Soon: Prologue: Calendars and Phone Porn

Housekeeping: yes, the Amazon picture is accurate in that the cover is rather underexposed, but it seems to be that way on purpose.  Also, the letters on the Amazon picture are rather…shinier than my copy.

There’s always time for Firefly!

Anyway…

The…umm…how should I put this?  The introduction to the Prologue explains the dating system of this Brave New World:

At the conclusion of World War III in the Fall of 2009, it was determined by the new international government in Bern, Switzerland, that beginning January 1 of the following year, the designation A.D. (anno Domini, “in the year of our Lord” or after the birth of Christ) would be replaced by P.3. (post-World War III).  Thus, January 1, A.D. 2010, would become January 1, 1 P.3.

Okay, several problems with this that I can see.  First, of course, is that not everyone in the world uses the Gregorian calendar in the first place, Jenkins.  I mean, I know you’re American and all, but since we are talking about an evil global government, you might wish to consider that other calendars would be changed, as well.  So, Islamic calendar, Hebrew calendar, who cares, right?

Also, if we’re so concerned about naming things after gods, why aren’t we interested in the names of the months?  Or days of the week?  Does it only count if things are named or organized in honor of Christianity?

Also, speaking as a secular American, I have never really associated our current calendar with “the year of our Lord.”  I know, I know, sacrilege.  But it’s one of those things that has become so secularized that one barely considers the religious meaning. 

Like Christmas!  😛 

(Oh, and more on that later, too!) 

I’m just sayin’, if I was running the eeevil worldwide atheist government out of Switzerland (hey, a girl can dream!), the calendar would not be high on my list of Important Issues to Address.

On to the Prologue!

Pius, this is just for you: some good, old-fashioned Phone Porn:

He [Andy Pass, more on him later] touched the tip of his right thumb to the tip of his pinkie, activating cells implanted in his molars.  He could have dialed with his other fingertips, but he opted for voice recognition and quickly recited the numbers that would connect him on a secure, private circuit to his brother in the underground compound.

“This is Jack, Andy,” came the answer that resonated off his cheekbones and directly to his eardrum.  “GPS shows you heading north on Sixteenth toward Silver Spring.”

Okay, holy crap.

The phones are implanted in your skull. 

There is no escaping The Phone.

Holy.  Crap.

The phones of Jerry Jenkins’ future are implanted in your skull!

I promised phone stuff.  I have delivered. 

Trust me, it only gets weirder from here on in.

We haven’t even started.

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Posted on December 2, 2010, in Books, Soon. Bookmark the permalink. 36 Comments.

  1. …Phones in your head? Universal GPS tracking? Near-future, post WWIII? (Supposed) Distopia?

    This is Cyberpunk! This is Jerry Jenkins trying to write Christian Cyberpunk!

    Oh to have a Tachikoma show up and punch out the protagonists…

  2. What GDwarf said. Seriously, I wonder if it’s Jenkins’s fantasy to actually have a do-everything telephone implanted into his skull. 😛

  3. As I understand it, most reasonably serious historians have already gone over to BCE/CE (Christian Era) rather than BC/AD. I don’t entirely regard this as a good thing, but by the time this book was written it had certainly happened.

    Conspiracy theories, from their roots in terms of cognitive disorder, are all about the trivial things that nobody else would regard as significant. The nature of the beast is that you spot the patterns and recognise that Bad Stuff is going on while everyone else is still saying that it’s nothing to worry about. (In evolutionary terms, this means that you run away before the sabre-tooth comes out and kills all the others – sometimes you’ll be wrong, but sometimes you won’t.) The pattern-spotting engine goes into overdrive in some people. and this is one of the results.

    Which is a long-winded way of saying “yes, I’d expect this sort of paranoid delusion to be focused much more on the calendar than on, say, how the armed forces or police are organized”.

    Does Andy have an answering machine for when he’s out of his head?

    • In Hebrew school CE/BCE were presented to us as ‘Common Era/Before [the] Common Era, but a) Hebrew School and b) we were kids so they probably didn’t want to confuse us.

      • I think you’re probably right; I was writing from memory, and I still think in terms of AD/BC.

      • Inquisitive Raven

        I first came across the CE/BCE notation in a James Michener novel. A quick glance at Wikipedia makes me think it was The Source. Anyway, the main characters were archeologists. He used Common Era/Before Common Era.

    • And what happens when the phone malfunctions? Surely it would be horribly inconvenient to tind out you’ve been randomly calling people all day, and annoying the hell out of them.

      I think there’s things L&J didn’t quite think through on this one.

    • In the Traveller RPG, an interstellar empire spread across thousands of stars is depicted. It has more sources for potential conspiracies than most of the planet right now. The most popular source for many conspiracies is the humbly-named… Office of Calendar Compliance. Ostensibly it’s a small bureaucracy that ensures that all of the member-worlds of the Third Imperium are on the same (calendar) page… OR IS IT?!

      From such miniscule details and humble beginnings are, indeed, such great and grand conspiracies made! =) It almost warms my heart to see Jenkins carrying forward a proud SF-RPG tradition of the humble calendar being a symbol and cause of untoward and galaxy-spanning conspiracy!

