1980 Looking at the Big Sky 2558

Ad astra ut vigeamus

Looking at
the Big Sky

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It’s May 26, 2558. It’s a cool fifteen degrees on the red beaches of Mars. Basketball scores are up; minigolf scores are down. And, somewhere underneath the seas of Tau Ceti, the hundred billionth person alive has just been born. Welcome to the future.

Looking at the Big Sky is a sci-fi alternate history setting that’s been marinating in my head for half a decade; now, for the first time, i’m throwing my little paracosm cyber-on-line (as the kids say). It might take a while — i’ve got three centuries’ worth of history to deal with here! — but i hope you enjoy what there is so far.

Current pages

General principles, loosely organised

  • The point of divergence is the 18th of February, 1980, when a Soviet security officer in Kabul is hospitalised with tuberculosis. Four days later, a mob storms Afghanistan’s presidential palace, killing Babrak Karmal, the USSR’s puppet leader.
  • While not a “utopia” by any means, things in 2558 will be better than they are now. Democracy survives, Earth is at peace, human culture is flourishing — none of the usual dystopian claptrap.
  • One billion kilometres per hour: it’s not just a good idea, it’s the law. Humans and their kin are still beholden to the sluggish speed of light, and have only explored a few light-years out from Earth.
  • There is no singularity. Yes, most technogens think faster than baseline humans, and they think differently, but those two things don’t necessarily translate to “smarter”. A sufficiently dedicated human could (veeeeery slowly) follow along with an technogen’s reasoning if it were patient enough to explain.
  • Sapien civilisation, as of now, has not made any kind of confirmed contact with intelligent life originating outside of Earth.

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