Shop Mobile More Submit  Join Login
World War Z: Aftermath by QuantumBranching World War Z: Aftermath by QuantumBranching
Hokay, decided to do a map for the aftermath of Brook’s “World War Z” at the time the “oral history” is supposedly going to press.

(The Zombie plague seems to be occurring starting 2008, given the talk in the book about “cleaning up eight years of mess”, the thinly disguised president Colin Powell and VP Howard Dean, although the tech level seems in some ways more advanced than you’d expect only three years or so after Brooks wrote the book, so the “Panic” would be starting in 2009. Judging from a Cuban character commenting on the difference between Cuba today and 20 years ago, I put the date at 2029).

Warning: massive walls of text.

The US has regained control over all of its territory, although there still are dangers from Zombies occasionally walking out of the ocean or defrosting in mountain ice as the weather warms up from the post-Panic “nuclear autumn” conditions. Although poorer per capita than Cuba, its overall economy is still the world’s largest. It managed to save nearly a third of its population, an unusually high percentage for non-island nations.

Most US emigrants went home from Cuba after the troops were demobilized, but others came from Latin America and elsewhere: Cuba now has nearly twice its pre-war population.

Poor and ill-prepared for anti-zombie warfare, and with no cold season for Zombie activity to cease, most of Central America was badly devastated, and absorbed by Mexico post-war: the new greater Mexico has been renamed Aztlan (part of a creepy “Aztec revival” movement in Mexico, obsessed with death and warfare in art, culture, personal Machismo, etc.)

Brazil screwed up badly, and only managed to create a safe zone in the south: while they did pick up Uruguay (and a nasty military dictatorship), their population losses were the highest of any American nation maintaining a functional government post-war, and most of the north remains thinly governed if at all.

The few surviving Jamaicans voted to join the US (its immigrants making it the largest Jamaican nation on earth).

The Irish were initially sufficiently unpopular as a refuge to manage to contain their outbreaks, and what with refugees they now have half again OTLs population: the UK was not as successful, and their old islander suspicions of the mainland have revived, leading them to break with the post-war EU when it moved to become something closer to a “united states of Europe”, many populations having become mixed and reshuffled in the various refuge areas. Although losses varied (with Switzerland doing best, surprise surprise), overall they were higher than the US, given the greater population density, a largely unarmed populace, and a lot of flat land (zombies, unless they sense prey, tend to drift downhill in a “path of least resistance” manner), on the average losses were not as bad as such places as China or India or Brazil.

Sicily also became a refuge, but less secure than the mountains, suffered a severe outbreak, the political fallout of which persists. (For once in their existence, the Mafia performed heroically, their macho self-image not allowing them anything but the most determined effort to be the one to cap the most Zed-heads).

The Ukraine survived the war, barely. It is still looking very shaky, and is struggling to avoid falling under Russian control: efforts to become an EU associate have led to Russian threats (the EU nations don’t really know if the Russians have been able to maintain any of their nuclear arsenal over 20 years of chaos, but they’d rather not find out the hard way.), and the EU doesn’t particularly like the dictatorial Ukrainian government, or the restrictions on travel it has imposed to prevent further a drain of population to the west. Of course, there are those who demand standing up to Russian bullying. There is a lot of debate as to whether the Russians are really crazy, or just indulging in Nixonian “madman” posturing: what is known is that the Holy Russian Empire is a dictatorship of Stalinist nastiness, with control so tight that it has been able in a decade to bring up birth rates to 1980s third world levels, increasing population by a third from post-war lows (not that the war is entirely over in Russia: Zombies continue to thaw out every Siberian spring).

US Talking Heads gravely ruminate that at current growth rates Russia will surpass the US in population in 40 years: other Talking Heads grumble that the likelihood of the Russian state maintaining current levels of repression for that length of time are, to say, the least, remote.

Africa remains a mess: although a surprising number of individual Africans managed to survive (already used to dealing with deadly disease, murderous killers, living off the wilderness, and with lots of Cold War surplus weapons at hand…[1]) few of the ramshackle governments survived, and while tropical zombies rotted fast enough that by the time more developed nations were ready to give a hand they were mostly already “non-functional”, much of the interior remains a chaos intermittently controlled by various petty warlords. The UN controls the coasts and prevents marine zombies from passing inland (mostly) but it is stretched thin over a vast area and member nations still remembering how much better they had it before World War Z are reluctant to pony up more funds. Some South African politicians have ambitions of unifying the whole continent.

