I’m taking requests for Grimnoir quotes

As many of you know, my novel Hard Magic, Book 1 of the Grimnoir Chronicles is coming out soon.  Each chapter starts with a world building quote:  http://larrycorreia.wordpress.com/2009/12/13/all-the-grimnoir-quotes/  (here they are all if you’re curious)

The reason I do this is that it enables me to show a whole bunch of how this world is different than ours, without getting bogged down in a bunch of superflous worldbuilding (whee look how clever I am!). I’ve had a bunch of people who’ve read the eARC contact me and ask questions about “So what happened to so and so?” or “so how did this historical event turn out?” “How does such and such work in a magical world?”  Well, I’d love to answer those questions. 

So I still need to write several chapter opening quotes for Spellbound, Book 2 of the Grimnoir Chronicles. Do you guys have any requests? What would you like to read about? Any historical events, people, culture, history? I’m curious what you’d like to see. It would need to be between 1850 and February 1933, with the differences growing bigger over time. 

So let me know. I take requests. I’m flexible like that. :)

61 Responses

  1. I’d love to see a quote from Custer’s Last Stand if you haven’t covered that one already or, if so, one about Browning. I can guess what type of magic he had.

  2. Crud. I haven’t got the book yet! :)

    Great idea on both counts, though. I’ll have to suggest that to one of my authors, who needs a little help with framing worldbuilding; and it would make a great exercise for some of my students in my next seminar series.

    And I’m sure no one will ever think of accusing you of being lazy by asking for story prompts. ^_^

  3. What about something from the captains of industry at the time. Say someone like Henry Ford, Harvey Firestone, or Dale Carnegie. Maybe something from the DuPonts, or the Vanderbilts, or the Rockefellers.

  4. Jesse James.

  5. How about something related to the golden age of early aviation? Earheart, Lindbergh…

    • Another vote for the golden age of aviation. I know you had the Doolittle quote, but that was barely fiction. ;-)

  6. What would Brigham Young think, if magic was real?

    There is probably quite a bit in the Journal of Discourses you could bend to fit your needs (since it’s public domain and all).

  7. I’m not sure if FDR is still alive in the alternative past of the series, but February 1933 is only one month before his inauguration, and all of the New Deal shenanigans that came with him. Perhaps something ominous on him?

    • That’s not the only thing that happened to FDR in 1933. Miami was not a good spot for a vacation that year. :)

  8. Something from Wyatt Earp or Doc Holliday. Think about it: the gunfight at the OK Corral, only with magic.

  9. Spanish American War? How does the whole “I’ll form my own calvary and fight in the war! Bully!” idea pan out in the Grimnoir world?

    For that matter, how did our own civil war go down in the Grimnoir world?

    • This was what I was going to ask. One of the chapter head quotes from G1 was about Jackson, and some Union commander lamenting him being a Heavy. I wouldn’t mind hearing more about some of the more spectacular consequences of that. :)

      “Oh why, Lord, did you see fit to give that accursed Stonewall Jackson the strength of ten?”

      So, uh, I want more chapter quotes about one of your chapter quotes. ;)

  10. In the Wild West theme, how about an update on Bonnie and Clyde?

    On the foreign side of things, what happened with Chairman Mao (he was alive, if not in power, for the time period requested) or Karl Marx?

  11. The Wright brothers – how did powered flight come about in the HM world?

    Henry Ford was always good for quotes.

    How did the Native Americans fare?

  12. I love sports so I loved the bit on Babe Ruth. More on him would be cool. Thanks.

    • I like the Babe Ruth idea
      Here is a great little tidbit…

      In 1930, which was not a pennant year for the Yankees, Ruth was asked by a reporter what he thought of his yearly salary of $80,000 being more than President Hoover’s $75,000. His response: “I know, but I had a better year than Hoover.” That quote has also been rendered as, “How many home runs did he hit last year?” Ruth had supported Al Smith in the 1928 Presidential election, and snubbed an appearance with president Hoover.

