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Literature / For All Time

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For All Time (FaT) is an extensively dystopian Alternate History timeline originally created on Usenet's Soc.history.what-if by its member “Chester A. Arthur” (no, not the President). It has become notorious on as an example of what happens when everything in an alternate history that can go wrong does go wrong.

The POD for the timeline is U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt dying suddenly of a stroke on December 20, 1941, two weeks after Pearl Harbor, leading to the ascension of Vice President Henry Wallace to the Oval Office. From that point on, one disaster after another strikes the world. The original timeline concludes in 2002, with the world stage having calmed a tad, since most people are too dead to cause much trouble.


The timeline is usually considered to have plausible events throughout the 1940s and 50s, before going utterly insane in the 1960s… Dystopia bukkake ensues.

The main story can be found here, while its final parts are here, here, here, and here. Moreover, a page containing more information about this story is available here.

A spiritual sequel/update titled "For All Time: Well Enough Alone" was written on by user "Lord Roem". It brings the story up to 2008 and gives it a final conclusion. It can be found here. An "antithesis" story titled For All Eternity was also written, using the same point of divergence but attempting to create a timeline where things turned out better than our world.

A map of the world at the end of FaT can be found here.

Compare The Draka, another heavily dystopian alternate history.


Be careful, as there are unmarked spoilers!

For All Tropes:

  • The Alliance: The Amsterdam Pact (TTL's version of NATO) is established in 1947 between Great Britain, France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg to defend against Soviet aggression. Spain, Portugal, and the Pfalzrepublik (the Franco-British German puppet state) later join. The United States stays out due to being under the isolationist President Robert Taft. The alliance collapses in 1957 after a nuclear war nearly breaks out between Britain and France.
    • Sweden, Norway, Finland, and Denmark all unite as the Nordic Council in the late 50's. Despite the turbulence of this world, the council manages to stay intact into the 21st century. In general, Scandinavia doesn't suffer as badly as the rest of the world in the timeline, all things considered.
  • Aborted Arc: In 1952, Anthony Quinn loses a California Congressional election to Ronald Reagan, and it is noted that "the state and the Republican Party remember Reagan's masterful performance [in a debate with his opponent]. Reagan, meanwhile, remembers how well playing up Quinn's Mexican ancestry played in the less likable parts of his district". This seems to hint at future political success (possibly involving some less-than-progressive stances on racial issues), but it comes to nothing as Reagan's political career fizzles out and he returns to acting.
    • In 1962, the French government begins covertly funding separatist guerrilla groups in Quebec, and by 1966 it is said that "there are dark and unpleasant rumors of some impending revolution rising throughout the province". This doesn't appear to go anywhere despite the momentum built up, and Quebec separatism is not mentioned again in the main story. Partially subverted by the epilogue, which makes it clear that Quebec gained its independence sometime in the mid-1980s. This still feels a bit like an afterthought, though.
  • Allohistorical Allusion: Like OTL, a President Kennedy is assassinated in Texas—albeit it’s Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. (JFK’s older brother, who in OTL was killed during World War II) who is killed, it happens in Austin and not in Dallas, and the assassin is Charles Whitman.
    • During a routine test, a nuclear plant experiences a meltdown after the automatic shutdown systems are switched off. Here, however, the plant's in Jackson, Mississippi rather than northern Ukraine.
    • In our timeline, Milton Obote served as President of Uganda until he was overthrown by Idi Amin while on a state visit to a nearby country. Years later, however, Obote overthrew Amin right back and became President once again. In For All Time, it's the other way around: Amin is President of the East African Federation (which includes Uganda) until he is overthrown by Obote while on a state visit to nearby country, but he later comes back and overthrows Obote.
    • In the alternate timeline, Kurt Vonnegut becomes a reporter who publishes a shocking exposé of the brutal conduct of American troops toward Philippine guerrillas in the Luzon War. In particular, the revelations focus on the savage horrors committed in "Settlement #5", one of five concentration camps for captured partisans. The camp gains such a terrible reputation that Vonnegut calls it a slaughterhouse—that is, Slaughterhouse-Five.
    • After World War II, a combatant country that was invaded and suffered heavily comes under the control of an authoritarian regime that attempts a "cultural revolution" to cleanse itself of ideologically impure citizens. But here, it's France rather than China.
    • In order to promote the creation of the Jerusalem League, Haj Amin al-Husseini uses the poem from Niemoller.