The French managed to avoid accusations of racism by rescuing blacks and Muslims in percentages comparable to their share of the total population pre-war: some grumble that their encouragement of French Algerians and Tunisians in their efforts to restore their depopulated nations is, however, just a means of getting the Africans out of France for good and all. Much of the Middle East was heavily depopulated, although there were pockets of survivors in the Yemeni mountain fortresses, in the Bedu wastelands, and especially in the mountains of Turkey, Kurdish and otherwise: Kurds and Turks managed to sink their differences in fighting the living dead, and since the war Turkey has expanded greatly into the depopulated lands of Syria and Iraq.

The heroic defense of the Kaaba in Mecca, resupplied by Arab pilots on begged, borrowed, and stolen fuel for two years until some reinforcements finally arrived from Turkey and Indonesia, is an epic tale: still, world Islam has been particularly badly hit by the war. The loss of Egypt, with its thin line of population in the midst of a refuge-free desert which also allowed endless “flanking” possibilities by the undead, was a particularly hard blow, as was the suicidal nuclear exchange between Iran and Pakistan which helped bring about the collapse of both nations.

Palestinians have done quite well with their fixer-upper of a nation, so much so that a number of Israeli Arabs have emigrated. Mutterings similar to those re the French are often heard.

India suffered very high losses, both from Zombie attack and from starvation in the safe zones: efficient organization and quick perfection of new technologies not being India’s strongest points. Still, enough survived that with the absorption of the remnants of Pakistan, eastern Iran and Bangladesh India is now the world’s most populous nation. The economy remains shambolic, but nobody is starving anymore, and Indian commercial instincts remain unblunted.

Tibet is dominated nowadays by immigrants, the majority Chinese, but also Burmese, central Asian, Xinjiang Muslims and Indians and Nepalese who didn’t feel they were far enough away from the Living Dead. Many more came, but died of cold or hunger in the anarchic first years. Over a quarter of the population lives in the sprawling, 60%-slums, filthy, but very lively capital of Lhasa: with nearly three and a half million inhabitants, it is currently the world’s largest city (if not urban area), most major world cities having been overrun by Zombies and either burned or very slowly resettled since. The Dalai Lama, returned from India, has played a vital role in reconciling the immigrants with the native Tibetans, and has accepted the results of the election (in which a fair number of immigrants actually voted Lamaist out of admiration for him, but the Social Democrats still won by a big margin) with good grace.

China, where the government flatly refused to follow any version of the Redeker Plan and instead tried to fight the Zombies everywhere at once through a policy of truly universal mobilization, (and then fought a civil war while still fighting zombies) suffered the worst losses of any major nation, over 90% of its population dying, although there has been a bit of a postwar baby boom with the elimination of the pre-war One Child policy and the settlement of destitute peasants on newly available land. Politics are turbulent, and assassinations of the “guilty” are not infrequent, in spite of the observation of democratic forms.

Australia and New Zealand suffered from nasty outbreaks of their own, and are busily trying to attract European and North American immigration.

Indonesia lost most of densely populated (and too close to China by air) Java, and the government is currently dominated by religiously conservative types from Sumatra: the breakaway of the Moluccas rankles.

Japan only managed to get about a third of the population out to eastern Siberia, Taiwan, South Korea and the islands before things went truly pear-shaped, and the distinctly unhelpful attitudes of the Russian government let to a lot of Japanese freezing or starving to death. Since the idea of foreign immigration is less popular than ever (they might be plague-carriers!), Japan, along with several other countries, is attempting to encourage reproduction through legislation (some foreigners compare this to Holy Russia, but that doesn’t discourage the Japanese government), most recently through tax measures that shrink your taxes with every extra child you have (and increase them for every child less, people grumble) and punish those who don’t marry by twenty-five.

Japanese men, and some women, are bearing swords in public again.

Nobody knows where the hell the North Koreans went, (underground, presumably) but nobody really wants to be the one that opens the door and lets out 23 million hungry Zombies. Joint South Korean and Chinese patrols along the coasts make sure nobody sets foot in North Korea and starts digging around. Something will be done eventually, of course, but there is a lot of debate as to what, starting with sending in robot remotes and going up to building a Zombie-proof wall all along the border before doing anything else.

