Wasn’t this the divergence point of the Peshawar Lancers?

(Via Instapundit)

Billion-Ton Comet May Have Missed Earth by a Few Hundred Kilometers in 1883

A reanalysis of historical observations suggest Earth narrowly avoided an extinction event just over a hundred years ago.

The Peshawar Lancers, for those unfamiliar with the book, is an alternate history novel by SM Stirling where a comet and/or meteor swarm impacted the Northern Hemisphere in 1878; this had the effect of more or less wiping out civilization in Europe and North America, and making the rest of civilization positively Kiplingesque.  It’s a hell of a fun read – particularly if you like Victorian adventure fiction, and/or the Flashman novels* – but an absolute suckfest to live through, of course.

By the way: we aren’t really well equipped to deal with a comet coming right at us.  Just saying, that’s all.

Moe Lane

*OK, OK, I’m trying to figure out how you can like the one, but not the other – but surely there’s somebody out there who has that kind of nuanced taste.


  • Ray Alderman says:

    too weird, I’ve just started re-reading The Pershawar Lancers earlier this week. Stirling does love his airships.

  • Just Dave says:

    My understanding is that there are two viable strategies for dealing with a direct comet strike to the Earth:


    1) Use whatever force necessary to divert the comet from said strike, or

    2) Get in your rocket ship, go elsewhere and start over (or possibly come back and attempt to re-terraform what is left of the Earth)

  • Kresh says:

    Excellent read. Very under-rated.

  • Jinx says:

    The date was five years out.

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