Creating a world is fun! That’s why I want to bring you, my readers along on this journey into the future.
Once again, I am moving into a new genre: near-future dystopian fiction. The working title is either “Fractured States of America” or “The Woman from the Prairie Bank.”
In the year 2050, the United States of America have fractured. A number of southern states have formed a New American Confederacy, and with the support of some significant sections of the former U.S. military as well as paramilitary organizations, have rolled back civil rights in predictable ways.
The U.S. federal government has chosen to ignore this, claiming sovereignty over the NAC without being able to do much about it. The economy suffers and slows.
The New Confederacy is a loose group of independent, often mutually hostile governors and warlords, who have set up what look like fiefdoms, with their own private armies.
The rest of the world has moved on, abandoning the fossil-fuel economy (fossil fuel-economy). The U.S. is increasingly isolated and ignored by trade deals, and China has become the dominant superpower. Not the only one, but the leader. World politics have increasingly ignored the U.S. As a result, it has turned increasingly inward-looking, which has created a self-reinforcing syndrome.
The U.S. has become, literally, the only rich economy still largely dependent on fossil-fuel energy sources. It is the only place that still mines, let alone burns coal. One result is that global warming has been mitigated, but too late to avoid drowning Florida and many other low-lying coastlines.
The U.S. has also suffered most harshly, at least among wealthy nations, from the three pandemics—two following COVID-19.
The second pandemic was dubbed “the Green Plague” in the U.S. Claiming it was caused by vaccines, the anti-vaxxers, predictably and thankfully, died out. But then corporations claimed that the virus was created by the environmental movement to kill the economy. The environmental movement in the U.S. became inescapably demonized.
What about technology?
Of course, it has advanced. Electric vehicles, even planes, are all electric. Charging happens in seconds. It’s just an extension of engineering today.
There are several internets spanning the globe. The successor to wifi is ubiquitous, and the cellular network is at 10G by 2050. However, people, being people, did not take to wearable tech. We still prefer to carry a device we call a phone.
All telecommunications are monitored by Chinese state intelligence. As a result, there is a black market for phones and cellular networks that operate outside the legitimate networks. The U.S. FCC regularly takes down the rogue cell towers and confiscates black-market phones, as do secret Chinese intelligence agents operating in the U.S. and around the world.
Laptop and tablet computers have been replaced with foldable screens and virtual keyboards. I call one model the “Quinto.” Think of an iPad that can do everything your current tablet and desktop computer can do, and more.
The main character is The Woman from the Prairie Bank, Leona Sawchuk from Regina, Saskatchewan. She has the rare ability to read Rifle Code, the successor to Blockchain, and the basic medium and mode of digital financial transactions. Her job is as an auditor for the Bank of Regina, which has a significant market share in the midwest U.S. Checking the books for a business in Oklahoma, she discovers some questionable, hidden transactions. To escape the perpetrators, she stows away in a long-haul trucker’s rig, and goes from the frying pan into the fire.
Come back for more
I hope you’ll enjoy the story. Continue to follow the blog for updates and occasional samples of the work in progress!