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Author Topic: The World According to Tesla [Alt History Help]  (Read 490 times)

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Offline InkiduTopic starter

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The World According to Tesla [Alt History Help]
« on: July 01, 2016, 10:58:34 PM »
So, my NaNoWriMo project this year is going to be an insane alternate history WWI military sci-fi kind of shindig where the Great War hasn't ended by 2014 and has gone into space (but no atom bombs) with orbital attack platforms and all that jazz. Well, all good Alt History has a what-if moment. That singular point of temporal divergence that changes the world forever.

And mine is: What if Tesla became the modern god of all things voltaic? I'm sure most people know that Tesla was more or less squashed by Edison's cut-throat business practices, but history has gone on to vindicate Tesla as a true genius for the world instead of just a genius of his time. So taking that model and running with it I came up with a few plausible to semi-plausible events or eventualities.

JP Morgan never became a powerhouse, instead Westinghouse grew to supply most of the  Western World's power. Which means, no GE. I had an event marked out that by the 1940s even Morgan's transportation empire was crumbling due to Tesla powered air and monorail systems.

Tesla's idea for an electric motor (The same thing used in the namesake cars) was adopted much, much earlier and was more rapidly refined.

I plan for it to have all these throwbacks to the Thomas Swift books and the science-fiction of the 1920s. Cities aren't cities so much as giant amalgams of building in a single archology. It's also a world that has been in brutal war for a Century,  but a war that never entered a single city. So what would that look like? Also what would the biological sciences benefit.

See, I'm having trouble kind of nailing down all the different little points and was wondering if someone knew more about Tesla or Tesla tech or anything that might help.

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Re: The World According to Tesla [Alt History Help]
« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2016, 12:32:49 PM »
I posted a thing not long ago about using Tesla coils to assemble nanotubes.  Could be useful in general miniaturization (circuits and the like) or making high tensile-strength carbon fiber.

Offline InkiduTopic starter

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Re: The World According to Tesla [Alt History Help]
« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2016, 07:25:14 PM »
I posted a thing not long ago about using Tesla coils to assemble nanotubes.  Could be useful in general miniaturization (circuits and the like) or making high tensile-strength carbon fiber.
I remember that now that you mention it. :)

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Re: The World According to Tesla [Alt History Help]
« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2016, 07:36:37 PM »
I can possibly dig up some more from when the little Oni did a report on Tesla.  I know that his patents are able to be pulled up online.

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Re: The World According to Tesla [Alt History Help]
« Reply #4 on: July 03, 2016, 03:33:00 PM »
The dude from the Oatmeal did a comic about Tesla, which Forbes did a critique of, which critique he did a critique of - you can read it here.  I'm recommending this meta critique rather than the original cartoon as it leaves out a lot of the stuff that was either made up or modified in order to serve a joke.

Offline InkiduTopic starter

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Re: The World According to Tesla [Alt History Help]
« Reply #5 on: July 04, 2016, 06:51:40 PM »
The dude from the Oatmeal did a comic about Tesla, which Forbes did a critique of, which critique he did a critique of - you can read it here.  I'm recommending this meta critique rather than the original cartoon as it leaves out a lot of the stuff that was either made up or modified in order to serve a joke.
That was neat. I especially like Oaty's dig at the "we're all human" drivel. I'm sure the death rays and earthquake machines, and the wireless energy thing weren't founded (though Wireless Energy Transmission is the white whale).

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Re: The World According to Tesla [Alt History Help]
« Reply #6 on: July 04, 2016, 07:28:33 PM »
The earthquake machine was semi-busted by Mythbusters, insofar as creating an earthquake.  The 'Tesla oscillator' was able to be fine-tuned enough to produce sympathetic resonance on a truss bridge able to be felt ~100 ft away.

 

Offline TheGlyphstone

Re: The World According to Tesla [Alt History Help]
« Reply #7 on: July 04, 2016, 09:24:33 PM »
Of course, when dealing with TeslaTech, the million-dollar question becomes if you want his weirder and outright crackpot ideas to actually be practical? If you're making a deliberate throwback to pulp sci-fi, stuff like wireless energy transmission would actually help that along, or Tesla death rays, or similar Weird Science concepts.

Offline InkiduTopic starter

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Re: The World According to Tesla [Alt History Help]
« Reply #8 on: July 05, 2016, 08:18:13 AM »
Of course, when dealing with TeslaTech, the million-dollar question becomes if you want his weirder and outright crackpot ideas to actually be practical? If you're making a deliberate throwback to pulp sci-fi, stuff like wireless energy transmission would actually help that along, or Tesla death rays, or similar Weird Science concepts.
Yeah that's something I've been weighing. In my timeline Tesla would be long dead by the events of the book, but since he never got excoriated by Edison in the Current Wars he held onto his sanity. Plus I have to decide which nations get what in their corner.

Offline This One

Re: The World According to Tesla [Alt History Help]
« Reply #9 on: July 07, 2016, 03:57:24 PM »
With Tesla tech you might see smaller electronics that work as receivers for broadcast energy instead of having an internal battery. One of the things I've heard pretty often about Tesla was that he was working on/had created a method of wirelessly broadcasting useable energy.

For civilians this might mean that each home has its own generator which broadcasts energy on a set "frequency" (I have no idea how this works... At all really) that a person uses to fuel their various personal electronics within a set area. If this area is large enough to encompass a block or more it'll make people much less likely to know of people and area's outside of their sphere of electronic safety (Especially in an arcology.)

What's more likely to happen in an arcology is that the city would have one large generator that broadcasts power across the entire city for people to use... Especially since from what I remember Tesla was big about free energy. This might also be popular belief rather than truth, but I'm going to assume it to be true. This would make it so that low income area's will be based around "dead zones" in power and other services.


For construction and police you might have a large specialized generator vehicle broadcasting power to other equipment and vehicles. The same technology might also be used in warzones, but that would depend on if a country was ok with a single point of failure destroying a large amount of their ability to project force. If a country was ok with that seeing how they get around that would be interesting. Maybe tank forces that each have a trio of "headquarters" vehicles sharing power to other vehicles so that a single destroyed vehicle wouldn't halt their entire front.

Offline InkiduTopic starter

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Re: The World According to Tesla [Alt History Help]
« Reply #10 on: September 22, 2016, 06:46:13 PM »
Here's something I haven't been able to parse. In this world of my book (where it does have send ups to things like the Tomas A. Swift novels), but because of the focus on electricity and Tesla tech over chemical and atomic means, how small could you make electric firearms? I mean there have been functional or semi-functional electric projectile weapons going back to the 19th century. The key factors against them have always been power supply and miniaturization.

There are tasers now, and barring the fact that electric gun immediately sparks to mind railgun, could a Tesla world have plausible firearms that could reach relative speeds of their chemical counterparts?