Mad Max's worldMAD MAX'S WORLD
Some Damned Thing in the Middle East led to a limited US-Soviet atomic war in the early 90s. Although neither country got more "than it's hair mussed" (in the immortal words of Dr. Strangelove) it brought about a global economic collapse, while the final nuclear "spoiler" attack against the Mideast oil fields brought about a huge oil price spike: the massive costs of rebuilding and decontamination meant that the world had essentially reached "peak oil", in the sense of decreasing returns on investment, by 2000 AD.
These problems were compounded by global warming-induced climate change, and the "memetic plague" of the Nihilist cult, which preached a philosophy of dealing with a violent and meaningless world too corrupt to be saved by punching it in the head first. The global economy remained stuck in low gear throughout the 1990s and 2000s. A series of bloody wars fought over resources, water, etc. broke out by the mid-2010s, while the US began slowly to descend into civ
A Future History(OTL = Our Timeline, recall)A Future History3 years ago in Settings More Like This
A world in which early Heinlein is the norm for reality. Man first landed on the Moon only a little earlier than OTL, but things moved a lot faster after that: due to somewhat different atomic physics rockets capable of reaching the Moon are nowadays as cheap as smallish yachts, and quite a few private individuals own them (although there are strictly enforced regulations). In 2010 there are extensive settlements on the Moon, Venus (swampy, wet, hot, and venomous) and Mars (deserts, canals, and a very ancient race). Saturn is the current limit of space exploration.
On the alternate physics down side, atomic power plants were so unsafe that reactors were built in space from the 60s to the 80s, and rocket fuel and industrial radioactives shipped back down to Earth: only in the 90s were models safe enough to allow on a planet developed. (In 1984, a less than successful "improved version" on the far side of the Moon created a 20-mile wide lake of green glass).
District 9 and AfterOk: hope this isn't too boring. Tried to make some sense of the District 9 setting...District 9 and After2 years ago in Settings More Like This
The ship’s computer did its best, really. The sub-space storm that badly damaged a number of essentially systems had also destroyed the control interface, making communications with the overseers impossible. In a relatively sensible maneuver, it proceeded to the nearest habitable planet and parked itself in an area where climatic conditions were most suitable for the Well-Ordered People. Unfortunately, it was too damaged for any sophisticated analysis, and basal programming did not cover what to do in case of contact with a previously unknown and potentially dangerous alien civilization.
1982. Access to the alien ship which had parked itself roughly 200 meters above the outskirts of Johannesburg was of course demanded by all major world governments. It was not like the South African government could conceal the fact, with almost every foreign pr
Before The Golden AgeI'm a bit behind on my map-making, so another ASB setting. An SF mashup employing the Isaac Asimov-edited collection, Before the Golden Age (and just a wee soupcon of Lovecraft)Before The Golden Age2 years ago in Settings More Like This
BEFORE THE GOLDEN AGE
This world essentially came into existence as a result of an effort by Lunar scientists in the remote past to save their dying satellite by moving it into the future (at the time none of the other planets had as yet developed breathable atmospheres), which when it swapped places with its future self in 1931 created violent "reality waves" swapping bits and pieces of space-time from other universes from Earth and halfway across the solar system, and incidentally set off an alert at Galactic Police Headquarters, which soon swooped down to arrest the Reality Violators. Unfortunately, the need to restore order, and clean up the mess (among other things, preventing a largish chunk of a transplanted high-tech alternate China from conquering all of Asia and perhaps the world) led to alien interve
Flash Gordon's worldFlash Gordon.Flash Gordon's world3 years ago in Settings More Like This
Earth glitters seen from space: from the tiny motes of interplanetary and interstellar craft constantly entering and leaving its atmosphere, from the many space stations in orbit, from the brilliant lights of cities on its dark side. It is a world of super-science, where progress speeds along at a dazzling pace as new technology from other worlds and solar systems arrives to shake things up on an alarmingly frequent pace.