  • A Father to His Men: François Darlan, fascist Premier of France, gives General Charles de Gaulle command of the remote islands of St. Pierre and Miquelon, in order to keep his most popular rival out of the way. De Gaulle makes the most of his position, attracting thousands of former French Resistance fighters who love him as a father. De Gaulle becomes so popular on the islands that he declares them a breakaway republic, causing a crisis that nearly leads to nuclear war between France and Britain.
  • A Nazi by Any Other Name: Westphalia, one of the successor states of Nazi Germany, is led by ex-Wehrmacht officers such as Erich von Manstein and Reinhard Gehlen. Downplayed in that they don’t bring back Nazi policies; they’re just authoritarian German nationalists.
    • France ironically becomes a fascist state under Admiral François Darlan after World War II.
    • Even more ironically, the "Grand Hebrew Republic" established in the aftermath of the Soviet-Arab nuclear war also goes fascist.
    • A Fourth Reich is established in the 2000s in the form of the National German Republic, led by Reich Chancellor Jörg Haider. Like with Westphalia before them, though, they don't share Nazi policies and under them Germany's Jewish population actually reaches numbers not seen since the Weimar Republic.
  • Apocalypse How: Since nuclear wars are common, Class 0s happens frequently.
    • The Sino-Soviet nuclear war kills over 600 million people. 100 million Soviets die in the Chinese attacks; the Soviet counter-strikes are significantly more destructive, killing (from a total population of 900 million) 540 million Chinese; the famine and starvation that follow kill roughly half the survivors, resulting in close to a billion deaths in total.
  • Arab–Israeli Conflict: Averted-the state of Israel gets strangled in its cradle. This leads to Jewish refugees resettling in America, further destabilizing race relations. After the Soviet Union nukes the Middle East, the Jews take advantage of the power vacuum and establish a Jewish state in the wreckage of Palestine.
  • Artistic License – Nuclear Physics: It is practically impossible that Korea could build the "Glorious People's Revolutionary Hammer", a 250,000 megaton nuclear doomsday weapon. In OTL the largest nuclear device ever built was Tsar Bomba, which had a maximum theoretical yield of 100 megatons but was detonated with a yield of 50 megatons.
    • Though the story indicates the statement to be an honest one on the part of the Koreans, nothing says that it would have actually worked. After all, a claim like that is not easily verified...
  • Atomic Hate: With no international organization created after World War II to control the proliferation of nuclear weapons, dozens of countries gain the atomic bomb in FaT, including Canada, Australia, Venezuela, Greater (apartheid) South Africa, Idi Amin's East African Federation, etc. Another key part of this rule is that whenever nuclear weapons could be used (and even when they really shouldn't), they are used (for example, the largest single series of conflicts in FaT is a nuclear war between the Soviet Union and the People's Republic of China, the Soviet Union and the pan-Middle Eastern Jerusalem League, and concluded thereafter by a nuclear civil war that destroys the USSR).
    • The space age begins, more or less, on July 4th, 1959, when a nuclear-powered Extremely High-Level Bomber called the Rex makes a trip from Nevada to Japan at sub-orbital altitude. It also leaves a long trail of dead fish and cancer patients in its wake thanks to the radioactive plume from its engines.
  • Balkanize Me: Many states don't live to see the 21st century.
    • Germany is first divided into three states after the Second World War, although it is later reunified as the National German Republic.
    • Japan loses Hokkaido after WWII, which is turned into a Soviet-backed People's Republic of Japan.
    • After Israel is strangled in its crib, Palestine is divided between Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and Egypt.
    • Indonesia collapses into multiple states, the largest being a communist regime that controls Java and Southern Sumatra. Others include the Republic of Bali, the Republic of West Malacca, the Kalimantan states, and an incredibly poor Irian Jaya Confederation.
    • The Italian Civil War results in the independence of Sicily and Sardinia, while mainland Italy becomes a Communist state and eventually splits into north and south by the end of the 20th century.
    • Yugoslavia is carved up by the Soviets and its neighbors after it attempts to rebel against Moscow's authority.
    • Turkey is divided up between Bulgaria, Greece, the Soviets, and the newly created Democratic Republic of Kurdistan, which also gains land from Iran. As a compensation, Iran receives a corridor to Syria. The remnants of Turkey become the communist Democratic United People's Republic of Anatolia, or DUPRA.
    • France loses Brittany, Corsica, the Saarland, and Saint Pierre and Miquelon. Then after Emperor Bokassa dies the rest of France collapses into half a dozen states.
