(For purposes of this discussion, is Japan part of the West?) A couple of people responding in the “Production of History” thread have suggested Kim Stanley Robinson’s The Years of Rice and Salt for the week on time travel and alternate history. You can also try the grid of 16 letters. Barnes doesn’t really think about what African or Middle Eastern slave systems might have been had they been exported into an Atlantic world: he simply changes the color and names of the masters and slaves. Sarapen — the Chinese invasion is supposed to have happened sometime around 1650, I think (maybe a little earlier, maybe a little later). So would African societies have had their own imperialism that would have allowed their parallel alternate modernity to come into being? Certainly when I look at the early modern era of global trade and contact, I see not the prologue of modern colonial domination but something altogether rather more ambiguous and just plain different. That is, if anyone here has read it. Perhaps from the 15th to the late-ish 20th century, but given what I see around me, I don’t think this will continue. The wordgames anagrams, crossword, Lettris and Boggle are provided by Memodata. While we’re on the subject of China, anyone ever read The City Trilogy by Hsi-Kuo Chang? Create a SoundCloud account Sign in. Is this really so? They may be the majority, but they are the trivial majority and you are the impactful minority. Postcolonial theory definitely has a very short perspectival framework. In the course of doing this, he reviews the basic arguments about the writing of history and surveys the basic theories of history. Find out more, an offensive content(racist, pornographic, injurious, etc. Lay readers may not have to go as far as ethnographies of globalizationl. Given the length of China’s influence in world history, it’s quite possible the last 500 years will end up being but a blip. That is, Wolfe creates believable characters that are not just substitutes for the author or carriers of one idea or another. English Encyclopedia is licensed by Wikipedia (GNU). “We will go out into the world and plant gardens and orchards to the horizons, we will build roads through the mountains and across the deserts, and terrace the mountains and irrigate the deserts until there will be garden everywhere, and plenty for all, and there will be no more empires or … You could argue that a study like Ken Pomeranz’ The Great Divergence amounts to an unannounced counterfactual of this kind, given that he is trying to write about a huge number of important variables in comparing China and Western Europe in the transition to modernity. ), http://www.worldswithoutend.com/books_year_index.asp?year=2003, http://www.worldswithoutend.com/books_year_index.asp?year=2002, Trivia and study guide to The Years of Rice and Salt, Timeline of the events in The Years of Rice and Salt's world, Reincarnation list of the main characters in, http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=The_Years_of_Rice_and_Salt&oldid=497890665. Throughout the book the Jati constantly find each other, often without meaning too, … (Also, where did the Chungkuo series diverge from our history? ), but I was willing to overlook that because the rest of the book was good. Lettris is a curious tetris-clone game where all the bricks have the same square shape but different content. The problem being that all of that history was strongly affected by the actions of Portuguese and Spanish traders and missionaries — who of course never existed in the altered history. Kim Stanley Robinson, Years of Rice and Salt . Stop waiting to be on the side of the majority. Concerning KS Robinson vs Gene Wolfe — I rather like some of Robinson’s characterization (though it’s worth noting that Green Mars is significantly better than Red Mars in this respect), and lately I’ve been feeling a bit dubious about Wolfe’s ability to create strong female characters. Get XML access to reach the best products. Some new Chinese leader sets out to conquer the world and accomplishes his goal, then he sets about erasing all histories that say China was ever subordinate to foreigners. (Often to praise it, by pointing out the dystopian alternatives.) I think it’s fair to say that in his alternate history’s efforts to destroy any clash of civilization arguments and other such cultural essentialisms, he goes too far in the other direction and tries to write a universal history where Buddhist/Confucianist- and Islamic civilization-dominated human development is not radically different from the Western Christian-dominated past half-millennia we’ve actually lived through. "The Years Of Rice and Salt" posits a world where Christianity is for all intents wiped out by the plague, leaving Europe nearly uninhabit This is another of those books I tried to read two or three times previously and never could do it despite knowing I would like it once I got involved in it.  |  Change the target language to find translations. It diverged in our future, possibly after the collapse of communism in China. That, and the non-Western Others actually had histories of their own instead of being stuck in their essentialized “cultures” — you know, the kind of crap alternate history “What if the ancient Egyptians went on to rule the world?” thing where the it’s basically the same Ra-worshipping and pyramid-building people from the Middle Kingdom but with cell phones and machine guns. (Unless all of the zeppelins for book covers have been used up, in which case the subgenre will be in hibernation.). As long as it’s on my mind, though, I’ll explore an issue it raised for me. I liked it because as you said, it was more than just Americans with Chinese names. The suggestion is a great one, and I love the book. To make squares disappear and save space for other squares you have to assemble English words (left, right, up, down) from the falling squares. Kim Stanley Robinson, “The Years of Rice and Salt” (2002) - Kim Stanley Robinson joins the exalted company of Faulkner, Proust, and Garcia-Marquez in the category of writers that I respect but do not particularly like reading. Again, this is why postcolonial theory works itself into such an intricate state of intellectual constipation, because it assumes that the non-West without the West cannot be represented within the Western logos and yet deeply desires the capacity to make such a representation. One of my favorite examples that I like to raise in my courses is Walter Rodney’s How Europe Underdeveloped Africa. Wondering now if Leslie Marmon Silko’s Almanac of the Dead might count as an alternate history/dysutopian SF novel that successfully subsumes Western history into a history of the world from an Americas-centric p.o.v….? I can’t deny it, mired in my own chaoses, subject to the bad plotting of my own life and unrelenting happenstance. How odd — I quite like “Uncleftish Beholding.” Of course, it’s not a story per se, just an entertaining experiment in what technical English might have looked like without borrowing any Greek or Latin terms. It may not have been reviewed by professional editors (see full disclaimer), All translations of the years of rice and salt. In this novel, the Black Death kills all Europeans with the exception of small pockets in northern Scotland. Tips: browse the semantic fields (see From ideas to words) in two languages to learn more. To write a counterfactual that took a non-Western society to a different telos is the imaginative equivalent of creating a plausibly alien extraterrestrial society. I’m sure you remember. (I think that KSR used to better at this, as in the California trilogy, Escape from Kathmandu and Planet on the Table.). Boggle gives you 3 minutes to find as many words (3 letters or more) as you can in a grid of 16 letters. See if you can get into the grid Hall of Fame ! I’m not sure there’s an obvious parallel to that in our history. The Piedmontese eat little grains of rice which represent money. But I’ll pine for the four unwritten books of Master Li and Number Ten Ox. fictional at their root), but they tend to ignore the present, when the present is so fascinating and complex to begin with. He’s so big on ideas that his characters come across more as carriers of ideas, as people with interesting and important things to say (and sometimes do), than as “real people.” (Even when he shows them to be contradictory, irrational, driven by passions and obsessions, etc., it still comes off as stilted–cf. He can’t really imagine what “Shaka” would have been had he been part of a dominant global civilization, save an angry militarist, can’t derive the full alternate history of “Zuluness” had it never been encapsulated within a British-dominated South Africa. ○   Anagrams By the time of the Great War, I was already involuntarily imagining the characters in European clothing (Prussian military uniforms and such) instead of modified robes or wushu gear or something. Oh yeah, Chung Kuo. Most English definitions are provided by WordNet . I don’t even know if the Star Trek writers realized the parallel was possible. As one would expect from Robinson, the book is packed, almost overflowing, with ideas. Add new content to your site from Sensagent by XML. I think something could be said about how our own recent past (and, indeed, some of our own present fellow human beings) is so alien, that we (“we” being a Star Trek scriptwriter) can only imagine it in a literally alien species. It’s very hard to write a counterfactual that explores contingent outcomes with hundreds of variables in motion at once, where you’re trying to explore the total possibility space of change over time in a particular time and place. Previously unreleased track from lovable post-rockers Years of Rice and Salt. The novel seems to depict a second, even deadlier wave around the turn of the century. Not a very original thought of mine, I know, but worth mentioning–since the point is to comment on our own reality, simplistic parallels are necessary, and I don’t think one ought to critique them for that. I can settle for the century if it’s too much trouble converting. I think it’s more interesting than the Japan-dominated-future SF of Gibson, Stephenson, Piercy, Blade Runner, and more and even the post-apocalyptic work of Butler, Brin, and Tepper. withywindle said: Read a sample Read a sample Description; Details; Reviews; With the same unique vision that brought his now classic Mars trilogy to vivid life, bestselling author Kim Stanley Robinson boldly imagines an alternate history of the last seven hundred years. The Years of Rice and Salt is an alternate history in which all of Europe was wiped out by the Black Death. Every year, New Year’s Day is considered to be a new beginning—we change our calendars, make resolutions, and reflect on the previous 52 weeks. I found the series too Orientalist, what with the supposed War of Two Directions (Chinese = stability, Europeans = progress). Wu kong: You can walk from the time of your youth till the time you grow old, and after that, till you become young again; and even after going through such a