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The Lovers

Yet another Sfnal post-apocalyptic future: this time, the future world of Philip Jose Farmer’s “The Lovers.”

Some centuries hence, an interplanetary war vs. the Mars colonies leads to the release of a biological agent in the Earth’s atmosphere that kills rather more than 99% of the world’s population. Small groups survive here and there as the whims of chance and air currents spare them from the agent: a few larger areas manage to avoid serious contamination. The largest of these, Israel, Georgia, Iceland, Hawaii, and parts of S. Australia, then go on to resettle the world, assimilating smaller, scattered groups of survivors as they go.

Although the survivors in East Africa and the Malaysian peninsula are fewer and more scattered, they are numerous enough to repopulate the surrounding areas to the extent where they can avoid colonization or assimilation. They have created states of their own, speaking respectively Swahili and a mix of Malay and other SE Asian languages.

As of the 30th century, the Georgian, Icelandic, and English-speaking regions of settlement are united under a single, oppressively theological government, the Hajjic Union, followers of a new religion that arose after the “Apocalyptic War”. The Union and the Israeli Republics are bitter enemies and the principal powers of the planet. The Malays are also seen as an enemy, and may be Israeli allies. The Bantus aren’t mentioned much, and are perhaps neutrals (when thinking of fleeing the Hajjic Union, the protagonist though of the Israelis or the Malays as destinations.)

One other political unit is the March, a sort of buffer state between the Israelis and the Hajjics in Europe: it’s government isn’t recognized by any of the other powers, but it maintains a tenuous independence due to the risk of another Apocalyptic War breaking out if anyone invades. It’s inhabitants are a mix of central and eastern European types, speaking a variety of languages: the people who managed to avoid being assimilated by the Icelanders to the north and the Israelis to the south. A very simplifies Esperanto-type language is used for a universal means of communication.

There has obviously been some large-scale geological engineering, for the book talks of a “Sahara sea”. Not wanting to speculate too much, I avoided any other modifications besides an effort to bring a better climate to the interior of Australia
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What is the Hajjic religion like?
QuantumBranching's avatar
Take the more illiberal and puritanical bits of Islam and Christianity and mash them together, sprinkle with extra morality police on your case, and you won't be too far off, although it does have some unique features of its own including reverse casualty and a devil-figure travelling backwards in time. The system is unfortunately stable, since they have what amounts to 100% accurate lie detectors, which means only True Believers get into the elite. (However, at the time of the story, someone has figured out how to rig the system, so things may change, if the world doesn't blow up first). 
spartout's avatar
So are you saying iceland only survives cos its preaty isolated from the outside?
QuantumBranching's avatar
Nah, it seems from the book it was just random luck, although given that Hawaii also survived seems to indicate that the Martian attackers concentrated their dispersal of toxins on the continents.