  13. It seems to me that if you wanted something cultural, the famous opening paragraph of “The Call of Cthulhu” (written 1926, published 1928) would be the perfect thing to tweak – perhaps implying that the appearance of magic is another hint at the “terrifying vistas of reality”?

  14. A lot of good ones already covered. I would have to go with Nikola Tesla, John Moses Browning, the Wright Brothers, H.L. Mencken, Al Capone and Albert Einstein.

    • No Tesla, though I had one about him. Browning is a character. Mencken, Capone, and Einstein all had quotes in the first one. (Einstein got 2)

  15. Al Capone is could be interesting

  16. Maybe show how having slaves was in that universe. Did they grow food better because of hereditary gifts with crop-growing?
    What about the Emancipation Proclamation?

  17. How about some quote from John Wilkes Booth, famous actor? I’m kind of assuming that he doesn’t go around assassinating presidents in your timeline.

  18. I’d like to see how Sir Arthur Conan Doyle would handle it, given his interest in spiritualism. I’d imagine he would never resurrect Sherlock Holmes, or at least have a wildly different take on him.

    On a related note, what about Houdini? Doyle thought he possessed supernatural powers of his own anyway, despite him being an anti-spiritualist crusader.

  19. I’m gonna have to go with something from/on/about Aleister Crowley. 1875-1947, and man he would’ve been one weird(er) guy in that setting.

    • Holy crap, yeah. Between him and the Order of the Golden Dawn, they could have gotten up to all kinds of mischief with real magic at their fingertips.

  20. Hmmm… Doc Savage needs to get a word in… And if I recall correctly, the Hardy Boys were around in the early thirties… Hmm… Sam Spade?

  21. Sir Jackie Fisher of the Royal Navy- The John Browning of naval warfare. This was the guy who came up with the Destroyer and the Dreadnought (and had a hand in the adoption of the submarine and aircraft carrier).

    And quite the character, too.

  22. Bruno Hauptmann the man who committed the Lindberg kidnapping.

    • For what happens to him, you’ll have to read the short story, Detroit Christmas, which will be posted for free on the Baen webpage right around the relase of Hard Magic. :)

  23. Oh..definitely FDR, Houdini, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

    I’m trying to remember if you already dealt with Hitler in the first one, i’m thinking that you did. If not, definitely something from him since in our history in the early 1930s he was coming into power in Germany.

    Albert Einstein?

  24. Lots of testosterone in here. Lets not forget the fairer sex. Sister cary nation, “burning is too good for demon rum”, or susan b anthony, “universal suffering for women!”
    (Suffering, suffrage, same thing, right?)

  25. Zachary Taylor, first president to be magically assassinated….and covered up.

    thomas edison, alexander graham bell, how about some athletes maybe Jack Dempsy or Max Schleming.

  26. to build on that zachary taylor bit…..which resulted in the early formation of the secret service. it is not widely known that all secret service agents are actives.

  27. How about quotes from HG Wells, Edgar Rice Burroughs, or Jules Verne?

  28. I like the idea or Harry Houdini, as Nathan mentioned. I’d love a quote from Winston Churchill

    • I’ll add that Churchill was an unwilling guest of the Boer Republic (as a POW) in 1899, subsequently escaped captivity in South Africa, and traveled to Maputo, in Mozambique. 300 klicks across the wilds of Africa at the dawn of the 20th century? I don’t want to know the Churchill that didn’t have a pithy comment about that little escapade.

  29. I’m still a little annoyed about the airship meme, but I’ll be buying the next book in the series anyway.

    +1 on Tesla, Verne, Wells, Doyle, Ford, Erp, Holiday, and I’d like to hear more from Teddy Roosevelt.

    Maybe a few of the pre-war movie stars; Jimmy Stewert comes to mind.

    • You can’t have alternate history without Zeppelins, especially AH in the 1930’s. It’s a time-honored tradition. Break it and everybody reading will be like, “Hey! Where the hell are the freakin’ Zeppelins?!”

      I know I would.

  30. It would be interesting to hear Sigmund Freud’s comments on magic.

  31. I know it’s a little early but a quote from Ben Franklin would be awesome.

  32. I think it would be interesting to get the take of science fiction writers in the Grimnoir world. Asimov or Heinlein for example.