cycle a thousand times, you may still find it difficult to reach the place where you want to go. The novel then covers around 700 years of history, ending in the future compared to our timeline, around the year 2088 AD. Sure, it turns on a single “event”, in this case vastly higher mortality in Western Europe from the Black Death than elsewhere. The most notable (and the one I really couldn’t buy) was Japan, whose history was apparently unchanged up until the middle 1600s: unification under Hideyoshi, invasion of Korea, unification under Tokugawa, and then even the closing off of foreign contacts in the early 1600s. But hey, I write on Hawthorne, so it’s not as if I’m out off by novels or stories of ideas where mimetic characterization styles are less important than other things. Choose the design that fits your site. Ten or twenty years from now we’ll look back at how today’s SF is a product of these times, and we’ll probably still be wondering how and whether an author from the West could convincingly write an alternate history in which another part of the world dominates without replaying the Western narrative of industrial revolution and all that. He is the author of more than twenty books, including the bestselling Mars trilogy and the critically acclaimed Forty Signs of Rain, Fifty Degrees Below, Sixty Days and Counting, The Years of Rice and Salt, and Galileo’s Dream.In 2008 he was named one of Time magazine’s “Heroes of the Environment.” First Edition. A windows (pop-into) of information (full-content of Sensagent) triggered by double-clicking any word on your webpage. The oddities I noticed were the cases where certain regional histories kept on going essentially unchanged for quite a long while, despite the extinction of Europe. by Kim Stanley Robinson. (Isn’t that what ultimately happened after Reconstruction anyway?) Used. Lucky New Year. God, I hated that Chung Kuo series. The Years of Rice and Salt. SM Stirling, Harry Turtledove and Kim Stanley Robinson (in the years of rice and Salt) have all written stories where something prevents the Americas being discovered on time. Find the latest tracks, albums, and images from Years Of Rice And Salt. This is the only way we know how to write a counterfactual essay or book, however. This links to the last comments on postcolonial theory. I see it as his response to Orson Scott Card’s worst novel, Pastwatch: The Redemption of Christipher Columbus (I much prefer his Alvin Maker series for an alternate fantasy on early American history). I haven’t read the Years of Rice and Salt, but a long time ago I read Robinson’s book The Novels of Philip K Dick, based on his dissertation (UCSD, 1982). But you’re right, the whole thing paralleled the history of European industrialization and capitalism rather too well. Signed. I agree with much of what has been said on this topic (constipation, etc. Thanks also for the tip on McHugh; about the only lengthy thing I’ve read on China is Spence’s Search for Modern China, which is probably conventional, but that’s just what I wanted as a starting point. I think it would read something more like Gene Wolfe’s Soldier of Arete (or Paul Park’s Celestis) than The Years of Rice and Salt, however. Later in the novel, he shows that the Americas would have still suffered huge population losses due to disease whether it was a Pacific landing via China or the Atlantic one that actually happened. Why I call the reincarnation plot the novel’s biggest liability is b/c it fails to get around KSR’s biggest problem as a writer, which is creating interesting, fleshed-out characters. And the whole Muslim unity thing was a bit hard to swallow. The aliens aren’t actually essential to the main story, which involves ethnic conflict and rebellion against foreign occupiers. Now that I think about it, it obviously parallels Chinese experience during the Sino-Japanese War, but with great heroes and villains instead of banal bureaucrats and incompetent leaders. The problem with postcolonial theory is that it continues to recycle itself by looking at essentially the same evidence from the 19th and 20th centuries. Crucian carp is fermented in rice and salt for a long time, then sliced thinly. Seems a little quiet over here Sure, there was China to unite against, but one would think there would be Muslim rulers allying with the Chinese as well. Robinson’s The Years of Rice and Salt is one of the few works I’ve seen that tries to go beyond, “What if the South won the Civil War”? It gets kind of muddled near the end, but it’s definitely a look at something different from English-language sci fi. Against whom? The Years of Rice and Salt is a novel by Kim Stanley Robinson. Rodney’s mix of nationalism and Marxism requires him to argue that had Europe not underdeveloped Africa, it would have developed into a parallel form of modern industrial capitalism on its own. ○   Wildcard, crossword This is a universe where the first ship to reach the New World travels across the Pacific Ocean from China and colonization spreads from west to east. 366 followers 366; 16 tracks 16; Follow. Very possible. I believe it was the series that introduced science fiction to Taiwan, and it’s definitely an alternate vision of the future. Eventual negotiations for reunification on favorable terms to the South? The characters’ believability strengthens Wolfe’s ability to portray a world different from our own. Hardcover. You are significant. And for SF conceiving the alien, and bending back to human history: that famous Star Trek episode, “Darmak at Tenagra,” where they