Home « Forum « Story Ideas

Forum: Story Ideas

Do-Over idea

richardshagrin

Title: "There'll be bluebirds over the white cliffs of Do-Over"

Plot: Sent back in time before world war two. Works to help the allies conquer Germany. Interactions with major figures like Winston Churchill, General Marshal (item, he was unwilling to have the rank of Field Marshal because he did not want to be Marshal Marshal). Military, economic, political advice. Tell future Queen Elizabeth to avoid the Greek Prince Phillip. Set up a more robust French Resistance before the fall of France. Lots of opportunities: (reference Banadin's characters, the father and mother of Ricky Johnson.) Prevent the death of General Patton. Try do deemphasize strategic bombing, work for more infantry, less air force and airborne, better tanks. Might be an opportunity to assassinate Hitler before the war or get more Jews out of Europe. Warn about Pearl Harbor? Atomic Bomb? Prevent Russian Espionage or FDR's stroke?

Or perhaps efforts fail, where can hero go to live longer and prosper? The Cassandra problem, no one believes the prophet. There may be economic advantages to knowing about the coming war, even if can't be prevented or victory aided. Avoid being drafted. There may be several stories in this sort of approach. How to avoid the Depression? Stop Polio earlier? Avoid Vietnam?

Crumbly Writer

@richardshagrin

Or ...

Go back in time and stop the Black Plague from decimating Europe, only to them bring the higher virulent strain into modern times, where it quickly spreads world-wide, only to realize the same thing happened with the influenza outbreak during WWII?

Replies:   PotomacBob
richardshagrin

I suspect it might be politically incorrect to talk about a Black Plague. And would not be improved if it were called the African-American Plague. Likely it originated in Asia, perhaps if it were called the Plague from Asia the author of the story could get away with it.

I suspect decimation would be the wrong word for the century when the Plague from Asia killed lots of people. I am pretty sure decimation still meant ten percent deaths like the Romans meant when they used it.

The Influenza outbreak was just after World War One (known at that time as The Great War). If it had been during WWII Penicillin would have been available to help control it.

But the idea is a good starting place for a story, if the person doing over knew how to make Penicillin and how it was spread by fleas from rats considerable saving of lives could be achieved.

There might be consequences, my economics text discussing supply and demand indicated the reduction in the supply of workers introduced by the Plague, greatly increased wages and moved people from farm serfdom to urban areas as workers making goods. When nobles and other rich employers had to compete for workers, freedom increased as well as wages and improved working conditions. Every silver lining has a cloud wrapped around it. Stop the Plague, freedom may not spread.

Ernest Bywater

@richardshagrin

they could use the other names for it of Bubonic Plague or Black Death. More info here:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Death

Ernest Bywater

@richardshagrin

The 1918 flu epidemic was really bad because so many people had been in poor health due to the lack of proper care and feeding during WW1, thus their immunity was well down and they didn't have much in the way of body reserves to fight it.

Crumbly Writer

@richardshagrin

The "Black Death" was called that, not because it affected African-Americans, but because it creased black (tipped) blisters all over the body (I'm saying, not having researched it and operating from my lousy memory).

I've never heard any black individuals complain about the name "Black Death". Instead, they're more upset when "black" inherently means "bad guy" (like Darth Vader wearing all black in the Star Wars series).

Ernest, according to recent thinking, the ONLY reason why the Black Death plague killed 1/3 to 2/3rds of Europe is because the population was in such BAD health to begin with. After examining the virus (dug out of old corpses), they now think it's the same as the current Bubonic plague, which is NOWHERE near as virulent.

Replies:   Tim Merrigan  zellus  Not_a_ID
Tim Merrigan

@Crumbly Writer

OTOH we (European descendants) have had on the order of 600 years, or approximately 18 to 24 generations to build up immunity.