Technology has undergone some changes: self-sufficiency, large stocks of supplies, energy-efficiency and simplicity are all in, as are self-renewing energy and recycling. Biofuels, solar power, wind power, etc. are all big: nuclear power has not been helped by the meltdowns of various reactors abandoned by panicky employees, the Pakistan-Iran nuclear exchange, and the atomic decapitation attack ending the Chinese civil war. (This will eventually become a problem, but not yet, since demand is so shrunken from 2008). Space industry has come back online, mostly for satellite monitoring and communications. (Speaking of monitoring, everyone has close circuit cameras and plenty of them to, say, make sure something isn’t lurking outside the garage).

The environment is a mess: what with all the extra fishing while farmland was overrun with zombies, fish stocks have hit new lows, and huge areas of the ocean have suffered from what are essentially total collapses of the local ecosystem: some thinkers mutter uneasily about a “Permian extinction event.” Most large land animals have also been eaten by humans or zombies (although a few elephants have survived). Birds, much harder for zombies to catch, have generally done better. Rodents have multiplied horribly.

And still nobody can figure out how Zombies work.

[1] I think sapient Africans can do better than Quislings and Ferals, no?
Add a Comment:
grisador Featured By Owner Sep 8, 2015
Very good :nod:
felneymike Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2015
This was a well-researched book, but I thought he got it pretty wrong with the British "running to their castles", "generously provided by the monarchy". We don't have that many castles, and a lot of them are not much more than crumbling stumps of outer wall. They are mostly owned by two major preservation charities, and are hardly set up for defence (after nearly 1000 years with only negligible land invasions, you don't need a moat - most have been filled in). A US-style fleeing to the Scottish Highlands and islands would be more likely.
On the other hand, Japan does have 'preserved' (or rebuilt in the 20th century, with concrete, air con and lifts) castles, with intact walls, parkland inside, and wide moats. Osaka castle, it's land access quickly cut off by a bunch of demolition charges, could accommodate hundreds in safety.
Mithferion Featured By Owner Jul 19, 2015
Great work!
SmokingSnake71 Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2015  Hobbyist Interface Designer
1.6bi to 128mi
China is passing thought hard days
Mexannik99 Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2015
That feeling when normal country with a common name "Belarus" in the picture included in Russia.
QuantumBranching Featured By Owner Jul 11, 2015
Well, it _is_ a dystopia. :D
KatharineArt Featured By Owner Jun 22, 2015  Student Digital Artist
How the hell did Singapore live?...
phantomdotexe Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
I feel like Oman would have made it out better than other Gulf states. 
ArmouredWarrior Featured By Owner Jun 14, 2015
This map was how I discovered this vibrant Deviantart world of Alternate Worlds, so yeah thanks for that. 

I enjoyed the book and I am interested in the map. I wonder how Greenland fared. Probably well. 

I've heard that Iceland has a lot (and I mean a lot) of firearms per capita. Surely the population would've been able to defend themselves better? 

