of Leonard’s technical writing (like his 2008 QCon talk) so I look forward to checking these out.
posted by migurski at 6:46 PM on October 7, 2020

okay can someone please tell me the one about the two brothers who loved baseball
posted by cabbage raccoon at 9:31 PM on October 7, 2020 [2 favorites]

Hi Brainwane, please tell your spouse that I love, love, love Constellation Games! Everybody else, go read it!
posted by kandinski at 2:26 AM on October 8, 2020 [3 favorites]

Some kind of toaster, it's probably a variation this one:

Two old men had been best friends for years, and they both live to their early 90's, when one of them suddenly falls deathly ill. His friend comes to visit him on his deathbed, and they're reminiscing about their long friendship, when the dying man's friend asks, "Listen, when you die, do me a favor. I want to know if there's baseball in heaven."

The dying man said, "We've been friends for years, this I'll do for you." And then he dies.

A couple days later, his surviving friend is sleeping when he hears his friend's voice. The voice says, "I've got some good news and some bad news. The good news is that there's baseball in heaven."

"What's the bad news?"

"You're pitching on Wednesday."
posted by Hactar at 6:13 AM on October 8, 2020 [6 favorites]

Oh my gosh, you link well and you married well. Thank you to you and the spouse.
posted by lauranesson at 9:37 AM on October 8, 2020 [3 favorites]

Thanks, Hactar! That's a good joke with a real classic structure. I like it.

And thanks, Brainwane! Your story posts have kept me reading through this shitty, too-sick-and-stressed-to-concentrate year.
posted by cabbage raccoon at 12:41 PM on October 8, 2020 [1 favorite]

Greg Egan has more alternate Turing timelines (with added C.S. Lewis).
posted by pw201 at 7:39 AM on October 9, 2020

I read Constellation Games on kandinski's recommendation and enjoyed it very much. I was up half the night last night finishing it and didn't want it to end. Just wanted to jump back in here to say thanks and to second the recommendation for everyone else to go read it!
posted by beandip at 7:29 AM on October 20, 2020 [2 favorites]

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