The Economy of the Coalition of Western RepublicsThe Coalition is one of the few states in history to make the bold claim that they do not tax their people. If one glances at the Coalition's laws, they would find that this is true: the Coalition government is barred from issuing any taxation laws. In practice, of course, this is not the case. The Coalition's secret police alone eats up more dollars per year than many planetary governments have in their entire economy. The Coalition solves its funding problems mainly through one ingenious method: contract fees.The Economy of the Coalition of Western Republics in Settings More Like This
According to Coalition philosophy, all states and societies are nothing more than contracts between individuals to stave off anarchy and bring stability. The purpose of this stability is to create a safe, free market where individuals compete with one another for supremacy. The state exists as a sort of umpire, ensuring that cheating (disrespecting property rights) is not allowed, but in order to do its job the state must have some sort of funding. Taxation is the simplest way
Hard SF Feature 04: Scott LowtherWhen it comes to real-world hardware or designed but never flown air and spacecraft or questions about propulsion systems real or theoretical aerospace engineer and spaceflight historian Scott Lowther, author of Aerospace Projects Review, is a bona fide authority.Hard SF Feature 04: Scott Lowther in Personal More Like This
I consider technical drawings to be an art form, art raised to an exacting level of precision, and Scott is a master of the craft.
In Aerospace Projects Review issue Volume 2, Number 2, available here Scott offers a beautifully illustrated 56-page article on Project Orion. This is one of the most definitive articles on the subject, covering the large designs, 20 meters and diameter and larger. The 4,000 ton nuclear pulse propulsion orbital battleship design for the USAF is shown in never-before-published detail. Scott was able to interview one of the surviving members of the original Ge
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 Universe 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
Defunct FuturesSo, what's it like in the year 2012 in the...Defunct Futures 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
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 Wells 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
Almost Happy Shiny LovecraftThe world economy in 2011 is in a bit of a slump, and politicians are pointing fingers. Environmental issues are all over the news. And the issue of Human-Fish Man marriage remains a source of controversy.Almost Happy Shiny Lovecraft in Settings More Like This
Balance of trade is another hot topic: after all, can Earth provide anything else than certain rare earth metals that the Mi-go want to buy?
And of course, the eternal question: to blow up R’lyeh or not to blow up R’lyeh?
In spite of the bile of such non-human haters as Rhode Island senator and two-time presidential candidate HP Lovecraft, most of humanity has generally adopted to becoming part of a much larger universe. After all, if it were not for the revival of the Elder Things now restarting the civilization of Antarctica in the Amazon, technology would be much less developed: if it were not for the knowledge of Blue-Lit K’n-Yan, humans would still be without proof of the existence of the soul.
Arthur C Clarke's FutureAn Arthur C. Clarke world:Arthur C Clarke's Future 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
James Bond's UniverseJames Bond (movie) Universe.James Bond's Universe in Settings More Like This
Some may note that much of this contradicts later films: the problem is that with James Bond as with superheroes, new technologies or political arrangements different from the real world are never allowed to change the actual course of events
The Cold War ended in this world not so much due to the USSR's desperate economic condition and the futility of the arms race (although that helped) as due to the need to join forces to fight against the menace of such evil secret organizations as SPECTRE, and the ever-present problem of rogue mad scientists.
For this world is actually a world of low-level super-beings. There are those with abnormal intellectual skills: super-engineers able to rewrite the heck out of your technological paradigm show up with annoying regularity, while evil Masterminds with the coordinating skills to keep fifty balls in the air at the same time are a constant nuisance. There are those with abnormal physical skills: men able to shru