    • Don’t know about Asimov off the top of my head, but in 1933 Heinlein was, IIRC, an active duty Naval officer had not started his writing career.

      • The only other I can think of from that early would be John Campbel who was more an editor then a writer. He did write “Who Goes There?” though which was the source material for “The Thing”.

      • Why yes, in TGC’s 1933, Lt. Bobby Heinlein is stationed on the USS Lexington. Some of the Lexington’s aircraft were scrambled as a result of the REDACTED REDACTED attack in late February 1933, in order to battle the REDACTED.
        :)

  33. Unsurprisingly, folks have already beaten me to the Wright brothers… Aside from them, though, there is always Maxim, Gatling, and anything at all relating to the Civil War (Sherman and Grant would be interesting, in specific).

  34. I’d say Patton. Sure, most of the memorable quotes were WW2, but he was chasing Pancho Villa with Pershing and served in WW1.

    Mark Twain’s viewpoint would also be of interest.

  35. How about:

    May be something from John Brown, Wonder what he would have said if his raid on Harpers ferry was successful, or if he had waited a few years untill the civil war to attack

    Anything from:

    Fredrick Doglas, Dred Scott, Charles Darwin, Alfred Nobel, Thomas Edison, Louis Pasteur, Jack London, Albert Einstien, Theodore Roosevelt, or T.S Eliot.

    Finally
    What if Henry Clay had died young. No Compromise of 1850, civil war could have started 11 years eailer.

    May not be anything useful, but stuff I always wonderd about or wanted to talk to.

  36. I got to say something should be there about Custer/Custer’s last stand. One of the bigger pre-1900 events in American history.

    Something from/about Robery E. Lee would be interesting, say the end of the civil war, while magicals were still a new thing.

    Panama Canal? Mention heavies/brutes being used? Designed/assisted by Cogs?

  37. John Henry

    Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

    Alan Quartermain

    are my suggestions.

  38. Several things came to mind right away:
    1. The Boer war. Specifically, use of magic in the battle of Spion Kop. Churchhill’s “adventures” might also be interesting.
    2. Russian Revolution and Civil War. Specifically, the story with Germans giving free passage to a bunch of Bolsheviks through their territory in the hopes that these guys would topple the Tsar’s government and help Germany on the Russian front of WWI. Also, the mystery and legends around execution of the Tsar’s family might be a good source for a quote.
    3. Franco-Prussian war of 1870. With magic used to disrupt French communications during siege of Paris, instead of Krupp guns?

  39. Oh, one more thing:
    4. Crimean War of 1853-56. The Charge of “heavy” Light Brigade? :)

  40. Given that this was golden age of eugenics, it would be interesting to see quotes dealing with various eugenics advocates arguing for or against those with magical abilities. Which side would Margaret Sanger (and thus Planned Parenthood) have come down on? Given her purported connection to HG Wells, things could get interesting.

  41. New Soviet Man as it relates to the talented?

    For that matter, something about Von Lettow’s forces in the Great War would be interesting.

  42. Holy crap, I just realized that Monster Hunter Alpha is 800+ pages

  43. Lee’s quote at Appomattox, “I’d rather die a thousand deaths but now I must go and treat with General Grant, (or Sherman or Custer for that mater).

    Or Custer’s last stand? Or was it a last stand? Where he kept better unit cohesion, paid attention to his scouts? Took along his gatling guns? Where there even gatling guns around yet?

  44. Major Marcus Reno of the Seventh Cavalry:

    “I deployed and… charged down the valley…I however soon saw that I was being drawn into some trap…I could not see Custer or any other support and at the same time heard chanting, as the very earth seemed to emit balls of lightning, and they were gliding over the ground toward me in swarms and from all directions.”

  45. How did the coming of magic affect Pasteur, Koch, and the whole revolution in medicine caused by the discovery of bacteria and vaccines?

    John Henry beating the machine, because of his magic, might be fun.

    Colonial warfare: what happens when the native witch doctors can curse the invaders effectively?

    OMG, what did KIPLING have to say about magic?

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