  4. Ian Perez Zayas

    Oh my fuck, it’s RTC CODEC! Jenkins has been playing Metal Gear Solid, it seems.

  5. Good grief, and the phone porn begins! He didn’t waste any time, now did he?

    I wonder what prompted Jenkins to write this? Is he typically an RTC author? or did he just decide to cash in on the cred he has with the people who bought LB and saw his name and LaHaye’s? (Yes, I’m slightly cynical about these guys.)

  6. Regarding the rest of the calendar and naming things after gods… there’s always the French Republican Calendar, which included renaming the months to things that vaguely sounded like ‘harvest’, ‘frost’, ‘heat’, etc, so that religious references were removed no matter what religion: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_Republican_Calendar

    Of course, this is Jerry Jenkins we’re talking about here, so the idea of research into what might have been done before on this exact topic obviously eluded him.

    On a side note, I’ve always found it interesting that while most Western European nations use the Roman gods for the days of the week (Mardi==Mars, Mercredi==Mercury, Jeudi==Jupiter, Vendredi==Venus), English kept the Roman names for the months but used the Norse gods for most of the days of the week (Tuesday==Tyr, Wednesday=Wotan, Thursday==Thor, Friday==Frigg).

  7. Man, the more I think about this, the more I think of Snow Crash. I mean, SC had the main villain be an evangelical preacher using ancient Mesopotamian sacred texts to create a memetic virus to take over the world and remove free will.

    I suspect that LeHay would whole-heartedly endorse that guy.

  8. I thought friday was named after Frøya?

  9. Headless Unicorn Guy

    In Fifties/Sixties SF, it was common to have new calendar systems, usually Atomic Age (AA Year One =either AD1942/first nuclear reactor or AD1945/Hiroshima) or Space Age (SA Year One = AD 1957/Sputnik). It was a standard space-opera trope.

    But this isn’t space opera. It’s a Dystopia — the Standard Christianese Near-Future Persecution Dystopia.

    Oddly, a calendar change would make sense for a Dystopian regime, using the event that brought their regime into power as Year One, i.e. French Revolutionary Calendar. So there IS some precedent for the calendar change.

  10. Choir of Shades

    I know I’m late to the party here, but there is considerable debate among scholars whether Friday was named for Frey/Freyr, Freya, or Frigga/Frigg/Friggr.

  11. Headless Unicorn Guy

    At the conclusion of World War III in the Fall of 2009, it was determined by the new international government in Bern, Switzerland…

    Coming One World Government (TM), CHECK…

  12. Headless Unicorn Guy

    P.S. And again, the only future Christians are permitted to have is the one from Late Great Planet Earth and Left Behind. Even Soon can only fit itself into that One True Timeline as a Near-Future Persecution Dystopia by the Coming One-World Government, only awaiting the Rapture for The Antichrist to be Revealed and the Seven-Year Countdown Checklist to begin.

    I’ve heard it written that “Christians have handed the future over to The Antichrist.”

  13. That we get spambots is not so weird. That we all get them in this post is kinda funny.

    • inquisitiveraven

      Coincidence you think? Or are they actually doing something resembling a keyword search to find what might be a compatible post? In which case, oh boy, did they find the wrong place.

  14. The real mistake of the new calendar, though, is right out there.
    “January 1 of the following year, the designation A.D. (anno Domini, “in the year of our Lord” or after the birth of Christ) would be replaced by P.3. (post-World War III). Thus, January 1, A.D. 2010, would become January 1, 1 P.3.”
    You see what’s wrong there, don’t you?
    You remember all that bitching about when the meter ticked over for the new millennium back in 2000 (or 2001, depending)?
    It was bad enough when Dionysius Exiguus set up the old calendar, but he had an excuse; the zero hadn’t made it to the west yet. We, however, have not only basic maths but have even had a regime that while genocidally nationalistic (and atheist, which one would have thought made it fit even better) did get the maths right – the Pol Pot government in Cambodia. They at least knew that a new calendar started with the Year Zero.

    • InquisitiveRaven

      Apparently, I missed this post the first time around, so I’m replying now. There’s actually a good reason to start with the year one. If you think of the calendar as a number line, a year is a segment, but zero is a point. The first year is the segment from zero to one. Set the cardinal equivalent to the ordinal and ta-da, your calendar starts with year one.

  15. Subtle, these spambots ain’t

  16. I went to http://ijysamokik.de.tl little russians pics great orgy. loved the ending with the girls winning the medals. i especially liked the brunette with the long hair, but all of them were hot, including the guys, lol.

  17. There are other calendars, but the Gregorian one is pretty damn close to universal. Nobody uses *only* the Hebrew calendar, they use the Gregorian calendar for daily life and they track the Hebrew date separately to keep track of Jewish holidays.

    (I’d also guess that, if it’s a story where religion is banned, they don’t particularly care about updating calendars that only are used for religion.)

    Good point on the month names, though. They tried that during the French Revolution, why shouldn’t they give it another round?

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