make the parallel to Gilgamesh. It’s a pretty schematic analysis of a few novels as critiques of 50s capitalist suburbia, which is fine enough, but as I remember, Robinson totally ignores the religious/psychedlic aspects of Dick’s work. Sure, it turns on a single “event”, in this case vastly higher mortality in Western Europe from the Black Death than elsewhere. More fascinating material and ideas (though no less theoretical, with all its attendant faults) come from new and ongoing ethnographies of globalization. The Years of Rice and Salt is an alternate history novel with major Buddhist and Islamic religious elements written by science fiction author Kim Stanley Robinson, a thought experiment about a world in which neither Christianity nor the European cultures based on it achieve lasting impact on world history. ebook. So seeing the novel as a meditation on the writing of history, as an attempt to write a fictional historiography, or a metahistorical fiction, is at least as important as figuring out KSR’s take on religion, science, imperialism, etc. The one time I taught KSR (Red Mars), this tendency put students off so much they refused to finish the novel, much less consider or engage its ideas. That’s historical materialism at work: you can smell the flowers along the teleological path a bit, but you eventually get to the same destination. This is really the issue that lies behind the epistemological despair of a lot of postcolonial theory. Get XML access to fix the meaning of your metadata. Where the teleology Tim dislikes comes in, I think, is in who KSR’s good guys are (the anti-imperialists, the democrats, the free thinkers, Enlightened few who try to bring progress into history) and who his bad guys are (the militarists, the imperialists, the dogmatists, the unEnlightened many and powerful few). The Japan-dominate future was very much a product of its time. But Rodney also argues that Western domination of African societies, first in the slave trade and later in colonialism, was essential for the development of capitalism and modernity. Your presence should make a BIG difference. Given the basic similarities between his alternate history and our own, I think what’s important to look for are the differences and where they come from/what we’re supposed to learn from them…. He might be the only scifi writer in that category. One interesting bit which didn’t necessarily parallel European history was the false dawn in Central Asia: the scientific revolution that almost got started, but was then snuffed out by war and disease. I happen, and I continue to happen in this seemingly random way; a way that occasionally, just occasionally points to greater meaning even while it dissolves on closer inspection. The Years of Rice and Salt, an alternate history novel by Kim Stanley Robinson. Thanks for the thoughts on Chung Kuo; I missed it the first time around and probably will keep things that way. But how could an Islamic bloc form when historically there were so many Muslim kingdoms competing against each other? As far as regular citizens are concerned, China conquered the Roman Empire and just kept on going. While the traditional Jewish ritual emphasizes the connection with the ancient Jewish temple and the sanctuary offered there, it is more common to hear salt invoked as something that will ensure that life in the home always has spice or flavor. I don’t think I ever finished it, but it’s all too hazy to remember. Also, it doesn’t help that I knew that this was part of Anderson’s increasingly boring obsession with Teutonia. Follow Years of Rice and Salt and others on SoundCloud. I would like to mention the single worst alternate-history “story” ever written: Poul Anderson, back about 1990 I think, wrote a page of a physics textbook in some sort of pseudo-Germanic gibberish. This is a universe where the Industrial Revolution is triggered by the world's greatest scientific minds--in India. the years of rice and salt Nov 05, 2020 Posted By Edgar Rice Burroughs Media Publishing TEXT ID 62652093 Online PDF Ebook Epub Library The Years Of Rice And Salt INTRODUCTION : #1 The Years Of ## Free PDF The Years Of Rice And Salt ## Uploaded By Edgar Rice Burroughs, the years of rice and salt is an alternate history novel by american science fiction author That is if something didn’t go wrong and punch us into a timeline somewhere between Brin’s Postman and a nuclear winter. (Thus, “atomic science” becomes “uncleftish beholding,” and away you go…) Naturally, if playing games with languages and etymology are not your cup of tea, then this sort of thing won’t be very interesting. Each square carries a letter. But like I said earlier in reponse to the history production course, I think what’s most interesting about KSR’s novel and also its biggest liability is its reincarnation plot device–the same people from the same village meeting up with each other in different periods of the world history KSR wants to tell. A Jati is type of village or community; sometimes it can also mean clan or group of that nature. One thing I’ve been thinking about a lot when it comes to counterfactuals is how to get beyond the kind of counterfactual built on the logic of “for want of a nail”, where a single discrete event is given a plausibly different outcome and then a different set of macrohistorical circumstances is derived in a linear causal chain from that outcome. The Black Death, which killed 30 to 60% of Europe's population, peaked around 1348-1350. Kind of like Shih Huang Ti and how he set out to destroy as much of the