    • China collapses following the Sino-Soviet nuclear war in 1973. Xinjiang, Gansu, and most of Manchuria are absorbed by the Soviets, while Mongolia takes Inner Mongolia and Liaoning. Tibet also secedes from the country sometime before 2009.
    • England withdraws from the United Kingdom after an independence referendum in 1971, though an abortive Monarchist/Conservative coup d'etat led by General Walter Walker and Margaret Thatcher tries to prevent this outcome. It later reunified with the rest of the UK as the Federation of the British Isles.
    • The Soviet Union utterly collapses after it falls into a nuclear civil war.
    • Canada is splintered by French Quebec, the maritime provinces, and the western half being assimilated into the North American Confederacy.
    • Greenland separates from Denmark and becomes an independent republic.
    • After the Grand Hebrew Republic is established, many surrounding states are carved up or turned into satellite states.
    • Switzerland is carved up between the Fourth Reich, Northern Italy, and a tiny rump state.
    • Inverted with Greater South Africa, which eventually incorporates Rhodesia, Northern Rhodesia (Zambia), Mozambique, Angola, and the southern half of the Congo. Botswana, however, remains a British colony and later an independent nation despite being enclaved.
  • The Caligula: This world is full of them, but the most notable is Jean Bedel-Bokassa, who after becoming the Emperor of France, decides to solve a famine by selling meat made from the flesh of murdered political prionsers. The Defense Secretary of the Grand Hebrew Republic latter contemplates using the same method to solve the food shortages in Palestinian Ghettos.
  • Call a Rabbit a "Smeerp": HIV/AIDS is called SPID (Sindrom priobretennovo immunodeficita, syndrome of acquired immunodeficiency) in this timeline, since it was discovered by the Soviet Union instead of the United States. Thanks to the incessant warfare and an incompetent Soviet blood donation system, it has managed to infect about 35% of Eurasia's population by 2002.
  • Character Death: Franklin D. Roosevelt, Juan Peron, Benjamin O. Davis, James Forrestal, Wendell Willkie, most of the Nazi party, François Mitterand, Werner Von Braun, Jean-Paul Sarte, Jeanine de Beauvoir, Mao Zedong, Robert Taft, Reza Shah Pahlavi, Benito Mussolini...
  • Commie Land: Communism spreads much further in this timeline. In addition to those in OTL, there's Austria, a larger East Germany, North Japan, all of Korea, Iran, Turkey, Italy, Argentina, and many others.
  • Crapsack World: Perhaps the ultimate example in alternate history fiction. In FaT’s world, all leaders are either corrupt, incompetent or insane; nations get splintered or thrown into civil war on a daily basis; and nuclear weapons get tossed around like snowballs. World War II is longer and bloodier, the equivalent of NATO falls apart, the Soviets gain ground everywhere (they take Italy, Austria, Turkey, Iran, all of Korea, and Hokkaido, among other places), France collapses after a string of inept fascist dictators (capped by Jean-Bedel Bokassa), American race relations take a long dive off the cliff, the Nuclear Weapons Taboo is flagrantly averted, the Reverend Jim Jones gets elected U.S. President after beating Charles Manson, and to top it all off, the Soviets get Andrei Chikatilo as their last General Secretary. Emphasis on "last" — he destroys the Soviet Union in a nuclear civil war, but not before nuking China and the Middle East.
  • Deadly Gas: As is the case with nuclear weapons, so to does the taboo on chemical weapons cease to exist with a botched Sarin gas rocket attack launched by the Germans against the Soviets in the last days of World War II. From that point, they see extensive use in virtually every other conflict in the mid to late 20th century.
  • Democracy Is Bad: Subverted, mostly. The few societies in the FaTL which do maintain democratic institutions generally remain nicer places to live than the many authoritarian states in this world, and are (for the most part) spared from a lot of the misery and insane leadership that befalls those places. Until Jim Jones is elected U.S. President, that is.
  • Depopulation Bomb: A very literally case with the bombing of the Glorious Peoples' Revolutionary Hammer, which kills the majority of Korea's population.
  • Didn't Think This Through: What happens after Korea unveils the Glorious People's Revolutionary Hammer (an impossibly enormous nuclear bomb) and threatens to use it unless they're allowed to annex Japan and Manchuria? The other nuclear powers of the world bomb them into oblivion.
  • Different World, Different Movies: Several examples are given.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Happens a lot, especially with nukes.
