|This is a fansetting from the Steve Jackson Games forums and not part of the GURPS canon.|
World description[edit | edit source]
An alchemical revolution comes in California during the 1930s. In 1942, FDR declares victory in the Battle of the Atlantic because fleets of American "Flying Saucers" supply Britain far above the Nazi Wolf packs!
The Americans land on the Moon in 1946, the Russians get there in 1947, the UK, France, Canada, and Italy, join America and the USSR and all have Moonbases by 1960. West Germany, Brazil, China, and India, all found their moonbases in the next few years. Jack Parson's last few coded letters to Tesla are decoded in 1964 (he died as in our Earth's history) and FTL drive is figured out.
It's 1970, Doctor Who is now in color, Star Trek is broadcasting its fourth season (it's third being an acknowledged dramatic triumph), and the first Interstellar colonies have been founded!
It a Mod/Psychedelic Space Age! Go-Go boots and Miniskirts to the stars!!!
Additional Information[edit | edit source]
Medicine jumped to TL7+2 between the late 1930s and 1943.
FDR lived to retire in 1947. Truman was elected president in 1948 and re-elected in 1952. Eisenhower, influenced by FDR, became a Democrat and won two terms starting in 1956. JFK became president in 1964 and is still president in 1970. Ronald Reagan is seen as likely to run in 1972, as are Gov. Rockafeller, and Sen. Goldwater among the Republicans. Robert Kennedy and Eugene McCarthy are the most likely Democrats. The USA has Socialised Medicine and a Social Democratic Welfare State. No oil shocks seem to threaten this parallel. Especially as Azothic Batteries function like TL12 power packs from 1943 on.
By 1937, Parsons has cheap powerful electric generation down pat. These are effectively TL7+5 Thorium generators with no measurable radioactive wastes. Anti-gravity is noticed soon after and Parsons keeps it under wraps with help from the military. In 1940, the first "Saucers" are up and flying. Mass production starts in 1941.
The early saucers have an odd side effect. They cause those traveling within their anti-grav field to have precognitive dreams. Rhine who knows some of the early pilots starts to examine the phenomena. Psionics becomes a branch of science.
A functional reactionless drive is developed by 1944. Earlier Saucers used props and other means of propulsion and mainly used high altitude flying to avoid combat. Outside of the atmosphere, this drive seems to be limited to 0.05 of C.
It is assumed that improved computers will be needed to crack a fuller use of the Azoth Drives potential.
Warp Drive (the standard name for FTL drives in this parallel) is possible only outside of the sun's (need alchemical term) zone. Warp factors are defined as C times X squared, were X is the warp factor. These factors seem to come in whole quantums only. By 1970, Six is the highest Warp Factor possible. Improved computing is expected to improve this, as it already has.
Details[edit | edit source]
Present-day technologies (relative to Azoth-8) allow a ship to be a sealed system for about 18 months. The absolute limit that a ship can travel from Earth and then return safely is about 27 lyrs. As a practical matter, no one is going much beyond 24lyrs. at this time. As there are fifty-four stars and brown dwarfs within that radius, there's plenty to explore. The next major goal is to plant bases and colonies capable of refitting and maintaining ships to allow further and longer exploration. Epsilon Eridani has bases for several different nations including the USA, the UK, and the USSR. Tau Ceti has both colonies and bases for every nation involved in interstellar exploration. Gilese 832 has America's furthest out base. No base is yet fully ready to do serious ship maintenance, but the day is coming.
The USA moved to electric cars during and right after WWII, largely because the government saw the need for a massive battery industry. The USA has been off Fossil fuels since the late 1940s. Most other societies have followed their example because electricity in Azoth-8 is both prestigious and very cheap. Local conspiracy theorists say that the move was made because someone needed the oil and coal. Who that someone is varies with the theorist. Azoth-8 is far less polluted that Earth of 1970 and has vastly less lead in its environment.
Mars has multiple settlements on it. Rumors of ancient ruins constantly crop up as do rumors of government cover-ups. Terraforming projects are underway. The local Alchemical biotech is normally functions as about TL7+1, the terraforming biotech seems to function at TL7+2. Mars doesn't have a breathable atmosphere but there are small amounts of open water on the surface from time to time.
Carl Sagan is heading a project to explore terraforming Venus. Homeline is watching this project carefully.
The cultural scene on Azoth-8 is very psychedelic/mod. There is no Vietnam war. Civil Rights are progressing somewhat faster than on Homeline. The Sexual revolution, Feminism, and Gay Rights are also on schedule or somewhat more advanced than on Homeline in 1970. The music scene is every bit as crowded and impressive as it was on Homeline in 1970 and world music sounds are coming in as a major influence very early lead by Joan Baez, Phil Ochs, and a large group of talented musicians which Homeline can show all died in most parallels because of either the Vietnam war or less advanced medicine.
Literature is more popular on Azoth-8. Being well-read is socially important in a way that it wasn't in Homeline's 1970. Like the characters in ST: OS, the people of Azoth-8 take literature and history seriously. Most Homeline scholars note that the Enlightenment values that suggested that bringing culture to the people was an important part of Enlightenment still hold on Azoth-8. Intellectuals must still believe that people are better for being part of the culture and that scientific truth has moral worth. A viewpoint that faded out in Homeline's 1970s.
The Hollywood studio system hasn't fallen apart in Azoth-8 but independent films are thriving. This means that the movie culture of this parallel is wildly impressive with a large group of stars unknown on other parallels. Of special note, Keye Luke is playing Charlie Chan in a series of films that take the wit, charm, and soft-sell anti-racism of the old Charlie Chan films and both maintain the high quality of comedy-mystery and adds more progressivism as well as much more fun. Luke dedicated the first film to Warner Oland. Both genre films and high-art films are doing excellent business.
In the USA Asian cooking, particularly Chinese, Japanese, Thai, and Vietnamese, are highly popular. Mexican, Indian, Native American, Eastern European, Caribbean, and Indonesian, restaurants are all catching on as well. French and Italian remain popular.