Earth's history diverges from ours in 1936, when earth began to be bombarded with mysterious fireballs from space, a "softening up" terror weapon from Mongo: over the next three years tens of millions of 5-meter balls of immaterial flame would fall from the skies, starting fires in cities and forest and grassland that would kill millions, and cause billions in damages. And then the planet Mongo itself, first misidentified as a comet, would pass within a few million miles of Earth, only veering off in time (its guidance controls locked and destroyed by Go
The Day After the Day After Tomorrow"Perhaps our most controversial president, Dick Cheney (2007-2012)  is often and understandably portrayed as a monster. It is certainly true that many of his policies were ill-advised operation "Preserve America", the establishment of US rule in Mexico by US troops from the South and recalled from abroad, was carried out in the awareness that there was no way Latin America was going to be able to absorb roughly 150 million refugees on short notice many of his initiatives were poorly thought out, hastily put together in a terrible rush to do something, anything, as people starved and froze by the millions remembers operations "Freedom from want", in which crops and food supplies were seized in Central America, the Caribbean " Lend a Hand" and the mass use of forced labor to carry out agricultural expansion and construction programs "Restore Freedom", in which the reestablishment of government authority over much of the US was carried out more liThe Day After the Day After Tomorrow3 years ago in Settings More Like This
A Campbellian FutureIn this world an alien spaceship with a blue shape-changer and body-snatcher frozen alongside was discovered by a US Antarctica expedition in 1939. It was defeated, but left behind some gadgets it had made to escape: with anti-gravity and an atomic power source, the US intervention in WWII looked rather different from OTL, with US anti-gravity fliers bombing German cities pretty much at will from 1942 onward, from heights where they couldn't be reached, and atom-powered US ships zipping across the Atlantic at speeds that subs couldn't intercept. (The Japanese sensibly stayed out of the war).A Campbellian Future3 years ago in Settings More Like This
The US didn't find a way to use the atomic power process to make big booms till 1949, but the Soviets had stolen the initial secrets even faster than they stole the ones relating to atom bombs OTL, and although it took them till 1956 to find a way to make an earth-shaking kaboom, a chunk of iron with an anti-gravity drive on the other end makes a fine substitute, given a long enough trip through sp
First ContactsIt's the early 24th century, and it's an exciting and somewhat disturbing time for humanity. It has only been a few decades since the development of the new "overdrive", which allows ships to travel at the equivalent of thousands of times the speed of light, superseded the old Lawlor Drive with its practical limit of about thirty times light speed. Humanity is exploding in all directions out of the confines of "civilized space", a roughly ovoid blob of the galaxy some 400 light-years across (although some far-flung colonies lie as much as a hundred light years beyond) containing several thousand populated solar systems.First Contacts3 years ago in Settings More Like This
It is an exciting time, if a somewhat uncertain one. Humanity is at the same time spreading itself extremely thin some new colonies have been established as much as several thousand light-years from Earth and growing closer together. An interstellar government has never been practical with even the Earth-Centauri run taking over seven weeks and electronic
After StrangeloveIn a tunnel under a mountain in the Urals, a number of power drills and other tools lie scattered where they were abandoned by despairing workers, who had only managed to work halfway through the twenty feet of rebar-strengthened concrete that protected from traitors and spies the "off" switch only meant to be used after the final collapse of Capitalism.After Strangelove3 years ago in Settings More Like This
Both sides had cover stories, of course.
The Soviets claimed it was a US attack, and invaded Western Europe, mostly to keep all but the most insanely loyal far away from the leadership while they scrambled to furnish underground space to wait out the radiation. The US claimed that the Soviets had poisoned their country by Meddling With Forces Man Was Not Meant to Know, and were now trying to conquer new living space. Both sides surrep
Defunct FuturesSo, what's it like in the year 2012 in the...Defunct Futures3 years ago in Settings More Like This
2012 in 50's-world, everyone in the US wears hats. Men wear suits, women wear dresses or cute pantsuits. T-shirts and jeans or sweats are something nobody older than a teenager would be caught wearing. There are a lot of uniforms. Everything is very clean and often metallic or gleaming.
The Cold War is of course going on, and China, the Soviet Union, indeed everything from East Germany to Vietnam is the Red World, a unified entity which includes some parts of Africa, including the Red Congo. (Cuba, on the other side, is Capitalist and more-or-less democratic, if corrupt). Everyone in the Red World dresses the same, drives the same standard car, and reports for interrogation four times a year. (Except for the Inner Committee. But to get to that position on must have taken the interrogation drugs dozens of times). Although a "standardized" Socialist culture is promoted, the Chinese are still Chinese, and the increasing tendency of
A World Most PulpyA Pulpy-Verse (some ideas stolen from GURPS "tales of the space patrol")A World Most Pulpy3 years ago in Settings More Like This
This is a world of High Adventure, where pulp adventure localities are as normal as New Jersey and often safer to visit. Currently the quarreling terrestrial governments are shakily united as allies against the menacing power of the Overlord of Jupiter, against which the earth governments fought a short but brutal war 2001-2003.