  • Doomsday Device: Kim Jong-il builds the “Glorious People’s Revolutionary Hammer”, a 250,000 megaton nuclear weapon that he threatens to set off unless Korea is allowed to annex Japan and Manchuria (where there are substantial Korean populations). The world responds by nuking Korea back into the Stone Age. The doomsday weapon is destroyed, but 40 million Koreans are killed and radioactive fallout spreads across the Pacific.
  • Doorstopper: The main story alone contains almost 120,000 words.
  • Driven to Suicide:
    • Previously, in 1943, Secretary of War James Forrestal killed himself after the failed D-Day invasion of Normandy. He committed suicide in OTL.
    • President Robert La Follette Jr., after a personal meeting with African-American civil rights activists outside the White House turns violent and threatens to start a nationwide race war, blows his brains out during a live TV address in which he blames himself for the massacre. He also committed suicide in OTL note .
    • François Darlan kills himself after being diagnosed with cancer.
    • Hundreds of French officers who know about the "pork farms" set up by French Emperor Jean-Bédel Bokassa in Central Africa.
    • Also happens to the people who realize they ate human flesh.
  • Dystopia: The timeline.
  • Expanded States of America: By 2009, the United States, Western Canada, and much of Mexico merge together to form the North American Confederacy.
  • Enemy Civil War: Hitler's near-assassination triggers a civil war in Nazi Germany, which sets the stage for the country to be divided into three separate entities.
  • Enemy Mine: The US and the Soviet Union team up briefly to take out Korea
    • Later on the winning ticket includes Russ Feingold (a staunch progressive and Jew) as president and Pat Buchanan (a paleoconservative accused at times of anti-Semitism)as vice president. They came together over opposition to Haig's military regime.
  • Failure Hero: President Wallace. Just about all of his plans blow up in his face, most notably the desegregation of the armed forces.
  • Final Solution: Massacres and genocides are another common sight in this timeline.
    • The French Government in Exile kills off a large number of ethnic Algerians, driving hundreds of thousands south of the 30th parallel. Out of 7 millions, two thirds are killed or expelled, and one million more is starved, leaving only roughly 1.7 millions alive.
    • After the nuclear attack in Philadelphia, which is initially blamed on black militants, America comes within hours of a full-scale genocide, with the number of lynchings not seen since the 1920's.
    • The government of the Grand Hebrew Republic calls for the eradication of Arabs throughout Arabia and surrounding territories.
  • Finagle's Law: Basically the governing rule of this timeline. Pretty much every crisis or issue that existed in the latter half of the 20th century
  • For Want of a Nail: FDR dies of a stroke shortly after Pearl Harbor, setting in motion the dystopian events of this timeline.
  • From Bad to Worse: This series delights in dragging things downward every five minutes. D-Day fails, Stalinists take over most of Eurasia, nuclear weapons are used like hand grenades, and the Soviet-Chinese nuclear war kills over 600 million people. When Canada is sufficiently militaristic and paranoid to have its own H-bomb program and the 1980 U.S. presidential election is between Jim Jones and Charles Manson, you know the world isn’t doing so well.
  • Giant Wall of Watery Doom: Two notable cases as a result of nuclear attacks.
    • When the Soviets detonate a nuke off the coast of Wakkanai on December 20, 1945. Barely a second after the town is set ablaze, a seven meter tsunami hits and kills almost everyone.
    • After the Soviets launch an unprovoked attack on the Middle East in 1975, one of their targets is the High Nasser Dam in Egypt. Hit with a 3 megaton nuke, the resulting flood kills 98% of Egyptian's population.
    • There's also mention of Indian president Attri giving the personal order to flood Bangladesh.
  • Going Critical: Thanks to the Soviets nuking the Middle Eastern oil fields, there's a massive energy crisis. This leads to the nation's numerous nuclear plants, all of which were built by less than competent companies, being put under greater strain than ever. The Ross Barnett Memorial Nuclear Plant becomes America's Chernobyl in 1976, which leads to the exodus of 200,000 and the creation of an exclusion zone in and around Jackson. As nuclear plants are shut down in panic, the energy crisis really begins.
  • Gone Horribly Wrong: Describes many of the major events in this timeline. There are numerous examples:
    • President Henry Wallace’s desegregation of the U.S. military, nationalization of industry, and attempts to push racial equality backfire disastrously, resulting in Republicans retaking both houses of Congress in the 1942 midterm election and blocking Wallace’s proposed policies.
