8FOLD/CONTEST: Journey Into... # 9: Bitter Beans

Tom Russell milos_parker at yahoo.com
Fri Jan 22 09:12:18 PST 2010

On Jan 22, 10:34 am, Scott Eiler <sei... at eilertech.com> wrote:
> On Jan 22, 1:14 am, Tom Russell <milos_par... at yahoo.com> wrote:
> > Today. 1580.
> >    ... Maybe this crazy luck will carry him back to
> > Spain.  Maybe he will see his wife again.  Maybe she will drink
> > xocolatl and she will smile despite its bitter taste.
> I'd guess Jimeno makes it back to Spain, and warns the good Spaniards
> away from this crazy continent full of hardwired aliens.  That would
> actually explain why Spanish colonization of Mexico fell way off after
> 1580.  Too bad the aliens only show up once every 400 years or so...
> ... or whatever.  8{D>

I remembered your Mayan story, of course, and its explanation of the
long count/400 year cycle, but made a conscious effort not to overlap
with it (for example, yours is an idea story, mine more of an chase/
character piece, you have the Mayans, I the Aztecs).

I settled on the Mesoamerican mileau to address the presence of
chocolate in the concept; how on earth, I wondered, am I going to make
"swimming" chocolate an essential part of the story and not a
throwaway bit of silliness.  Hardwired aliens, well, there's a number
of ways to go with that, someone swimming, ditto, but the chocolate
gave me a bit of trouble until I did some research and realized how
very, very valuable it was in the sixteenth century.

The first major, big, official shipment of chocolate (as opposed to
secretive ones) was in 1585, which is why I set my story just a few
years before that.  It was only available as a drink until the
industrial revolution made candied chocolates possible.

==Fun Facts Tom

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