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The Man in the High Castle



Ok, an AH classic - Philip K Dick's "The Man in the High Castle" 2011: a few decades after the setting of the book.

The Japanese survived, through a combination of bluff and guile, until they had assembled a large enough collection of cobalt-salted mega-bombs to poison the planet for the next 10,000 years and didn't have to bluff anymore. They mellowed - would Tojo have hesitated to kill off a third of China to pacify the rest? His heirs in the 70s and 80s did. They even gave their US west coast protectorate autonomy in the Empire. The Germans sneered at such weakness and predicted the imminent collapse of the Japanese Empire. Some Japanese talking heads agreed.

And then, a reformer was elected to the position of Fuhrer. Unfortunately, he actually meant what he said when he talked about clearing out corruption and inefficiency and "private little empires." Like Hitler before him, the rank and file of the Party thought he was just making noises for the masses...

The Nazi Civil War started out as a matter of coups and assassinations, but eventually grew into a nuclear weapons contest of "chicken." Unfortunately, most Nazi leaders weren't much concerned about innocent bystanders...

The Japanese were rather happy that the Germans managed to pull back from total self-destruction: happy, since their analysts had predicted that if things went that far the Germans would probably try to take everyone else out with them in a final gesture of from-hells-heart-stabbiness. (As it was, a couple nukes were tossed at Japan by some of the crazier local warlords. Western Tokyo took some serious damage). On the other hand, life had become rather more complex as a three-way cold war between Nazi factions was overlaid upon the traditional German-Japanese contest...

None of the Nazi factions is _democratic_, but at least the Munich faction is relatively sane. Unfortunately, they're the worst off in terms of geography and resources. The Stuttgart government is good old fashioned careerist Nazis, while the Eastern Territories are held by the most fanatical groups, who are annoyed that all Non-Aryans haven't been wiped out yet. What they lack in numbers (mostly of the Eastern territories are thinly populated) they make up for in loony.

The Slavic Preserves, now the Slavic Union, wants them dead just as much. Now that German planes don't fly over their territory at will and bomb anything that looks like a factory, they are making up for lost time: seismic activity indicated they have developed their own bomb, something that annoys the Japanese, which took them under their nuclear umbrella when the German imperium collapsed. Worse, they have been infiltrating on a very large scale German territory, establishing "liberated zones" in endless empty forests the Germans have never had the manpower (or desire: it's cold!) to settle after they kicked out the Slavs. The Japanese are thinking of calling them on the carpet.

Of course, the Japanese have other worries: the Chinese Reich, product of fifty years of guerilla warfare, is carrying out force-draft industrialization of North Korean nastiness: and they are very determined to get South China back. (Fortunately, the South Chinese have no real interest in joining up).

And then there are the Americans: giving them self-government to keep them from turning to the Nazis was reasonable, their annexation of the Rocky Mountain states when the Nazis were Otherwise Occupied was understandable - but nearly getting into a war with the Confederacy over the wreckage of the post-civil-war east? Idiotic. Sure, the enlarged US is now one of the most productive partners in the Co-Prosperity Sphere, but juggling three sets of Nazis at once is bad enough without drawing Japan into conflicts with the Confederacy.

Africa south of Italian territory and north of South African remains rather empty: with the more salubrious climes of southern Russia, it has taken quite a bit of government prodding to get any German settlements outside the mines and the tropical products plantations, and much of the country is so empty that it's almost impossible to find the "hidden villages" of those African escapees that often show up on satellite pictures. On the other hand, German nature lovers enthuse over the great recovery of wildlife since the 50s.

(Although Italian Libya and Eritrea are solidly Italianized nowadays, and much of the healthier Ethiopian highlands have been cleared of locals, there are still quite a few native Africans in Italian territory, and more in South Africa, in spite of the Eugenics program. Before the Civil war, German tourists in those countries would grumble about the labor situation in German Africa and how nice it would have been if the government had let some of the locals survive, if only for local color).

Latin America, where the Japanese generally got on better with the locals than the Germans, is economically dominated by Japan, which has substantially pulled ahead of a war-impoverished Germany in standards of living (which seriously pisses off the Germans). Fearing German wrath, (ore just racist) a majority of the nations have as yet not joined the Co-Prosperity Sphere, though.

German space colonization has been curtailed for now, and besides the still-troubled ecomomies there is the fact that now the space effort is divided: the various space-wheels in orbit are under different management, each of the three factions has its own Moonbase, and the Mars base has not yet been rebuilt since combat between different factions in its staff killed the lot of them. As yet no expeditions have been dispatched to the outer planets since the Jupiter mission of '87 (which makes some environmentalists sigh in relief: the big nuclear-torch ships are very dirty - even the smaller rockets have put so much crap into the ionosphere that satellites are much bigger than OTL and use vacuum tubes, since the energetic particles tend to mess up microchips).

Millions died when some loony nuked the Gibraltar Dam, which did some major coastline-remodelling all over the western Med: on the bright side, most people agree that the weather is nicer since the sea level returned to its original position.

There are still Jews, in some parts of Latin America and Japanese territory and the Slav lands: but they keep it quiet: the Nazis have not yet gone away.
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