short story: East is West by Olaf Stapledon

24 05 2007

An alternate history tale with a post-imperialist Japan and the expanding empire of an ambitious English monarch, Her Most Pure and Invincible Majesty, Godiva, by the Grace of God, Defender of the Christian Faith, Protector of the Holy Roman Empire, Queen. Still very appropriate for today’s world.

Her Majesty continued. “Oh, Great White Peoples, since that war, much has happened. Through all those years I have striven to be worthy of the task which the ensworded Christ has set upon me, the delivery of Europe. For let us remind ourselves of well-known truth. In all our churches, our divine and most courageous Captain hangs crossed upon the blade and hilt of the Sword. That same Sword, when he had risen from the dead, he himself grasped, and wields today, leading the Faithful. He came not to bring peace. And I, though till today I have besieged my just aims by parley, am his lieutenant. Though it was by parley and fine machinations that I and my counsellors defted the Japanese from all their treaty ports, it was the springing strength of my army and navy and my aerials that rendered those pacific arguments convictive. But now, today, argument has failed; and I am here to call upon you, all White Peoples, to take arms in earnest. For the hour has come when we must constrain New Nippon to disgorge her rapine, or else betray irrevocably the cause for which we stand together.”

“The whole force of New Nippon and of the Chinese Republic, and haply of Japan also, will be oppugned against us. Nothing can save us now but crazy hardihood.”

“They gave us opium. They have tempted our coupling lovers with filthy lore to prevent the sacred burden of motherhood, hoping thereby to thin our numbers.”

Read it.