Replies:   Tim Merrigan
Tim Merrigan

@Tim Merrigan

(Lazeeze, it's still saying it's not my post to edit)

read (or see the TV series) Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond

Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)

@Tim Merrigan

Fixed.

IStivens

@richardshagrin

Since Patton died after VE Day, his death is moot. However, having MacArthur suffer at least a disabling heart attackstroke would make a good turning point. Also, having Rommel not get mixed up in the last plot to kill Hitler would be another. On the last, having him get captured in North Africa would make D-Day that much easier.

Replies:   Not_a_ID
Crumbly Writer

Or, if you're a Hun, curing Bubonic Plague may have saved Attila's empire.

sunseeker

one idea for a do-over I haven't seen is a guy given a second chance but instead of going back in time, is transferred to an early teens boy (12teen 13teen lol), in same time period, ie older guy dies 1 Jan 2015 and wakes in other body 2 Jan 2015, yet retains the knowledge and skills he has gained over the years. No super powers or future knowledge, just the skills and knowledge from his first life.

If anyone knows of a story like this please let me know, I'd be really interested in reading it. Gracias

Replies:   Ernest Bywater  Gauthier
Ernest Bywater

@sunseeker

There is a story like that on SOL, the guy and a kid are in hospital and the kid wants to die while the guy wants to live and they end up swapping bodies. I'll try to remember the name, but I'm sure someone else (like Massive Reader) will name it.

Replies:   sejintenej
Crumbly Writer

One do over idea I had, after reading many of them, was to have someone get the chance to go back, makes all these plans on how to make a gazillion dollars, but ends up as a poor black kid in a more racist past (i.e. he has no money to invest, no trader would ever make trades for him (and would likely keep his money) and he could only get a menial job). Thus he's have to sit back, and watch all the same mistakes get made, instead having to concentrate on building the best life he could. (It would probably work better if he was somewhat racist before, and/or he was sexist and comes back as a poor black girl.

However, I'm not sure I could pull off such a depressing story with little 'action' in the plot.

Still, it's an interesting thought to consider.

Replies:   Not_a_ID
Gauthier

@sunseeker

If anyone knows of a story like this please let me know,

Second Chance by Number 7
Body Swap by Clansman

Ernest Bywater

@Gauthier

Thanks for the links - Body Swap is the one I was thinking of and couldn't find.

sunseeker

@Gauthier

Thank you! I will check out Body Swap asap. Tried Second Chance a while back and didn't like it.

sejintenej
Updated:

@Ernest Bywater

There is one where the two are of roughly similar ages but one was a boy and the other a girl and swapped bodies and identities. I remember that the girl gets sent to a strict RC boarding school and gets assailed by things like monthlies.

Perhaps someone can come up with a title

Replies:   John Demille
John Demille

@sejintenej

Once more with feelings by The Night Hawk:

http://storiesonline.net/s/41504/once-more-with-feelings

Argon

@richardshagrin

The Influenza outbreak was just after World War One (known at that time as The Great War). If it had been during WWII Penicillin would have been available to help control it.

Sorry to be a know-all here, but Influenza is caused by a virus. In the case of the 1918 epidemic it was the Influenza virus A, strain H1N1. Penicillin and other antibiotics are not active against viruses.
Penicillin acts against a number of bacteria, such as streptococci and staphylococci, by blocking the assembly of their protective cell wall. Viruses have no cell wall. They are not even cells, only nucleoprotein particles comprised of coat proteins, reproductive enzymes and either DNA or RNA as genetic material.
So, whilst an earlier arrival of Penicillin might have saved thousands of lives that were lost due to wound and venereal infections, it would have done diddly squat against the Influenza.

Replies:   Dominions Son  madnige
Dominions Son
Updated:

@Argon


So, whilst an earlier arrival of Penicillin might have saved thousands of lives that were lost due to wound and venereal infections, it would have done diddly squat against the Influenza.