Why did GB lose so much? 
Shirakou1 Featured By Owner May 7, 2015
why would Russia not be able to keep its current levels of repression? Outside pressure?
snakewrangler08 Featured By Owner Apr 27, 2015
I was always curious about how individual states here in the U.S. fared. Any ideas on that?
Ouroboros-491 Featured By Owner Apr 29, 2015
From what I understand, after the effort to take down zed heads quietly when balls up and the battle of Yonkers, the US relocated its government to Honolulu, established a line of defense on the west side of the Rockies, and began implementing the Redeker Plan. Individual states didn't really survive, most redeker outposts were about the size of small towns. Everything outside of them was wilderness populated by zombies, Ferals and Quislings.   
When the army was doing its sweep across the nation, they would often encounter survivors. they called the sane ones Crusoes, and the not-so-sane Last men on Earth. The problem with warlords was mostly averted, because America wouldn't abandon its convicts in Zed Territory where enterprising lunatics could carve their own personal fiefdoms.    
While America was attempting to exterminate Zombies on the west coast, as well as restore law and order to the land, several states attempted to succeed from the union. They were defeated. During the swept, however, several enclaves of Surviers felt that the US had  abandoned them, a "we didn't leave the USA, the USA left us" attitude. They were taken care of too, but nobody really felt good about it.
MootykinsII Featured By Owner Apr 12, 2015
I love it how Max created this alternate reality and paid so much attention. Favorite part was when they delved into how the US equipment dealt more towards enemies with guns and morale than enemies that are dead and still walk without a sense of self-preservation.
Eheucaius17 Featured By Owner Apr 9, 2015
What about Canada? Please tell me Canada wasn't overrun by zombies! 
MehShotgun Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2015
I have a question, how the frickedy frack did you know that info about Indonesia? There's nothing in the book that says anything like that, also the most of the population is dead and most of the survivors are most likely going to be fit young people with bamboo sticks, weed wackers, Pindad SS1s, M16s and Chainsaws, how are a bunch of bigoted assholes from Aceh in control?
QuantumBranching Featured By Owner Mar 28, 2015
Er, I "know" nothing, I made stuff up. Distance from the center of the breakout in Java and lower population densities helps outlying areas like west Sumatra do relatively better, and religious apocalypticism is certainly going to be a powerful force in the aftermath, since the zombies are frankly inexplicable by science. But if you have your own view based on local knowledge, please tell me; if I get enough feedback, I can always do a version 2.0 of the writeup. 
xxolah Featured By Owner Dec 27, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
one question what happend to sweden are we still the same?
Shirakou1 Featured By Owner Edited Oct 18, 2014
So Hugo Chavez annexed Colombia?
carmencaracol Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
ColOmbia, not Columbia :(
QuantumBranching Featured By Owner Sep 10, 2014
Oops. Sorry, I know that, but the cheap old brain slips up sometimes.
42Answertolife42 Featured By Owner Jul 24, 2014
How is the US still number one? The Book made it pretty clear at the end that the US was really struggling just to get back on its feet. I think Cuba would probably have both a higher GDP and a larger economy than America

And why is Portugal depopulated? After Switzerland, the Iberian Peninsula is probably the most ideal place in Europe to be with a mountainous territory cut off from Europe by the Pyreenes, a relatively low population density, and since it is not in a cold climate it wouldn't be a obvious target for most refugees

Also it suggests in the book that Ireland has united. When the German solider gets interviewed in Armagh, a town which in OTL is in Northern Ireland, instead of saying Armagh, Northern Ireland, UK he says Armagh, Ireland.
pytko3 Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2014
The book states that the US. economy is rapidly on the rise, plus we still have the largest military in the world.Smoking 
42Answertolife42 Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2014
It doesn't say that anywhere in the book. It mentions that the US faces issues with inflation (money taken by looters from abandoned homes, dead bodies, ect..), large scale corruption (the deregulation of basic supplies) and then it specifically says the "The Cuban Peso is still king"...

A county's military strength has absolutely nothing to do with economics and assuming that it did the US still wouldn't be number one considering that it scraped its entire airforce after Yonkers.
pytko3 Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2014
The Airforce wasn't scrapped, just mothballed for the time being.  It came back after victory was declared in China.  Arthur Sinclair stated at the end the economy was getting better every day and may catch the Cuban Peso.Smoking 
42Answertolife42 Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2014
Considering that oil in post-war America is extremely rare, it doesn't really matter if the air force was just kept grounded since it won't be very useful without oil. The book never says anything about the air force coming back after VC day but because of the the lack of oil and the state of the American economy I think it's safe to assume that at least a large part of the air force was scrapped eventually.
He said the economy is slowly getting better but slowly is not going to be enough to catch up the economic heart of the Western Hemisphere. America catching up to Cuba in the WWZ timeline would be the equivalent of Greece catching up to Germany or France in OTL. Corruption and  Inflation issues don't solve themselves overnight.
QuantumBranching Featured By Owner Sep 10, 2014
Greece does not have several times the population of Germany. Quantity has a quality of its own. The US is less prosperous than Cuba, but it has far more resources, human and otherwise.
42Answertolife42 Featured By Owner Sep 16, 2014
If we are speaking of resources shouldn't China and India? Both China and India according to your map have larger population and resource wise each control a very large portion of the world's fertile land and an equally large portion of the world's mineral resources.