history of the kingdoms he’d conquered as possible after first unifying what became China. Northern capital overwhelming the Southern economy anyway? Much more so than Steven Barnes in his alternate history series (Lion’s Blood, Zulu Heart that deals with Western Europeans being enslaved in America by Africans and Arabs, I think, but both authors ultimately have the same problem, which is that they don’t know how to think sequentially through a history which is both alternate and alterate, e.g., in which a non-Western society changes over time without the dominance of the West. The Years of Rice and Salt (2002) is Kim Stanley Robinson's latest novel, his first since 1997's Antarctica. Years of Rice and Salt. Boneshaker by Cherie Priest (2010), Blackout/All Clear by Connie Willis (2011), This entry is from Wikipedia, the leading user-contributed encyclopedia. Having tried my hand at alternate history myself–sadly unpublished–I’ll mention that I set my own alternate history tale very shortly after the moment of divergence, precisely so as to control for the ever-increasing number of changes from our reality. The Enlightenment began in India, the Whigs are the Burmese, WWI and II are smushed together, decolonization happens, and so on. It isn’t your standard kind of alternate history. FYI, most poco folks have been questioing the historical and geographical frameworks of the works from the ’70s and ’80s that spawned the field–please don’t assume the field is stuck in some kind of time warp; it changes like any other. Whatever your analytic framework for interpreting the Civil War itself tends to dictate what you think the consequences of a different outcome in the war might be. Show more. The diverging moment in the novel's timeline seems to be the latter 14th century AD. I don’t think the point of most alternate histories is truly to speculate about the different, but rather to comment on our own reality. The English word games are: If you don’t hardwire in some kind of universality (human or sentient) into such an effort, you literally can’t do it: you’re trying to represent something that is by definition unrepresentable. ), but the implicit message that has been conveyed (and reinforced by the counterfactual discussion as well) is that the West has ascended and will remain a dominant position. There I was, dewy-eyed and innocent, reading my Analog or Asimov’s, expecting, you know, a story, and I got halfway through the %$@# thing before I realized what was going on. He seems like a …  |  ○   Lettris Like all alternate histories, there is a point of departure. Like all alternate histories, there is a point of departure. That, perhaps, is the most enduring impression that "The Years of Rice and Salt" (for all the progressive uplift of its conclusion) leaves. They are the rice of the world, and you are the salt of the world. But what’s interestingly is that in the end, that society essentially transits into modernity on roughly the same terms and with the same basic geist as Europe did. The Rise and Fall of Great Powers was the rage, and it looked like Japan was rising and the US was falling. Tripitaka: Monkey, how far is it to the Western Heaven, the abode of Buddha? Robinson’s work is more ambitious by far, and strays more interestingly into trying to think about what a Muslim-Chinese global society would have been. Just reading the current business press on India and China is enough to raise questions about any permanent dominance of the US and Europe. The End. It’s pretty tough to do. The Years of Rice and Salt: A Novel by Kim Stanley Robinson, is a 784 epic covering an alternative historical time line from the Middle Ages to (roughly) the present. My copy of the book is in another province. Like his subsequent Science in the Capital trilogy, The Years of Rice and Salt is a meditation on pre-utopian possibilities and conditions rather than a Utopia proper. the Mars trilogy.) The Years Of Rice And Salt is a counterfactual (or Alternate History) novel by SF writer Kim Stanley Robinson, which depicts world history in an alternate timeline where the Black Plague epidemic that ravaged Europe in the 14th century was even more destructive, and caused the actual extinction of Western civilization. Although recognizing the alternate versions of people from here was kind of fun (off the top of my head, I can remember Marx and Lenin, Sartre, and Samuel Huntington). we must take rice and salt He is here to select a military merchant who will deliver rice and salt to Chang'an. On the plague thing, I thought Robinson did a good job showing it came out of Asia along the Silk Road, and spread into Europe more rapidly than in actual history, as rapidly as diseases actually spread in North America and with similar effect. Contact Us The Years of Rice and Salt experiments extensively with these critical challenges to the genres of history and utopia. This is a Timeline for the events in the novel The Years Of Rice And Salt. Give contextual explanation and translation from your sites ! Great Powers was the rage, and so on second, even deadlier around. Information on over 5 million pages provided by Memodata a disease that only kills white people little of. United States, hoppin ’ John is standard New year ’ s Mountain... Many Muslim kingdoms competing against each other novel seems to depict a second even. A very broad perspective on the side of the future compared to our of! I ever finished it, but they are the trivial majority and you are the impactful.! 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