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September 7, 2011
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Axis of Time 1950 by QuantumBranching Axis of Time 1950 by QuantumBranching
An attempt at a semi-realistic look at the world of John Birmingham's "Axis of Time" series [link] in 1950, after things have (hah!) settled down for a bit.

Roosevelt, thanks to future medicine, lasted a bit longer than OTL, long enough to get some of his more visionary ideas for a "global New Deal" started, although these plans are now running into trouble with Congressional penny-pinchers and foreigners unhappy with "US meddling." Some say it was his final, failed stuggle to win Stalin over to his ideas and make a workable peace that killed him in the end.

Stalin, unable to bear the notion that the Soviet system he created was to be a total failure, has convinced himself that the future the Uptimers came from was a mistake, a failure, that history itself has "corrected" by sending 21st century warnings and tech back in time. Most of the Soviet leadership thinks this is a bunch of dingoes kidneys, but keep their mouths shut and hope Stalin won't last much longer than his OTL departure date, and won't take any cues from the Pharaohs as to his burial arrangements.

Massive resources are being expended to develop a Soviet computer industry: with computerized planning, and a high-tech panopticon surveilance system to put 1984 to shame, a planned economy, free of cheating, misinformation and human error will be possible. It must be possible, for otherwise history has no purpose.

The British plan to make a much better Imperial exit than they did OTL, but they will do so at their own pace and their own way, thank you very much, without American or future meddlers.

The French, after a bloody but brief settling of scores, are on another Republic, and have ambitious plans to recreate their empire as a true federal, multiracial union, since a unified Germany makes it unlikely they will be able to take control of the EU-in-the-making (if it ever comes: many, American and European, think a true Atlantic Union might be the more prudent choice). The Muslim thing is worrysome, though.

Japan is still under US occupation: the Americans remain pissed over that whole civilian-massacres-in-Hawaii dealie.

Ho Chi Minh, who made it out of Soviet occupied N. Indochina just in time to avoid Mao's fate, is also pissed off.

The Soviet Union is probably waaay overextended in Asia, but so far Stalinist ruthlessness and the preemtive murder of anyone the histories indicate might be a troublemaker have kept things from exploding - so far.

With the Bear at the door, and a glum report on his country's future, Jinnah and the national congress managed to beat out a deal that kept a Pakistan with some autonomy within India, and the Indian leadership has made some "mutual protection" (US nuclear umbrella) agreements with the US, much to Gandhi's annoyance. Nehru still favors democratic socialism: they'll get it right this time, he cheerfully announces.

The Israeli Quagmire sucks in various metaphoric ways.

Stalin, noting the failure of the US to attack the USSR in our world when it was rather worse-armed with respect to the US than it is in the new timeline, is pushing hard to spread Communism further and further still.

Metallic objects shoot high above the atmosphere, and higher still, as the US and USSR work to develop a full ICBM arsenal.

Kolhammer gloomily notes that the point in time where the US could destroy the USSR with little or no damage has passed: from now on, the risks get exponentially worse.

The former Uptimer officer who rules Indonesia is caught between the devil and the deep blue sea: on the one hand, he is supposed to oversee a transition to full democracy, while on the other he isn't supposed to let the Communists into power. Unrest of both the Soviet-backed type and just of the good old nationalist variety is rapidly on the rise, and the US is getting very annoyed: plans, with the aid of the Uptimers, are being hatched. (Given their experience with the Indonesian Caliphate, the Uptimers views on Indonesia may be a wee bit biased, however).

Work has begun in Nicaragua on a Bigger and Better passage between the seas.

An avalanche of new technologies spread outward from California.

The tobacco industry is now fiercely regulated.

Up-time agents, by means fair and foul, are still working sneaky spy/spoiler/ratfucking jobs on the Enemy Within, the reactionary and racist and ignorant attitudes of the mid-20th. The Civil Rights movement is getting under way, and it looks like it will be a bloodier event this time around. At the same time, efforts are underway to prevent the rise of radical Islam (the overthrow of the House of Saud is only part of the long-term planning) and to harden the US for a struggle vs the Communists.

At the same time, there is forming a broad coalition of forces, from the Left as well as the Right, including reactionaries and racists and strugglers for human rights and basic humanity: what they all agree on is that they will not have a bunch of murderous freaks from the future dictating the development of the US by secret manipulation. They will pull in their horns and learn to fit in, or be squashed.

PS - I have reduced the Soviet-wank a bit: the Soviets overruning all of North Italy when the Allies are, you know, _right there_ in southern Italy and going on to occupy SE France just struck me as silly.
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:iconsnakewrangler08:
snakewrangler08 Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2014
I really enjoyed the series. I still found the end of it to be a massive Soviet-wank.
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:iconhusk55:
husk55 Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2013
Why do I get the feeling that this is the prequel to the Twilight Zone? :) (or at least some of the episodes)
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:iconeluxivo:
Eluxivo Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2012
are the uptimers known to the general public or are they this world roswell UFO equal?
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:iconquantumbranching:
QuantumBranching Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2012
Pretty well know by this point - they have no intention of being under the thumb of the current government, so the Uptimers have made sure that the general public knows about them so they can't be locked up in Hangar 18 or whatever. :)
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:iconeluxivo:
Eluxivo Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2012
whats the original timeline situation, considering the Indonesian Caliphate was left unstopped?
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:iconquantumbranching:
QuantumBranching Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2012
Well, it's not like a few ships represent the entire fighting force of the allied nations: the Indonesians presumeably get stomped later. Of course, the question of what the hell happened to the vanished ships is going to be a huge issue, once it has been determined the Indonesians didn't do it with Secrit Weapons or something.
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:iconeluxivo:
Eluxivo Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2012
any future attempts by the goverments of both timelines to replicate what happened?

sure it would be clear that making history is a minecraft game but less cooler heads can still say there's some...potential.
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:iconquantumbranching:
QuantumBranching Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2012
There's certainly research going on, but I expect it won't be easy to replicate...
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