Tag Archives: Fiction

Day 42

This is an archival version. Please visit The Nudist War for the current version.


This was the original first chapter of the Nudist War. I am leaving it here for historical reference. The current version may be found at:

Copyright © 2013 by Christian Bergman, All rights reserved.

All people, places, and events are fictional … except when they aren’t.

Day 42 (The Nudist War)

– Day 42 –

“They got it all wrong,” Jessica muttered to herself as she loaded the samples into the DNA sequencer. Safe within the Level 4 Biohazard lab on Galveston Island, Jessica Munroe pushed on for a third sleepless day. “They got it all wrong.” The they in this case was the media, the entertainment industry, the press, anyone and everyone writing about the Zombie Apocalypse. The facts about Zombies had been pretty well established by decades of books, movies, graphic novels, and TV shows. Everyone knew them:

  • They went by many names: zombies, the undead, walkers, biters, etc.
  • They could not be killed by normal means – only a direct hit to the head would work, either severing the head entirely or at least destroying it.
  • Without the de rigueur head shot, a zombie would live forever, regardless of the amount of otherwise traumatic injury it had sustained. A zombie with half its body gone was still a threat.
  • Zombies were immune to circumstances that would kill the living, such as drowning. Zombies could wander the bottoms of lakes, rivers, and other bodies of water indefinitely, posing an ongoing threat.
  • Zombies, although chronically hungry, did not eat each other (perhaps out of professional courtesy). Only the warm fresh flesh of the living would suffice.
  • Zombies were slow and mindless. They shuffle along stumbling after their victims.

Wrong, wrong WRONG!

Continue reading Day 42


Who, what, where, when, why – the Five Ws. In the previous post I told you why I decided to start this blog. Now, with your indulgence, I would like to tell you what I want accomplish.

I once read an article (sadly I do not recall who wrote it) that discussed the ease with which our minds accept certain contrafactual situations, but not others. For example let’s say that I suggest that you imagine that you are a pilot. Now unless you are a pilot, this would be contrafactual to your state of being. I have made one change only. I am suggesting that instead of imagining yourself as you are, that you imagine yourself as a pilot. Most readers have no problem with this.

Next assume that you are flying a commercial airliner from New York to Amsterdam. Any one who has flown can probably hold this mental image. Even someone who has never flown can probably imagine themselves to be this pilot. Now assume that you (as this pilot) are suddenly in a terrible storm. Visibility is poor, the aircraft rocks violently from side to side, suddenly you hit a severe downdraft and it feels as if the bottom has fallen out of the plane. Are with me so far?

You black out momentarily only to discover that your copilot is now a goat. In great confusion you bolt from the cockpit to discover that your passengers are actually various large fish, dolphins, and the odd whale or two. All happily singing Kumbaya.

At what point did I loose you? Now if I intended to be writing humor, the above passage could be quite humorous – in a Douglas Adams sort of way. In fact Adams used this type of humor to great effect in his writings. But what if I meant to be deadly serious? Well, in that case, I have obviously pushed the envelope too far.

What’s my point? My point is that fiction is a study of the contrafactual. It is a dance wherein the author changes just enough to make it interesting, but not so much that it becomes unpalatable. The readers can easily imagine themselves to be in the position of the protagonist or any of the other characters.

Science fiction pushes the boundaries a bit further. A higher level of contrafactuality is imposed. The worlds of science fiction are not our worlds, but generally the Laws of Physics still apply. Seventy year-old green-skinned human soldiers can be accepted as long as the reader can imagine a possible future where genetic modification makes this possible. If you can’t imagine such kinds of things, then perhaps sci-fi is not for you.

Fantasy pushes the level of contrafactuality even further. Now the Laws of Physics can be bent, broken, or even thrown away entirely. This is a world of pure imagination where the author is free to set the ground rules. Many people love fantasy for just this reason. Me, not so much.

Final we have the Absurd. In this case the author changes too much or just the wrong things. In the case of Douglas Adams it results in good humor – but not everyone can appreciate this. I am sure that there is a non-zero set of folks who find his work to be just plain stupid. I however find it quite entertaining.

The intended focus of this blog is the contrafactual. That is to say – fiction. Yet there is much that I want to talk about that is non-fiction, viewpoint, observations, etc. Sadly, I admit that I chose the name Contrafactual, in part because other, cooler names that I wanted to use were already taken. But make no mistake, I fully intend to explore the contrafactual … so please be patient.