    • Wallace fires some of the leftover cabinet members from FDR’s administration, such as Secretary of State Cordell Hull and Secretary of War Henry Stimson, because he considers them old-fashioned and too conservative. He tries to appoint his Chief of Staff Alger Hiss as Secretary of State, but Hiss is arrested by the FBI for espionage on behalf of the Soviet Union, hugely embarrassing the already tarnished Wallace administration. James Forrestal is appointed Secretary of War, only to commit suicide after the failed Normandy invasion.
    • U.S. relations with Britain are damaged due to Wallace’s disdain for Winston Churchill.
    • The Allied invasion of Normandy occurs a year earlier than in OTL due to Wallace being convinced to open a second front in Europe. This early D-Day turns out to be a disaster, with the Germans (whose forces are stronger and better-prepared at this point of the war) managing to defeat the Allied invaders. Afterward some Americans blame Wallace’s desegregation of the military for contributing to the fiasco, further inflaming racial tensions in the U.S.
    • Wallace invites the Soviet Union to participate in the Manhattan Project. This results in the Soviets developing an atomic bomb earlier than in OTL, which they use during their invasion of Japan.
    • The U.S. military attempts to crack down on nationalist forces in Puerto Rico, but the operation is botched and sees many innocent civilians slaughtered. The island is deemed a lost cause and granted independence.
    • President La Follette meets with African-American civil rights activists outside the White House in an attempt to mend race relations. Gunfire accidentally erupts between the Secret Service/Marine guards and the crowd, resulting in a massacre that nearly starts a race war and leads to La Follette committing suicide on live national television out of shame.
    • Control over U.S. nuclear power plants is transferred from the federal government to the states. This is largely responsible for the catastrophic meltdown at a nuclear power plant in Mississippi, as that state lacked qualified personnel to safely operate the plant.
    • A national referendum in the United Kingdom results in England seceding, while Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland ironically remain in the union.
  • Government in Exile: After Jean-Bedel Bokassa seizes control of France, the rest of the French government flees to North Africa, cementing control by killing and expelling the bulk of native Algerians, it is implied, by the use of refugee child soldiers from mainland France.
  • Historical Villain Upgrade:
    • The more marginalized and extreme a figure is in OTL, the more likely he or she is likely to be a prominent world player in FaT. Examples include Hal Warren (known in OTL for directing Manos: The Hands of Fate, one of the worst movies ever made) becoming Vice President of the United States, Charles Manson marrying Marilyn Monroe and becoming the Governor of California (and later being kept out of the White House through “creative” measures), Lyndon LaRouche becoming the Governor of New Hampshire (and Manson’s running mate), Jim Jones becoming Governor of Pennsylvania and later President of the United States (and being disposed of in a quiet military coup led by Alexander Haig and G. Gordon Liddy when he goes completely bonkers), and perhaps most notoriously, the sociopathic serial killer Andrei Chikatilo becoming the final General Secretary of the Soviet Union.
    • In OTL, Jean-Bédel Bokassa was one of the worst tyrants Africa had the misfortune of seeing, but the allegations of cannibalism were never proven. In this timeline, it's not only known for a fact that he made people into meat products and fed them to others without telling them (quite a few people didn't deal with having unwittingly eaten human flesh well, to put it mildly), he did it on an industrial scale!
  • History Repeats: After the Soviet Union collapses, Germany and Japan both turn back into fascist, expansionist states.
  • Illegal Religion: After the collapse of the Jerusalem League, the Grand Hebrew Republic effectively outlaws Islam.
  • In Spite of a Nail: Despite all that happens, some things turn out very similarly if not exactly the same as in our timeline.
    • Vicente Fox is still President of Mexico in 2002, and Bill Clinton (known in the ATL as Bill Rodham) still ends up as governor of Arkansas by 2004.
    • The U.S. Presidential election of 1964 is still between Lyndon B. Johnson and Barry Goldwater, although it's Goldwater who wins in a landslide.
    • The 1950 attack on Blair House by Puerto Rican nationalists still occurs, though in the alternate timeline, the perpetrators unfortunately succeed in killing President Bob Taft.
    • While some unexpected and obscure individuals end up as President of the United States in the alternate timeline, several other countries (including Canada, the United Kingdom, Mexico, and Brazil) end up being led by many of the same people as in real life. For example, in 1969, the world is on the verge of several nuclear disasters, and yet Harold Wilson is Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Gustavo Diaz Ordaz is President of Mexico, and Gough Whitlam is the Prime Minister of Australia.
