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Time travel? Alternate universe?

I started a randomly-checked out library book yesterday and the first few pages are so exciting! I suspect that it is a book about time travel or set in an alternate universe, although I don't think its author believes either of those things.

It's set sometime in the twenty-first century (someone says so). An American comes to visit an Englishman who is Lord of the Manor.

And guess how she lets him know what time her plane will be arriving? She sends a telegram!

Comments

( 22 comments — Leave a comment )
autopope
Sep. 2nd, 2011 03:54 pm (UTC)
Hm. What's the copyright date?
owlfish
Sep. 2nd, 2011 04:02 pm (UTC)
2005.

So conceivable, at least in name if not infrastructure, but it seems very improbable for such a semi-routine event.
abigailb
Sep. 2nd, 2011 04:39 pm (UTC)
I suppose 'telegram' cannot be taken as a neologism for text message?
rymenhild
Sep. 2nd, 2011 06:14 pm (UTC)
Now I want to send text messages as telegrams. If I write them in all caps and use STOP instead of punctuation...
sioneva
Sep. 2nd, 2011 07:13 pm (UTC)
ENGLAND DOES NOT HAVE MOBILE PHONES STOP
owlfish
Sep. 2nd, 2011 09:42 pm (UTC)
Of course not. As an English person in this book observed, he has a cell phone. (He may be the only one in the book who is so up-to-date however.)

(Which is forgivable inasmuch as it is an American book originally, if repubbed in the UK.)
owlfish
Sep. 2nd, 2011 09:45 pm (UTC)
I LOVE this idea.
sioneva
Sep. 2nd, 2011 07:13 pm (UTC)
WEIRD STOP SHE SHOULD HAVE TEXTED STOP
alextiefling
Sep. 2nd, 2011 07:27 pm (UTC)
REMARKABLE STOP I LOOK FORWARD TO HEARING ABOUT THE LORD OF THE MANORS TITLES ADDRESSES ETCETERA STOP
owlfish
Sep. 2nd, 2011 09:44 pm (UTC)
Everyone is on a first-name basis so far, which simplifies things. Male ancestors are all Lord so-and-so.
alextiefling
Sep. 3rd, 2011 07:36 pm (UTC)
Nearly as bad. What is this masterpiece of research and world-building?
lil_shepherd
Sep. 2nd, 2011 07:38 pm (UTC)
Are you sure it's not by Connie Willis?
owlfish
Sep. 2nd, 2011 09:45 pm (UTC)
That thought had briefly crossed my mind. But Connie Willis writes much better prose. And is a better editor of her own prose. And, for that matter, has a better editor.
lil_shepherd
Sep. 2nd, 2011 07:42 pm (UTC)
It is possible but she would have had to order the telegram on line...
zcat_abroad
Sep. 2nd, 2011 10:17 pm (UTC)
Can I just say -that is a VERY pretty cat! Abysinian?
owlfish
Sep. 2nd, 2011 11:00 pm (UTC)
Proof this is a Real Internet post! It has gotten onto the subject of cats!
lil_shepherd
Sep. 3rd, 2011 06:33 am (UTC)
Close.

Singapura.

And he thanks you.
zcat_abroad
Sep. 2nd, 2011 10:32 pm (UTC)
We all know that there is no reception in English manor houses, the doors are all opened by butlers called Jeeves. Of course the only way to contact said house would be by telegram.

(Does anyone know how to send telegrams, anymore?)
owlfish
Sep. 2nd, 2011 11:02 pm (UTC)
There is a family of hereditary retainers, yes. Of course.

(By webpage, I think. Which is to say, the name still gets used. Western Union was a telegraph company, now better known for money transfer. But their webpage still says they do telegraphs too. As do various other countries, all of which probably limit just which countries they are willing to do hand-delivery to.)
gillpolack
Sep. 2nd, 2011 11:18 pm (UTC)
You type faster than me!

My offer of the U of T place was by telegram, I think.
gillpolack
Sep. 2nd, 2011 11:17 pm (UTC)
I used to know how to send telegrams. One picked up the phone. The last telegram I actually received, however, was in the 80s, so I no longer even know if there is a telegram number.

Technically, however, if telegrams still exist, one could text a telegram into existence. It could be printed and delivered in one of those rather fragile envelopes and the butler could get wildly excited abouta visitor.
lil_shepherd
Sep. 3rd, 2011 06:40 am (UTC)
I believe this is what happens (at least in the UK, though I suspect they are delivered by the postperson), but it is now done online, and not by phone. Telegrams are, apparently, just used for congratulations because, hey, it's traditional!
( 22 comments — Leave a comment )