The world is dominated by the Five Great Powers: the USA, greatest of all, and its dependencies and economic partners in Latin America, Japan, and the Philippines; China, a capitalist dictatorship under the rule of the Insidious Doctor's great-great-grandson (with his ancient grandmother occasionally doing a bit of back-seat driving); the USSR, which nowadays has an informal alliance with the US against the common Yellow Menace: the Third Reich, which glares at the USSR across the "dead zone" left by the ultra-catalyst by which the Soviets ended the Six Years War, and breed like rabbits by
And now HG WellsOk, HG Wells, "The War of the Worlds" and "First Men in the Moon", with just a smidgen of "A Story of the Days to Come."And now HG Wells3 years ago in Settings More Like This
The first Martian invasion of 1898 was disruptive enough. The destruction of the world's financial center and a massive drop in British investment abroad led to a nasty financial panic, a world-wide slump, revolutions in Latin America, and the May Revolution in which the Czar was forced to cede more power to the Duma than OTL 1905. It led to revolts in various British colonies, invasion panics in three dozen countries, two new religions, and an enormous increase in the purchase of telescopes. It also resulted in a serious effort to create a truly Federal Empire, since Great Britain on its own would be unable to afford its commitments for some while, along with the dumping of some of the more unprofitable bits. It prevented the coming of a general European war, since Kaiser William would declare himself the champion of anti-Martian preparedness and push hard for joint
It Came From the Drive-InIt is the year 2012, and a world of Atomic Marvels. A glittering belt of space stations encircles the world, while giant space-mirrors extend the day and the growing season. Glittering super-skyscrapers pierce the heavens, and the androids sing sweetly as they toil in the protoplasm fields. Atom-powered cars zoom along gleaming super-highways carved through mountains by atomic disintegrators crisscross the globe, and descend under the sea to the Ocean floor cities. Giant gleaming rockets shoot into space by the dozens and hundreds. Earth is currently united as the Global Federation of Nations, with the minor exceptions of a few theocratic Islamic nations, a few crapsack dictatorships, a few backward underground Lost Kingdoms, and the possibly-not-so-minor exception of the Chinese Science Dictatorship.It Came From the Drive-In1 year ago in Settings More Like This
Not that this current era of prosperity, cancer cured by the violet ray and synthetic steak every night came about without difficulties, far from it. Earth between 1950 and 2000 suffered
Arthur C Clarke's FutureAn Arthur C. Clarke world:Arthur C Clarke's Future3 years ago in Settings More Like This
Using nuclear-propulsion spaceships, people have been busily exploring the solar system since the early 70s.
People have been on Mars since the mid-80's, and there are now bases on the Moon and Mars, and a teeny one on rather inhospitable Venus. Mars is dry and dusty and cold, and has air too thin to suit humans, although there is some tough vegetation and some extremely specialized animals, along with some odd wind-drifting half-plant, half-animal things that multiply rapidly in warm weather and vanish entirely during the cold. Due to the logistics, the bases are still quite small, and between Martian geology, biology, and climatology, severely overworked. Venus is a boiling steam-bath with weird metal-eating micro-organisms floating in the dense atmosphere, and all sorts of vast and weird critters float in the atmosphere of Jupiter: Europa, Jupiter's moon, also has life in the seas beneath its icy crust, clustered around the warmth and energy-rich minerals
Northwest Smith's worldOK, another old-style SF one: the world of CL Moore’s “Northwest Smith.”Northwest Smith's world2 years ago in Settings More Like This
One of the mottoes of the Space Patrol is “Three Planets, One Law”, but under private questioning they will shamefacedly admit to a variety of local exceptions and variances that would give headaches to a student of the Holy Roman Empire’s political arrangements.
They call it “The Three Planets” as is it was a unified political entity, but it’s hardly that: even the individual planets are fragmented, the Venusian “Emperor” ruling less than a third of the hot planet, the rest being divided into a multitude of kingdoms and empires and republics and barbarian tribal groupings on the Fever Coast of the Hot Continent, and Earth into five Great Powers and a scattering of great-power toadies and Nervous Neutrals. Mars is theoretically under the rule of one dynasty, as it has been since long before the first stone was laid at Jericho, but the Emperor’
Opposites WorldOpposites WorldOpposites World3 years ago in Settings More Like This
In this world it is the same date as in 2010 here, but the positions of the planets in the sky indicate it is six months ahead in its orbital path.
