The World — 2088
The world in the year 2088 is quite different to how the world was at the beginning of the 21st century. Several major political upheavals have reshaped sovereign boundaries and countries have ceased to exist in the turmoil.
The United States no longer exists as a unified country. The northern and southern states peacefully parted ways over irreconcilable political differences in the mid to late 2010s and early 2020s.
No longer a global superpower, the citizens of the US constantly look backwards to “better” days.
Canada, in contrast, has benefited from the turmoil of its southern cousin and has become a major trade hub with the opening of the North-West passage and with long-standing trade relationships to the New European Union (NEU), making it one of the few countries in the world that can access these markets.
South America has seen significant economic growth in the 21st century. The tech shops of Brasil produce, arguably, the best high tech products in the world (a fact that the Japanese Techno-shogunate vehemently denies).
The southern states in South America have not fared so well, with the second Falklands war draining the coffers of Argentina and the Great Chilean Quake of 2057 destroying most of the west coast infrastructure.
Oceania has survived the upheavals of the early and mid 21st century remarkably well, boosted by the mineral wealth of Australia and New Zealand. Auckland city remains the industrial and economic hub of New Zealand, now a member state of the Oceanian commonwealth. The Oceanian commonwealth was formed when Australia and New Zealand adopted a common border and currency. Shortly after, many of the island nations of the South Pacific applied for and were granted membership.
Like the rest of the world, however, corporate greed is rife and the gulf between the haves and the have nots is vaster than it has ever been.
Europe, in desperate strife in the early 21st century, has recovered and gone on to reclaim some of its further glory. Now xenophobic, the borders into Europe are the most well protected and difficult to cross in the world. Due to the relaxed corporate legislation, the NEU is a haven for corporate congloms and accordingly is extremely wealthy.
The biggest of these congloms, ESACorp maintains a 51% controlling share in the Kilimanjaro mass driver, and thus humanities gateway into space.
The African Coalition of Nations
Having bought a significant number of shares in the ESACorp’s Kilimanjaro mass driver, the African continent has experienced a golden age in the last few decades. African workers make up the majority of the skilled labour force maintaining the mass driver and have been at the forefront of the colonisation of permanent manned space stations and the burgeoning Moonbase Alpha.
The Middle East & the Indian sub-continent
The limited nuclear wars of the early and mid 21st century has left both the Middle East and the Indian sub-continent as uninhabitable wastelands. Nomadic caravans and treasure seekers are the only people who travel in these lands.
The Chinese Mandarinate
A new ruling elite holds sway in China. Young technocrats took over from the old communist party, restored the imperial family as a constitutional monarchy, and aggressively expanded its borders, both through diplomacy and through brute force. The Chinese Mandarinate is by far the biggest single state that has ever existed.
Moving away from the mass produced low-value products of the past, China developed a large high-tech manufacturing base, though their products have never quite achieved the quality of their counterparts made in the Japanese Techno-shogunate and from Brazil.
The Japanese Techno-shogunate
Japan is a contradiction. On the one hand it is a highly stratified feudal society in which the privileged classes take the lives of the less well off without fear of prosecution or twinge of conscience. On the other it is the most technologically advance society in the world, and even its most humble citizen has access to technology seldom found outside its borders.
Japan’s Ame-no-nuboko (“Heavenly Jewelled Spear”) satellite network mines iron from the asteroid belt for use as kinetic energy harpoons. Its ability to drop iron rods, on any city in the world, from orbit is the main reason that Japan remains free of Chinese invasion.