Subterranean Press Magazine: Winter 2007

Fiction: Missives from Possible Futures #1: Alternate History Search Results by John Scalzi

Dear Customer,

Thank you for trying a Sample History Search with Multiversity™, America’s leading Alternate History Research Firm. Thanks to our patented Multiview™ technology, and search algorithms that scour multiple universes with more speed and accuracy, Multiversity™ is able to access nearly 50% more alternate timestreams than either Alternaview or Megapast —for the same cost! And we guarantee our alternate history research with a 100% money back guarantee – we want you to be happy with the accuracy of our alternate pasts, so we can work together in our shared future.

For your Sample History Search, you asked to see THE DEATH OF ADOLF HITLER on the date of AUGUST 13, 1908 in VIENNA, AUSTRIA. As it happens, THE DEATH OF ADOLF HITLER is one of our most popular requests, and Multiversity™ has developed an impressive pre-cached concordance on the subject, spanning most days of this subject’s entire lifespan. What does this mean for you? Simply that as a pre-researched event, if you were paying for this History Search, we could offer you this information on a substantially discounted basis: Some popular searches are available for as much as 65% off the “new search” price!

As you did not specify the particular details for THE DEATH OF ADOLF HITLER on AUGUST 13, 1908 in VIENNA, AUSTRIA, we are proud to offer you a random sampler of scenarios relating to the disposition of your search. In it you will see how varying the details of the event you’ve chosen can greatly influence the course of history. This is the famous “Butterfly Effect” – and we’re sure you’ll enjoy seeing the storms these butterflies bring about!

Because this is a Sample History Search, we regret that we may only provide summaries at this time. But should you wish to explore one or more of these alternate histories in greater detail, Mulitversity™ is proud to offer you a Detailed Historical Statement – a $300 value – for just $59.95. Please contact one of our sales representatives to take advantage of this Special Offer!

Thanks again for choosing Multiversity™—It’s a great time to be with us™.

Scenario #1

Event: ADOLF HITLER is KILLED by MUGGING ATTEMPT ON THE STEPS OF THE ACADEMY OF FINE ARTS VIENNA

As a result: World War I proceeds; Weimar Republic proceeds; World War II delayed until 1948; US drops atomic bomb on Berlin in 1952; Neil Armstrong first man on the moon, 1972

Scenario #2

Event: ADOLF HITLER is KILLED by OPIUM JUNKIE LOOKING FOR MONEY

As a result: World War I proceeds; Weimar Republic proceeds; World War II averted; Germany and Britain form economic union, declare war on France in 1958; Malcolm Evans first man on the moon, 1975

Scenario #3:

Event: ADOLF HITLER is KILLED by RUNAWAY HORSE-DRAWN WAGON FILLED WITH BRATWURST, THE FOURTH SUCH FATALITY IN VIENNA IN SIX DAYS

As a result: Vienna passes tough horse-drawn vehicle laws, prompting the quick acceptance of automobiles; Austria becomes automotive industrial powerhouse; World War I proceeds, Germany and allies win thanks to technological advances; 30s worldwide depression averted; Willy Brandt first man on the moon, 1958

Scenario #4:

Event: ADOLF HITLER is KILLED by MULTIPLE KNIFE WOUNDS BY JEALOUS GAY LOVER WHO THINKS HIS BOYFRIEND IS CHEATING ON HIM WITH HITLER, WHO IN FACT IS TOTALLY INNOCENT AND HASN’T HAD SEX OF ANY SORT IN MONTHS, MUCH LESS GAY VIENNESE SEX

As a result: The trial of Felix von Weingartner, director of the Vienna Opera and the closeted, murdering gay lover in question, shocks and delights Viennese society; Hitler’s watercolors, formerly unsellable, become a hot commodity on the auction circuit before the novelty wears off. Hitler’s sister awarded a settlement; World War I proceeds, Germany and allies win; 30s depression not averted; virulent flu wipes out 38% of European population; US becomes world power; John Glenn first man on the moon, 1956

Scenario #5

Event: ADOLF HITLER is KILLED by SUFFOCATION WHEN INEXPLICABLY ENCASED IN AN ENORMOUS BLOCK OF UNFLAVORED GELATIN

As a result: Hitler only a random test subject for Gelatin Encasing Weapon, developed by the Russian aristocracy from technology pulled out of the spaceship that caused the Tunguska Event of June 30, 1908; the GEW subsequently used to assassinate enemies of Tsar Nicholas II, and then world leaders; World War I begins when Archduke Franz Ferdinand is spontaneously encased in gelatin while riding in a 1911 Graf und Stift Rois De Blougne tourer in Sarajevo and Young Bosnia opportunistically claims credit; World War I subsequently ends in 1915 when entire German divisions are gelatinized; Russia becomes sole super power. Vladimir Putin first man on the moon, 1988

Scenario #6

Event: ADOLF HITLER is KILLED by BULLET WOUND IN CROSSFIRE BETWEEN TIME-TRAVELING ANTI-NAZIS SENT BACK TO KILL HIM AND TIME-TRAVELING NAZIS SENT BACK TO PREVENT HIS ASSASSINATION

As a result: Causality loop annihilates time and space surrounding Vienna, knocking everyone in the city back to 1529 and the eve of the First Turkish Seige; as the 20th century Viennese use their historical knowledge to help the 16th Century Viennese, time-traveling pro-Viennese forces appear and fight a pitched battle with time-traveling pro-Ottoman forces, pushing everyone back to 955 and the Battle of Lechfeld; when the time-traveling pro-Magyar forces show up, they are slaughtered by everyone else which is tired of all this time-traveling crap, thereby ending the causality loop. Vienna becomes world power; Henry Jasomirgott first man on the moon, 1155

Scenario #7

Event: ADOLF HITLER is KILLED by MARATHON FORNICATION BY SIX VIENNESE PROSTITUTES

As a result: Prostitutes arrested and revealed as libidinous time-travelers from a very sexy future who teach the Viennese their futuristic ways of astro-pleasure; Janine Lindemulder first woman on the moon, 1996

Scenario #8

Event: ADOLF HITLER is KILLED by VAPORIZATION WHEN METEOR HITS HIM SQUARE ON THE HEAD

As a result: No noticeable historical changes arise from event at all. However, as the meteor is a precursor to a massive asteroid cruising toward Earth, human history had only 22 hours, 16 minutes to develop from that point before being obliterated. Humanity wiped out along with Hitler and 93% of all species; society of rats rises and falls; society of frogs rises and falls; society of pillbugs rises and falls; society of squid rises and sticks; Gluugsnertgluug first squid on the moon, 2,973,004,412

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