However, resources still don't put China, India, or the US at "number 1." Cuba should still be above them all. Think of 19th century China, China had more resources and population than all of the 19th century European countries combined, however economically it was backwards so it's riches could be easily exploited by the more economically successful Europeans. This is the exact position that the US and Cuba find themselves in in the WWZ timeline. America's economy is in shambles, while Cuba's is booming. It doesn't matter what flag the resources are under because they might as well be Cuban. It will be Cuban Companies that will be mining/cultivating those resources and then refining them in order to sell them back to the Americans at a much more expensive price.
Atamolos Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Brilliant work!
leader1623 Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2014
Lol I think South Korea is the only country happy that the Zombie outbreak happened. Got rid of North Korea, and the Japanese stopped bothering them.
dormart131464 Featured By Owner May 9, 2015
What about the Russians? Thanks too this war they're basically a growing empire now.
hanseki Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2013  Hobbyist
I noticed that you marked Estonia, Latvia and Poland as "European Union", but Lithuania as "UN Trust Zone" and I was curious if you did that randomly without any reason or there Was some reason behind it (I'm a Lithuanian, so that's why that grabbed my attention)?
Jpislanublar Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2013
how are the Netherlands doing? did they manage to pump their country dry again after the flooded it?
XwolfdragonX Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Amazing work.
Gotta love North America, " We're still number 1!" :lol:
slawomiro Featured By Owner Oct 18, 2013
Kaliningrad becomes Polish? Sounds legit. :lol:
QuantumBranching Featured By Owner Oct 25, 2013
Well, I assumed that it wouldn't have much of a local population left after the zombies swept through relatively unopposed by a major state - the Motherland has its own problems two countries over, and the Poles are unlikely to be very helpful, being rather busy saving their own asses.
AntonioAJC Featured By Owner Oct 13, 2013
Ah, man, my country (Panama) was depopulated. :c Well, I guess it's for the better since we don't have a military.
QuantumBranching Featured By Owner Oct 25, 2013
Sorry and all that. :(
finn2012 Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
Poor Iceland. ):
QuantumBranching Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2013
Yeah, unfortunate. I ran into a fanfic more recently that gives the idea of what it must be like to be Icelandic in that world...…
finn2012 Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
Awww that is depressing. The nuclear option looks pretty good.. |P
Silverlegends Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Aztlan mountains and deserts would have been exploited as refuges against Zack.

Perhaps the druglords proved their efficiency by shotting as many as they could as well fortifying their hideouts in the canyons and cliffs of Chihuaha.

The goverment might have moved Maria Islands as well setting some whaling stations in Guadalupe.

Mexico city and all the populations at the center of the country would have been ragaved by the zombies while the rest of the country would have resisted a little better, if not dealing with centroamerican refugees and chinese inmigrants.
mate888 Featured By Owner Jul 22, 2013
I think Falklands would be a White Zone, because of the many Chilean and British refugees, and the cold...
QuantumBranching Featured By Owner Jul 22, 2013
Remember, these is an "infectious zombie" scenario, not a "the dead rise" scenario (sure, the infected _die_ and then rise, but bodies resting comfortably in tombs, morgues, etc. keeping on resting comfortably, and uninfected who die of natural causes stay dead). The only source of zombies would be infected people arriving, and since there isn't much in the way of regular plane transport, I'd expect most refugees to arrive by boat - giving the infected time enough to activate _before_ they get there, and people accompanying them will, ah, sink or swim. I suppose some infected might arrive by private or military or stolen airplane, and it could turn into a White Zone, but I don't think it's overwhelmingly likely.
Leopold002 Featured By Owner Jul 18, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
8.885 out of 10.
mate888 Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2013
One little thing, I am reading the book, and I'm curious, who are the crazy man of China Lake? They say it later on the book?
CivPlayer Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2014
China Lake is a U.S. Military research facility in California, so Max Brooks is probably referring to the military scientists there.
QuantumBranching Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2013
Don't recall, and I don't have a copy handy, sorry.
mate888 Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2013
Great map from Buneos Aires!
Now, what happened in my city? Oh, theyfcvihxjvndfhucxjknldvucxhik vnvucxih kjblknmcvkxjlvk , BRAIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIINS...
QuantumBranching Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2013
Zombie apocalypses. Always tough on life in the big city...
brutusbg Featured By Owner Jun 25, 2013
Europe's 11 is ... Bulgaria? :D
Add a Comment:


Submitted on
April 9, 2011
Image Size
324 KB


36,942 (7 today)
233 (who?)