What used to be the USSR in our world is today a peaceful social-democratic federation and the world's greatest power: the US is the crumbled remnant of a former fascist superpower, now aggressively moving back onto the world stage.
In the Americas, Canada is an impoverished former US territory, its inhabitants known for their political violence and criminality. Mexico, shorn of its northern territories by the US, is a first-world country to which many Americans flee. Brazil is a fascistic dictatorship where the 40-year rule of its mulatto dictator has been supported by the power of Voodoo, but which on the bright side treats its jungles as sacred. Argentina is a futuristic socialist technocracy, the legacy of Evita Ibarguren, greatest of 20th century popular revolutionary leaders. Wealthy Cuba is gambling, beaches, and offs
After the World got moving againAs the ship slipped into Underspace, Gort gently laid to rest the fragile body of its android companion and servant. It was a shame, really, but given the humans xenophobia, it had been necessary to give them a humanoid mask through which the Galactic Union could speak to earth, and the android had suffered damage too severe for permanent repair.After the World got moving again3 years ago in Settings More Like This
The humans, which Gort had watched and studied through its various invisible orbiting eyes and those of its servant, were a crude, barbarous, race, their passions and fears most often overriding their reason, but they had potential, and it would be a shame if in their pursuit of "safety" through ever-greater arsenals of atomic weapons they were to destroy themselves or wreck their civilization to the point where it could not reemerge. Such things had happened before.
Now, a sufficiently alarming common threat might distract them from their own foolish quarrels. Gort liked the touch about the Union fearing the spread of terrestrial aggression i
After Independence DayThe 10-megaton nuclear device, in the most probable outcome, would have caused serious but not irreparable damage to the Mother Ship. The world-ship was, after all, some 550 kilometers wide.  Unfortunately, due to an unforeseen design error, the main Small Craft Embarkation Area was only about 8 kilometers from the space-twisting drive, which was destabilized by the blast.After Independence Day3 years ago in Settings More Like This
As a result, the ship's mass was accelerated rather violently in all directions at once: the majority of those directions being space-time other than our own, which, combined with the fact that what mass was in our dimension was usually moving beyond earth's escape velocity, meant that although the giant ship was in a near-earth geosynchronous orbit a mere 22,000 or so miles up only a small proportion of its mass actually hit the earth (and that was generally in pretty small pieces).
Still, it was an awfully large ship.
Will the Real Martian/Venusian Please Stand Up?In 2011, things are quite peaceful. Human population growth has leveled off and will probably peak at a bit over six billion. Fusion and solar power have replaced coal and oil. The third world is making great strides towards catching up with the developed nations. There are no wars…Will the Real Martian/Venusian Please Stand Up?1 year ago in Settings More Like This
Unknown at the time to humanity, the Earth was invaded by Venusians starting in 1959: equally unknown, a Martian invasion was beaten off by said Venusians in 1961. Able to take on human form (save for their hypnotic third eye, invisible when closed), the Venusians were able to walk unnoticed among humanity (and if anyone noticed them, they after all could just mind-zap them).
Not that from the human point of view it was that bad an invasion: the Venusians had no interest in devouring humans, laying eggs in them, or carrying off their women. They simply wanted a little elbow room: Venus was crowded, after all. And they liked human cuisine, and the quaint, primitive lifestyle. (Also, the Martians plann
28 WHATEVERS LATER28 WHATEVERS LATER28 WHATEVERS LATER2 years ago in Settings More Like This
The Rage virus was discovered as a side effect of the human genome project.
The virus had hid within the genetic code of humanity and its ancestors for eons, and might well have not been discovered for generations: luck and chance played a major role in its discovery.
Human stupidity played the dominant role in its study, though.
The discovery that this ancient genetic intruder played a major role in the biochemical roots of aggression led some people to think wow, we may have found the key to ending hatred, others to think wow, we’d better not mess with this sucker, and still others to think wow, bet the military would fork out a lot of cash for research into this.
Guess which groups got the funding?
