Shop Mobile More Submit  Join Login
The Centauri Device by QuantumBranching The Centauri Device by QuantumBranching
New map thread, so I thought I’d throw this one out here.

It’s a fairly crack alternate future, (and a bit of a twist on the Eurabia meme), and I’ll excuse myself by saying it was inspired by an even more crack future setting in the SF novel “The Centauri Device”, by M. John Harrison.

The idea here is that in an AH late 70’s, due to a falling out between the USSR and it’s major Arab allies, relations improve between the USSR and the Israelis, to the point where after the balloon goes up due to an unfortunate set of events involving a flock of large birds, a certain amount of vodka, and a radar-machine assembly tech with very little job motivation, Israel has been taken off the “short list” of nuclear targets.

Israel wakes up the next day to find out that the US, USSR, most of Europe, and China (smashed by the USSR in a “well, they won’t get to dance on our graves” fit of end-of-the-world pique) are now radioactive rubble.

Surrounded by Arab nations undergoing severe internal instability in the face of the collapse of the world economy, the Israelis decide that taking certain precautionary measures for the future would be a good idea, and move in to establish what order they can in the disaster area to the north and west. (And, incidentally, occupy any good non-radioactive farmland they could find).

In the long run, the Israelis ended up taking over what was left of a 90% depopulated Europe with no functional governments save in parts of the Iberian peninsula, and a shellshocked and grateful European population ended up taking part in one of the great religious revivals of history, in which over 50% of a previously mostly irreligious European population would end up converting to Judiasm. Later, the Israelis would extend their influence to the depopulated east coast of the United states…

While this had been going on, Arab governments had been collapsing like ninepins as world trade imploded, cancer deaths soared, and agriculture suffered horribly from the rather nasty weather (not a full-blown nuclear winter, or neither they or the Israelis would have survived, but bad enough). By the early 2000’s, a radical new Islamic movement had unified most of North Africa, and would continue to expand across the Arab world and south into the mostly disintegrated state-systems of sub-Saharan Africa.

By the 2070’s the expansion of the Islamic state had largely stalled out as states consolidated themselves to the South with Israeli and Latin American help, and the Indians proved bellicosely resistant to the notion of direct incorporation of Former Pakistan into the Union, although loyalist groups kept such places as Baluchistan and Bangladesh under fairly close control. Worse, such Islamic states as the Indonesians, Afghans, and Turkestanis seemed oddly reluctant to undergo full assimilation into the Union…

Latin America, although clobbered by world economic collapse and various consequent revolutions, largely avoided any nuclear attacks (although Mexico was rather hard hit by fallout) and became another one of the centers of global recovery. The Brazil-led League of the Americas is a major free trade block, although politically it remains a very weak union. Angola, which the Brazilians moved into looking for oil a few years after the war, remains a close associate state of Brazil, as does the Katangan republic.

India, with it’s own historical Muslim issues, is the Federation’s major ally. Although hit badly by fallout, it has managed to remain together and regain control of a few areas which broke away in the aftermath, although they’ve stayed out of Kashmir as “more trouble than it’s worth.”

Iran, whose Shi’as look with suspicion on the UIR’s claims to speak for all of Islam, is neutral (in it’s own opinion), “Finlandized” by the UIR (in the Israeli’s opinion) or an objectively pro-Israel and probably Up To No Good state (in the UIR’s opinion). Iran currently has fairly good relations with a number of minor states, including Japan, another carefully neutral and heavily armed nation.

East Asia is a bit of a mess: the various Chinese states have been struggling to find a way towards reunification for some decades now, not helped by Korean, Israeli, and Islamic meddling. (Keeping China disunited in a major deal for the Koreans and the Turkestanis, both of which have large and restless Chinese minorities under their control.) There have already been a couple of bloody, inconclusive wars, and a new round of fighting seems likely, now that recovery has proceeded to the point where the states can field modern armies.

In the south, the Vietnamese took advantage of the near-collapse of civilization to be naughty, and nowadays are having some trouble with their Cambodian and Laosian minorites. India has a sort of protectorate over the fragmented states of former Burma, and Japan has recovered from the rather horrendous post-war famine-and-fallout death-toll to the extent where it can guard it’s strict neutrality with a fairly formidable military…

As the 22nd century dawns, the major powers jostle for influence, and compete to place colonies on Mars and the Moon. Tensions remain between the ancient enemies, Israel and the Arabic lands, but the Islamic Republics have mellowed a bit, not least due to the satisfactions of great-power status. Israel’s currently biggest headache is not the Islamicists, but the hard-core Christian fundamentalists of the CSA, which threaten friendly California and work to stir up terrorism among hardcore nationalists and fundamentalists living in the former US territories to the east. President Scudder fulminates against the Zionist Occupation Government, and people worry about the prospect of the CSA government obtaining nuclear weapons…
Add a Comment:
bookworm2015 Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2014
Very cool! Can you give me more backstory on the ANZAC, Dominions, Siberian Republic, and other countries you didn't mention? 
coldblood11 Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2014
Alternate History Wank :) Nice map
OttoVonSuds Featured By Owner Mar 23, 2012
Ah, this one of the classics. I'd like an updated remake of this with an even more detailed backstory.
QuantumBranching Featured By Owner Mar 25, 2012
Oy... if I did a more detailed backstory, it gets harder to slide past the "and then a miracle happened" parts! :)
OttoVonSuds Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2012
But you pulled it off with Amerika!
QuantumBranching Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2012
It's hard to build a convincing Jew Ray...
anw-rev Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2010
AWESOME! I wonder whether the "Arab-Israeli world" Cold War alternate history was only done in The Centauri Device.
Oh, I want to see other messed up timeline like that!!
QuantumBranching Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2010
Heh. I think there have been "Israel vs. Arabs in Spaaace!" stories, but as far as I know this is the only story with an "Arab-Israeli Conflict overruns the World" backdrop...
YamaTheSpaceFish Featured By Owner Jul 23, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
You're making me want an American release.
zalezsky Featured By Owner May 30, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Add a Comment:


Submitted on
October 22, 2009
Image Size
242 KB


7,560 (1 today)
24 (who?)