    • African-American medalists at the 1968 Olympics raise their fists in a black power salute, just as they did in OTL's 1968.
  • Killed Mid-Sentence: Josef Goebbels, who becomes the center of the nuclear bombing of Nuremburg.
    "These are the Americans you fear? With only three bombers against a great-"
  • Killer Rabbit: A metaphorical example. When Spain invades the newly-communist Portugal in 1970, it expects an easy victory—look at a map, for crying out loud, Spain is six times larger! As it turns out, Portugal had nukes.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: Ranging from famous names to those from the most marginalized of fringe movements.
  • Middle Eastern Coalition: After the collapse of Israel, faced with expanding Soviet influences in Iran and Turkey, as well fears of Western Imperialism, several Arab nations form a defense pact on October 1, 1952. The Jerusalem League is much more akin to NATO or the Warsaw Pact than a true federation. It collapses following the Soviet bombing campaign in 1975 and Israel is later reestablished by Jewish militants.
  • Monumental Damage: The Statue of Liberty is destroyed by a Nazi bombing raid, after a damaged Ju 390 bomber crashes into it in a suicide attack. It gets rebuilt after the war, though.
    • The nuclear strike over Berlin destroys the Brandenburg Gate.
    • In March 1971, black militants attack and destroy the St. Louis Arch and the Alamo.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Raoul Salan earns himself the title of The Butcher of Bayeux, and for good reason.
  • Nuke 'em: Nuclear weapons are used regularly, often when they shouldn’t. This is broodingly alluded to early on with the phrase "as grand as the nuked cities of the world."
    • Six nukes are dropped during World War II: three on Germany (Leipzig, Nuremberg, and Berlin) and three on Japan (Niigata, Wakkanai, and Fukuoka).
    • The United States uses nuclear weapons against insurgents in the Philippines. This has the effect of normalizing their post-war use as "really big bombs," as acceptable as any other weapon of war.
    • A Soviet bomber drops a hydrogen bomb on Zagreb before its invasion of Yugoslavia, solely for the purpose of demonstrating that the USSR will keep its satellite states in-check by any means necessary... following the precedent set by the United States in the Philippines.
    • The British use nukes against guerrillas in Burma, and the French use nukes against rebels in their African colonies.
    • Narrowly averted during the Saint Pierre crisis. When the tiny island declares their independence from France in 1957, fascist leader Raoul Salan isn't too keen on the idea. When the UK prime minister Nye Bevan tries to negotiate, Salan decides he's tired of dealing with his neighbor and almost sends nukes their way. Fortunately, things are put to rest by Salan's assassination and the purge of his inner circle. Unfortuantely, the situation is the final nail in the coffin for the Amsterdam pact.
    • Che Guevara's Maoist-backed Argentina uses several unprovoked nukes against Chilean cities before invading that unfortunate country in the name of peoples revolution.
    • The United States nukes Buenos Aires via a high-altitude space plane after Guevara launches a bloody invasion of neighboring Chile.
    • Kim Jong-il builds a nuclear doomsday device, which is destroyed – along with the rest of Korea – in a massive nuclear bombing by the world’s leading nuclear powers.
    • A few nukes are used during a war between Portugal and Spain.
    • Emperor Bokassa’s “pork farms” are nuked by the breakaway Maghreb Federation (Algeria.)
    • Argentine terrorists destroy Philadelphia in 1972 with a nuclear bomb smuggled into the country. Before this comes to light, however, black militants are blamed, resulting in an epidemic of lynchings across the country and off-hand comments by the President about deporting all blacks back to Africa. Nobody can tell if he's serious or just panicking.
    • In 1973 a nuclear war erupts between the Soviet Union and China; the Soviets “win” while China is completely destroyed. In 1975 the Soviet Union launches an unprovoked nuclear attack on the Jerusalem League, an alliance of Arab nations in the Middle East. Then, in the 1980s, the Soviet Union collapses into a nuclear civil war.
    • Use of nuclear weapons is less common from then on, although they are still sometimes used; U.S. President Alexander Haig nukes Mumbai to remove India’s nuclear threat, and his successor Slade Gorton nukes Nome, Alaska to crush the Alaskan independence movement. Later on, a nuclear incident is mentioned in "Boliviaopolis," which has put to rest a President Smith's chance of a reelection, but guaranteed the NAC's domination in South America. The Mujaheddin also detonate a suitcase nuke in Tel Aviv.