Who the bright boy was that managed to convert the virus into a free-living form remains unknown. However, it was apparently in May of 2002 that it mutated in one of the test animals into a far faster reproducing virus, creating Virus ZR-17, or, as it became popul
UnparalelledSome ways into the future of Jack London's "The Unparalelled Invasion", or my remix of the same...Unparalelled3 years ago in Settings More Like This
It is May 1, 2036. It is a bright and sunny day over much of the United States, which nowadays includes an Anglicized Mexico and much of the Caribbean and Central America. The sky is filled with colorful airships, and far above them, leaving glowing trails from their many little rocket tubes, the express fliers zoom on their globe-spanning routes. The colossal towers of New York, Chicago, Mexico City gleam in the sun. It is a day of Remembrance for the 385 million inhabitants of the United States. A great many events, speeches, Vitavision shows and "events" will take place, as people stop to remember the greatest crime in all history. It remains a controversial day, and there will be counter-protests by such groups as the Racial Hygiene Society or the Association of True Patriots, and grumbling by those who feel that people should make less fuss over the events of six decades ago when muc
A Jules Verne Universe(sorry about some overlap with the previous one, but can't have Verne sans "Journey to the Center of the Earth"):A Jules Verne Universe3 years ago in Settings More Like This
JULES VERNE UNIVERSE
It's a steam-punk world, of course.
In the Jules Verne universe, arts is ornate and baroque, and the neo-futurist style nowadays clashes with the techno-Egyptian in architecture, and "function determines form" is hardly heard of: pillars, balconies, statues atop spires are normal parts of skyscrapers. Peristyles, monoliths, domes and geometric colossi: lots of shiny brass, colorful synthetic stone. Not that this is all very visible: this is a vigorously capitalist society, and enormous advertising placards and posters glued to building walls by boys riding one-man blimps deface the buildings, which are also usually a bit dingy from pollution. Slidewalks carry the gaily dressed throngs along streets glittering with electrical lighting, and the tubes of pneumatic transport services criss-cross overhead.
Technology is advanced, but alien to that of our uni
Cold War with the NewtsRiffin' on Karl Capek's "The War with the Newts"Cold War with the Newts3 years ago in Settings More Like This
By the year 2010 the Newt War has begun to recede into memory: it having essentially dragged to a stalemate in the late 1980s, a new generation has grown up neither knowing the Newts as the implacable enemy of their parents or the troubling slave-species of their grandparents. They are an Enemy, but the horror and revulsion of their parents towards Newts and anything "Newtish" somewhat disturbs young people.
But then, among the older generations, the old terror that the Newts might succeed in sinking the continents still lingers, in spite of Professor Appfelbanger of Ulm's calculation that the razing of Europe, the lowest-lying of the continents (which would require the removal of 735,000 cubic miles of rock and earth) would take a full billion Newts with the best equipment a nation that size could afford some 1,146.21 years (and of course, after the destruction of such traitorous (AKA "starving", "blockaded") nations as Japan and the UK
After The Martian ChroniclesThe end of Ray Bradbury's "The Martian Chronicles."After The Martian Chronicles3 years ago in Settings More Like This
It was perhaps not the best of all possible worlds. This world's United States in some ways had never outgrown the 50s: Woman's Liberation never really reached takeoff, and Africans were still segregated and occasionally lynched when the Final War broke out. The Soviet Union did not liberalize, although it became more pragmatic and more technocratic with time, and swallowed up and digested the nations of Eastern Europe. The Space Race heightened international tensions, and the declaration of Mars as a "US protectorate" in 2001 did not help.
Then there was the censorship: The fantastic, the grotesque, the outré, were all rejected and stamped out: a white-bread 1950s morality was imposed with the full force of the state, and by the 1970s censorship had moved into the deliberate destruction of "damaging" works, the burning of books and confiscation of tape records and cassettes. In the US, the UK, and Australia: in the p
Old Testament CosmologyA world with a somewhat old-fashioned cosmology.Old Testament Cosmology2 years ago in Settings More Like This
The world is flat. The continents are arranged roughly as on a Mercator map (although Greenland is of course much smaller. ). A thousand miles of sea east of far Siberia and west of Alaska, there arises a continuous line of mountains twenty miles high. This wall of mountains encircles the world. Beyond it is another three thousand miles of sea. This sea is apparently bottomless and inhabited by vast monsters. Beyond that is a wall of white alabaster, rising fifty miles from the sea. It supports the blue dome of heaven.
Radiological studies indicate the world is perhaps 50,000 years old. It is widely accepted that someone created it, although the nature of the Creator remains in dispute. Recent genetic studies indicate that humanity was created in Africa and spread out from there, although some remain huffily convinced of the Multiple Creations theory of human history.
The moon and planets emerge from under the Outer Sea and sink under