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by Chris Wayan, 2006

Caprices is a set of world-models, with photos, globes and travel guides, showing alternate Earths, each with a single drastic, surreal change. I've built a dozen scientifically plausible worlds (see Planetocopia)--basically, Caprices are the bizarre whims I suppressed while constrained to realism. (Well, some of them. Venus Unveiled is pretty unlikely, too.)
Earth with most of the ocean siphoned
off, leaving just shallow seas on the
abyssal plains 4-5 km below our coasts.
It's a wild, steamy topography down there,
while the old continents turn alpine...
Up is down and down is up!
Land is sea, sea land;
trenches are peaks, peaks trenches
islands and reefs are lakes
lakes are reefs and islands...
start with Inversia's inside-out geology--
now pour on as much water as Earth has.
Miles-deep seas, with tiny continents
where our abysses and trenches lay.
Unrecognizable, yet weirdly familiar...

If you like this sort of thing, an earlier set called Tilt! postulates four alternate Earths made by removing a globe from its stand, drilling new poles, and sticking it back on, crooked. Now pretend it's always been that way. How does Earth behave ecologically, tilted or upside down or sideways? Answer: very strangely indeed. Some parallel Earths aren't even recognizable...

Two more sets of world-models: The Biosphere Variations and Futures -- Home page for all four sets: Planetocopia

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