You are correct. The medical advance most responsible for reducing influenza deaths in general is intravenous fluids (IV) Which interestingly enough also dates to the time period between WW1 and WW2, 1932 to be precise.

around 90% of influenza deaths are the result of dehydration due to the combination of vomiting and diarrhea.

madnige

@Argon

it would have done diddly squat against the Influenza.


--surely it would have had some effect: not directly against the virus, but rather by reducing the load on the immune system by clearing various bacterial infections.

Replies:   Not_a_ID
anja
Updated:

@richardshagrin

There is an excellent timeline with something like the original setting on Alternatehistory

And They Shall Reap the Whirlwind

by Sbiper

Modern history professor wakes up in the body of Arthur Harris in February 1942.

You need to sign up to read

Michael Loucks

Check out Agent of Byzantium by Harry Turtledove.

It's a collection of short stories are set in an alternate 14th century, where Islam never existed and the Eastern Roman Empire and Sassanid Persia have survived.

One of the stories centers on finding a vaccination for smallpox when Constantinople is affected by the disease.

zellus

@Crumbly Writer

"black" inherently means "bad guy" (like Darth Vader wearing all black in the Star Wars series).


Wow, I didn't know that batman was bad....

Replies:   StarFleet Carl
StarFleet Carl

@zellus

Wow, I didn't know that batman was bad....


That's why he's called the 'Dark Knight'.

While he goes after criminals, he doesn't follow the law in doing so. Basically he's a vigilante.

Centaur

I've not seen a Girl/woman do-over. I read one or two where a Male returned to a female body. but i've haven seen a woman return to her younger sellf like the males have.

samuelmichaels

@Centaur

I've not seen a Girl/woman do-over. I read one or two where a Male returned to a female body. but i've haven seen a woman return to her younger sellf like the males have.

You may want to scan http://do-over.wikifoundry.com/

tendertouch

@Centaur

I've not seen a Girl/woman do-over


I don't know of any told from the woman's perspective but at the very least 'Retreads' and 'Building a Better Past' feature major female characters that are doing it over.

madnige
Updated:

@Centaur


I've not seen a Girl/woman do-over.


Aroslav's Not This Time is FA back to her own teen years.

ETA:
Over on BtFH, Bruce Bretthauer & Colin Keizer's The Road Taken...and Taken is a FA/gi do-over / 2-way swap.

Replies:   Centaur
Centaur

@madnige

Aroslav's Not This Time is FA back to her own teen years.


I have to thank you. i've read this and had forgotten it. While it was a good read. I'm not sure i would call this a true Do-Over as at the end seemed to me to hint at it was all a drunken dream.

PotomacBob

@richardshagrin

Might be an opportunity to assassinate Hitler before the war


Somebody already did that. I read it many years ago. It was Eleander Morning (1984) by Jerry Yulsman. Not sure whether it might still be available

PotomacBob

@Crumbly Writer

the influenza outbreak during WWII?


Wasn't that World War I?

Replies:   Dominions Son
richardshagrin

I wonder if killing Hitler in 1913 would avert World War II. Hitler didn't start the Nazi party. The inflation that caused the currency to become almost worthless that disillusioned many Germans would still occur and somebody would have developed a simple, wrong answer how to cure Germany's problems. The Communists of Germany had considerable political power, the right wing might have emerged with emergency powers even if Hitler was not there. There is an interesting book to be written about what happened to Germany in the 1930s without Hitler. More than just Hitler was willing to blame the Jews, Communists, and non-Ayrians for everything bad and give them the power to fix the problems.

Jedd11

@Centaur

I too, would like to see such a story. Though I have never seen one with a female lead, there are a few with such characters, as others pointed out. I would like to add the Twice Lucky series by JoeJ. I am not always a fan of do overs, but this was a highly rated story, with at least three, that I recall, female characters such as you mention.

Dominions Son

@PotomacBob

Wasn't that World War I?


