Written for the New Scientist Flash Fiction Competition 2010.
I would like to express my extreme dissatisfaction with the subject of your latest short story contest. I have been forgiving of your publication’s flaws for a long time, but enough is enough. A time must come when decent men speak up for Decency and Truth.
I have followed your magazine for a long time, despite the perhaps justified misgivings of my associates. There is a place, after all, for inquiry into the majestic mysteries that surround us. But the disturbing tendencies that were once only an unfortunate undertone have now fully revealed themselves.
What could possibly be the purpose of this subject of Alternate History? What could your readers – which potentially include young, untrained minds – possibly gain from such obtuse Fantasy? What moral wisdom is to be found in imagining worlds where Rome never fell, where Napoleon was never assassinated, where the African threat did not exist? Even worse, what can decent ordinary men learn from absurd tales in which Mithras is replaced by other names and other figures, as if more than one Saviour could be possible?
Are we perhaps to indulge in the blasphemous notion that History is merely Human Action, dependent on Profane matters that may be altered like mathematical variables? Stated like this, it becomes obvious how dangerously close your notion of Alternate History runs to Spinozaist treachery.
You will defend yourselves, of course, with appeals to the importance of imagination and free thought. “Exploring these imaginary worlds allows us to better understand our own” and other such excuses will be offered. But, like blood, the stain of Spinozaism does not so easily wash out.
We live in dangerous times, the African threat casting a permanent shadow over our great nation. This is the great crossroads to which He has brought us, and here we must make our choice for Good or Evil. Instead of doubting the greatness of His design, I call upon you to remember that ancient battle-cry, and place it at the heart of your publication:
Carthage must be destroyed.
Outraged from K.
Letter to the Editor by Jonas Kyratzes is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.