Tuesday, January 23, 2018


THE IMAGE TO THE LEFT IS A MODERN, COLOURISED VERSION of the Flammarion Wood Engraving, (artist unknown) used by Camille Flammarion in his 1888 book L'atmosphère: météorologie populaire or The Atmosphere: Popular Meteorology. It depicts a man who, having reached the ends of the Earth, has pushed his way through the firmament to uncover heavenly wonders. In the upper left-hand corner, there is a 'wheel within a wheel', a reference to the prophet Ezekiel's vision from the Old Testament. Despite what 6th century BC Greek astronomers knew - that the Earth was a sphere - the Flammarian image represents a flat Earth belief. In the Old Testament, the Earth was considered to be a flat disk floating upon a vast ocean, which, in turn, was attached to the sky. Heaven was upheld by mountains.

Let's add a little 'thought experiment' to the above mix, courtesy of quantum mechanics. (For other people like myself who need a bit of an explanation, and this is a very basic one, Schrödinger and others suggested an atom or photon could exist in a multiple, undefined state until it collapsed into one or the other due to observer effect. Hugh Everett considered that instead of either/or states, both might persist, in a many-worlds interpretation.

Here are a few crazy story ideas: what if we replaced atoms and photons with the idea of a flat or round Earth? What if the Earth really was a flat plane, surrounded by a glassy firmament, which shifted into a round planet, due to our intrepid observer above? What if there were two Earths as a result? What if our observer travelled between them, disrupting balances? What if there was a flat Earth/round Earth battle between the Church and astronomer wizards involving gravity magic? 

What if Venice sank due to some magical gravity screw-up? (After all, a good story should always have a bit of the unexpected in it.)

I do hope you send us some bizarre stuff. (The Submission Guidelines are here.)

In the meantime, happy writing. - Susan.

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