  • Oppressive States of America: By the mid-1970s, American society is rapidly deteriorating into a quagmire of feuding racial militia, plagued by domestic terrorism, burdened with a collapsing economy, suffering a genetically-engineered flu pandemic, and, after a nuclear meltdown at a Mississippi power plant, a drastically exacerbated energy crisis. In response, President Jim Jones establishes an authoritarian rule over America after his election in 1976, locking up his opponents in labor camps, ruthlessly crushing militants of all stripes, and creating a paramilitary force called the "National Volunteer Army" to help enforce his rule, with detachments led by the likes of a young Bill Clinton and John Gotti. After Jones goes crazy and is deposed in a silent coup, Alexander Haig takes over as President and rules America with an iron fist, although he manages to bring some stability to the country.
  • Our Presidents Are Different:
    • (1941-1945) Henry Wallace is a synthesis of President Iron and President Jerkass. His obstinate unwillingness to compromise on any of his liberal policies or cooperate with politicians causes a breakdown in the relationship between him and Congress, and his attempts to force through his agenda using executive power are met with harsh reprisals. In addition, the conversations we hear between Wallace and other politicians reveal him to be very impatient and unpleasant with those who aren't doing what he wants.
    • (1945-1950) President Robert Taft is also President Iron due to his staunchly conservative and isolationist views, though with a cooperative Congress and much popularity among the American people, he is a much more effective one than Wallace. He then becomes President Target after he is assassinated by Puerto Rican nationalists.
    • (1950-1951) Thomas Dewey is a bit of President Scheming, due to the secret deals he makes with the British to secure British training to fight Huk nationalist guerrillas in the Luzon War.
    • (1952-1962) Joseph Kennedy Jr. is a variant on President Focus Group: portrayed as a cunning politician, he supports a very weak civil rights bill to maintain support among liberals, but he cares much more about preserving his support among segregationist southerners than he does about providing equal rights to all races. He also becomes President Target after his assassination by Charles Whitman.
    • (1962-1962) Robert La Follette is a very toned-down version of President Lunatic; he's not deranged and is in fact very well-meaning, but he does have serious mental issues which lead him to commit suicide.
    • (1962-1963) Clark Gable gives off at least an impression of President Personable, using his skills as a former actor to his advantage by making nightly television addresses to the nation.
    • (1964-1968) Barry Goldwater is a bit of President Personable as well, in that he is portrayed as an honest and well-meaning commander in chief who nevertheless becomes highly unpopular due, among other things, to his support of equal rights for homosexuals and the war of occupation he fights in communist Argentina.
    • (1968-1971) Joseph Foss is President Iron for his military pursuits in Argentina, and his anti-governmental stance popular with radicals. His term was plagued with race riots, so he was forced to reinstate the draft.
    • (1972-1975) George Stanley McGovern crosses President Personable and President Iron for his attempts on some sanctions on Soviet Unions for its nuclear attacks on China. However despite his reasonable grasp on ongoing situations, the growing taxation fueled by ineptitude in dealing with domestic affairs leads to his political decline.
    • (1976-1980) Jim Jones easily President Evil mixed with President Iron, for his ruthless crushing of opposition, suppression of French Canadians in America, and vicious all-stripe volunteer army. Eventually evolving into President Lunatic in a mental near nuclear breakdown, before being overthrown in a silent coup.
  • Overly Long Name: After the conga line of misery it experiences, the newly unified France of the 21st century is officially named the "Peoples Liberal Democratic Republic of France."
  • The Plague: HIV/AIDS, here known as SPID, is even more widespread in this TL. Soviet military advisers deployed in the Congo during the late 1950s-60s return home to the USSR after accidentally contracting the disease. SPID becomes a pandemic throughout the Soviet Union and its Eastern European satellites. Even after the destruction of the USSR, it remains a constant threat in much of the world, with over a third of Eurasia's population infected as of 2002.
    • Sheridan Flu emerges in the United States in the early 1970s, the result of a clandestine bio-warfare program led by Linus Pauling and a "Colonel Flagg", becoming a global pandemic, killing about 0.5% of the world’s population. As a result, what remains of international trade pretty much collapses.
  • The Purge: In October 1957, after assassinating Raoul Salan, Maurice Challe orders the purge of everyone outside the city of Caen who knows about France's nukes or the planned nuclear strike on Great Britain.