Yes and no. The Spanish Flu pandemic started in Jan 1918, WWI ended in Nov of 1918. However, the Spanish Flu pandemic ran until Dec 1920.

So technically, it started in the last year of WWI, but most of it's run was between the two world wars.

Not_a_ID

@IStivens

Since Patton died after VE Day, his death is moot. However, having MacArthur suffer at least a disabling heart attackstroke would make a good turning point. Also, having Rommel not get mixed up in the last plot to kill Hitler would be another. On the last, having him get captured in North Africa would make D-Day that much easier.


It is a toss up on a lot of this. POW Rommel would be an interesting alt-History item, as I understand he seems to have been one of those people who wasn't actually a Nazi but fought for his country anyway. His being around for the post-war European Reconstruction period would likely have had long lasting consequences.

Likewise a captured Admiral Yammamoto(sp?) would be interesting for comparable reasons.

MacArthur is complicated, not a fan of him as a general, but as the commander in charge of the occupation of Japan in the post-war period, he was pretty amazing.

Keeping Patton alive in the post-war would likewise be likely to change a number of things as well(particularly if you run with the idea that he was assassinated). With him alive, Korea and Vietnam in particular probably would have been different kinds of wars. Yes, he was a Tank guy, but with the kind of rapport he held with his troops...

Replies:   Capt. Zapp
Not_a_ID

@madnige

--surely it would have had some effect: not directly against the virus, but rather by reducing the load on the immune system by clearing various bacterial infections.


Only in a small number of cases. It would help guard against secondary infections, but doesn't address the matter of dehydration or malnutrition(due to vomiting). So to help with that you're going to also need to develop the saline solution that is used for IVs.

Not_a_ID

@Crumbly Writer

Ernest, according to recent thinking, the ONLY reason why the Black Death plague killed 1/3 to 2/3rds of Europe is because the population was in such BAD health to begin with. After examining the virus (dug out of old corpses), they now think it's the same as the current Bubonic plague, which is NOWHERE near as virulent.


Poor health, poor nutrition, poor hygiene, and extremely poor sanitary conditions in general as streets were often open sewers.

You certainly didn't want to drink the water unless it had some amount of alcohol content mixed in(which killed the nasties for you, but they didn't know that).

They had little to no concept of boiling water, or putting cloth into boiling water in order to sterilize it and make it safe for use. In many of those cases, the best approach would be education on better sanitary practices in general. Rather than bestowing them with something like penicillin and opening the door to antibiotic resistant bacteria before they know how to address it.

Not_a_ID
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer


One do over idea I had, after reading many of them, was to have someone get the chance to go back, makes all these plans on how to make a gazillion dollars, but ends up as a poor black kid in a more racist past (i.e. he has no money to invest, no trader would ever make trades for him (and would likely keep his money) and he could only get a menial job). Thus he's have to sit back, and watch all the same mistakes get made, instead having to concentrate on building the best life he could. (It would probably work better if he was somewhat racist before, and/or he was sexist and comes back as a poor black girl.


A couple alternative options here: They end up in the Civil War era as that black child. So they get some exposure to slavery before it ends, but then at least have a chance to get clear of it. (Although escape via the Underground Railroad is an option too)

Another option is parking them in the "Jim Crow" era South and working their way free from that. Obviously sticking around in the South in either case is a bad idea, but it gives them a large challenge from the start but not insurmountable ones. It also means their "road to easy street" is going to have plenty of potholes along the way because racism/sexism will factor in at various times(but not always).

Edit: In most cases, the biggest challenge for the freed slaves and their descendants was education. So as long as the MC already has that education, and the grit to make use of it(and possibly share (informally) with others).....

Capt. Zapp

@Not_a_ID

Admiral Yammamoto(sp?)


Admiral Yamamoto

Replies:   Michael Loucks
Michael Loucks

@Capt. Zapp

Admiral Yamamoto


Or, to be exact: 山本 五十六 (Yamamoto Isoroku)

Back to Top