Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Scorpions in a Bottle

Those of you who are not long-time readers of the Johnny Pez blog may be wondering: "What is this Scorpions in a Bottle of which you speak?

Basically, it's a project I embarked on some time ago to write a sequel to Robert Sobel's classic work of alternate history, For Want of a Nail ... Sobel wrote his book back in 1971, and the alternate timeline he created ends there. I felt that there was a crying need to extend Sobel's timeline to the early 21st century, so that's what I'm doing.

"But Johnny," you may be saying, "you can't write a continuation of someone else's work just like that. It's under copyright. You'd need permission from Sobel's estate." True. That's why I contacted Sobel's estate and secured their permission. I am fully authorized to write and publish a sequel, which I have tentatively decided to call Scorpions in a Bottle, which was Sobel's original title for his book. Having accomplished this, only two obstacles remain before me: actually writing it, and finding an actual publisher.

The writing is ongoing, and I've posted written sections of Scorpions in a Bottle on this blog. This particular post will serve as a sort of running tally of what bits I've written so far, and an outline of what remains to be done.

Here's what I've done so far (with links, because blog):

Prologue: The Albany Congress
1. The American Crisis
2. Outbreak of Rebellion
3. The Rebellion Ends
   A. The Hudson Campaign
   B. The Battle of Saratoga-Albany
   C. Joseph Galloway
   D. The Carlilse Commission
   E. The Restoration
4. The Wilderness Walk
   A. The Loyalist Reaction
   B. The Greene Expedition
   C. The Settlement of Jefferson
   D. The Lafayette Convention
5. The Britannic Design
   A. Drafting the Design
   B. The First Viceroy
6. The Dickinson Era
   A. The First Grand Council
   B. Abolitionism
   C. Settlement and Conflict
7. The Trans-Oceanic War
   A. The Florida War
   B. The Jefferson War
   C. The Louisiana War
   D. The Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle
8. The State of Jefferson
   A. Rise of the Parties
   B. The Mexican Civil War
9. The Conquest of Mexico
10. The Jackson Era
11. The Clinton Era
12. The Crisis Years
13. Mexico in Transition
   A. John Mason
   B. Miguel Huddleston
   C. The Rise of Pedro Hermión
   D. The Henrytown Convention
14. The Rocky Mountain War
15. The Kramer Associates
   A. Bernard Kramer
   B. The Guatemala Canal
   C. Omar Kinkaid
16. The Era of Faceless Men
17. The Fall of the Republic
18. The People's Coalition
   A. The Norfolk Convention
   B. Woman Suffrage


Noel Maurer said...

I can't wait!

But I have three questions, at least to start.

First, Sobel butchered Mexican history and spellings. How are you going to handle that without open retconning? (Actually, the spellings you can blame on bad editing, so that's all right.)

Second, how are you going to explain Manitoba?

Finally, how much of the new history are you going to base on For All Nails? (I'm hoping everything, of course.)


Johnny Pez said...

Hi Noel! Always happy to hear from you.

1. I won't be retconning Mexican history, but I will be filling in gaps in Sobel's account that will allow me, I hope, to make it more plausible.

2. Ah, Manitoba. I honestly don't know what to do there. It may come to retconning. At this point, I'm open to suggestions.

3. Welllllll ... as little as possible, frankly. FAN is its own thing, and I'd like to do something different. There are a lot of possible ways forward from Sobel's 1971, and I'd like to explore some that haven't been done before. (I've encountered at least two other continuations of Sobel besides FAN. I won't be borrowing from them, either.)

Feel free to email me if you'd like to go into more detail.