IRL, Islamic Spain ended around 1250, with the collapse of the Almohads. Andalusada is the story of how that civilization never died; how its death was, in fact, derailed before it could begin. Even more importantly than that, however, Andalusada is the story of how that derailing (and the survival) changed the world beyond recognizability into uncanniness.
I'm not purely making things up as I go, though. There are some rules of thumb. Here they are.
- A century of grace. There's no reason to think that anybody
recognizable would be born within a few generations of the first changes
being made. After a few centuries, people won't be, and I'm okay with that. The problem is that this dramatically increases my workload, which is already staggering as it is.
My solution was alluded to here: after the cumulative impact of Andalusada's changes reaches a new geographic region, there's a 100-year grace period during which I'll allow people to be born. The longer the drift between the start of that grace period and their birth, the less recognizable they'll be; even if they have the same name, they aren't going to be living in the same world. My only commitment is a sense of fidelity to what I perceive as the essence of that person's IRL historical role.
- Alt-history of superstructure as well as base. One thing that pisses me off immensely is that the same ideas
always happen in so many ATLs, and usually they play out in exactly the
same way. Yes, yes, it's 1500. An off-model Martin Luther is going to
nail theses to an off-model Wittenberg door, and they're going to be exactly the same in substance and consequence. Fuck that noise.
Ideas don't appear in a vacuum. They appear in a context. And that context is being changed, update by update, by what I set in motion in Barcelona over the winter in 1081. I will change those ideas - perhaps not radically, because I'm a wannabe intellectual and don't actually know how to do much radically; but subtly and sometimes profoundly. And I will explore the consequences of those changes.
Believe it or not, that's actually easier for me to think about than the wars and famines.
- Steampunk social science. One side effect of a changed superstructure is that the world will radically get... rather alien. In particular, social
science will become different enough that it's fair to call them
"steampunk." Recognizable results will be replicated, but they will be
achieved by radically anachronistic methods.
I alluded to this a bit introducing Oliver Farrell, when I first hinted at (and will one day explain at length) Waldensianism being far more important in Andalusada than IRL. I'm willing to discuss that further.
- Rule of Cool. This is a story. This is an epic story.
This is the story of a world being rewritten until it evolves into a new
language. (Several, in fact.) This will see a civilization rise, and at
least one other civilization fall, and the rise and clash and fall of
at least a dozen major powers in Europe alone, discounting the rest of
I will not compromise plausibility, but I will not compromise the scope and power of the story either.
- Audience participation. I do not want to be Eurocentric with this. I do not
want this to reinforce essentialisms about race, about culture, about
the pillars that hold up oppression IRL. And equally important, I am
lazy. My solution? Ask people.
Are you curious what's going to happen to your little corner of the world? Ask me. Better yet, talk to me about it. There's a lot of stuff that I genuinely don't know, especially if you're from somewhere (and there are many places) I'm not intimately familiar with, or some race or ethnicity I've ignored until now. I am curious. And I am not above or below taking suggestions.