Monday, October 1, 2012

FAN #305: "The King's Justice" by Johnny Pez

Up today at the Sobel Wiki, the last remaining For All Nails vignettes have been posted.* First is #298: "Love Story" by Jonathan Edelstein, his last FAN vignette before posting #306: "Domestic Scene" on 16 January 2011.  "Love Story" is, well, a love story set in Numidia, a majority-Jewish state occupying the site of our own world's Libya.  Sobel briefly mentions that hundreds of thousands of Russian peasants, many of them Jews, crossed into the Ottoman Empire in the chaos of the 1880s, and that some eventually found their way to North Africa, where a large Russian community was formed by the turn of the century.  Jonathan turned this odd reference in Sobel, and an even briefer throwaway reference in M.G. Alderman's #21B: "... And Met With My Downfall", into the nation of Numidia.

Next is my own #305: "The King's Justice", a sequel to #303: "Buque Nights", that resolved the latter's cliffhanger ending and (possibly) the most important hanging plot thread from the For All Nails narrative: the fate of former Mexican Secretary of War Vincent Mercator.

"Love Story" was first posted to the soc.history.what-if newsgroup on 7 February 2005.  "The King's Justice" was never posted to shw-i, but was posted to this blog on 10 January 2011.  At the blog post, you will also find the vignette's original ending, and the comment by Noel Maurer that persuaded me to change it.

And thus concludes my quixotic project to create a complete online For All Nails archive after, good heavens, five months of steady work.  If anyone out there has actually been following this fit of madness, you have in equal measure my thanks and my pity.  Just in case anyone is worried about suffering from Sobel withdrawal, I remind you that the larger Sobel Wiki remains a work-in-progress, and will continue to be so, I daresay, for the indefinite future.  Meanwhile, the Johnny Pez blog will resume its former status as a repository for basenji anecdotesprophetic utterances, left-wing rants, and the occasional embedded music video.

*Sharp-eyed observers of the For All Nails archive page will notice that there are still two dead links in the archive.  These are #125: "I, Mercator (Part 4)" and #242: "Brothers", both by Carlos Yu, both unfinished and likely to remain so.

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