  • President Evil: U.S. President Jim Jones, who nearly starts a nuclear war to fulfill a religious prophecy, and Soviet General Secretary Andrei Chikatilo, who plunges his country into a nuclear civil war.
  • "Ray of Hope" Ending: The final entry in the sequel, which suggests things won't be quite as bad as they've been after 2009.
  • Reassigned to Antarctica: John McCain, after being fired from the White House twice during the administrations of George McGovern and Alexander Haig, is dispatched by 2002 "on a long-term mission under the Arctic Ice Cap".
  • Repressive, but Efficient: President Alexander Haig-although authoritarian like his predecessor (Jim Jones), he manages to bring some stability to the country during the 1980s.
  • Richard Nixon, the Used Car Salesman: Many, many, many examples:
    • Henry Wallace becomes President after FDR’s untimely death. He is followed by Presidents Robert Taft, Thomas Dewey, Joseph P. Kennedy Jr., Robert La Follette Jr., Clark Gable, Barry Goldwater, Joe Foss, George McGovern, Jim Jones, Alexander Haig, Slade Gorton, Russ Feingold, L. Neil Smith, and Randolph Parker (you might know him better as Trey.)
    • Jim Jones and Charles Manson both become politicians in this TL; Jones is elected Governor of Pennsylvania (and later President of the United States), while John Birch Society extremist Manson is rises to become Governor of California (marrying Marilyn Monroe)and rules as the strongman of a powerful, corrupt political machine. He runs as Republican candidate for President in both 1976 and 1980, but is defeated by Jones. After being denied the White House, Manson attempts to lead California out of the United States, provoking a brief civil war in the early 1980s. He is ultimately shot to pieces by the US Army as they storm his stronghold in the Sierra Nevada mountains in 1983..
    • Lyndon LaRouche is elected Governor of New Hampshire, and later serves as Charles Manson’s running mate in the 1980 presidential election.
    • Clark Gable enters politics and is elected Governor of California. He is later appointed Vice President by Robert La Follette Jr., and becomes President after La Follette commits suicide.
    • Francis Gary Powers, here referred to as "Frank G. Powers", is the first man to fly in space.
    • Andrei Chikatilo, the Soviet Union’s most notorious serial killer in OTL, ends up serving as the last General Secretary of the Soviet Union as the country descends into a nuclear civil war.
    • Jean-Bedel Bokassa is a placed in charge of French forces in Corsica before he becomes the Emperor of France and uses state-sanctioned cannibalism to solve the country’s food shortages.
    • Che Guevara becomes the leader of Communist Argentina.
    • Lee Harvey Oswald serves as the commander of the White House Marine garrison under President La Follette.
    • Elvis Presley pursues an acting career and later becomes a successful businessman with a franchise of diners.
    • George Bush is an ace fighter pilot during World War II, and is later one of the first humans to fly into space. He eventually commands the American space program.
      • His son George H. Bush becomes “the first Texan Prime Minister of Iceland.”
    • A young William Jefferson Blythe moves to Chicago with his mother and becomes the stepbrother of Hillary Rodham, eventually becoming a paramilitary commando in the late 1970s. He still manages to be elected Governor of Arkansas as in OTL.
    • John Lennon is one of the world’s most famous Indian musicians, although he ends up a washed-up music star with serious marital problems.
    • Pat Boone is the undisputed King of Rock ‘N Roll.
    • Newt Gingrich is one of the most popular science fiction authors in America.
    • William L. Pierce becomes director of the CIA by 2008.
    • As for Richard Nixon, he builds a fast food empire that manages to survive all the chaos of FaT’s America.
  • Shown Their Work: The sheer amount of detail, historical figures, interactions, and sheer insanity employed in this goes above and beyond most other alternate history tales.
  • Shout-Out: As noted above, Marilyn Monroe marries Charles Manson. One wonders if she became a heavy metal musician afterwards.
    • Margaret Thatcher is mentioned as having been struck and killed by a bus in the town of Thaxted—likely a reference to Thaxted, another alternate history story in which Thatcher moves to the titular working-class community in her youth and acquires socialist views.
    • Several characters from OTL TV shows and movies show up in minor roles, notably Lenny Briscoe, Lt. Dan Taylor and Colonel Flagg.
  • Sliding Scale of Alternate History Plausibility: Starts off reasonably hard with World War II and the 50's, then completely jumps off the handle.
  • Sliding Scale of Villain Threat: A letter to the president from the director of the CIA outlines a number of terrorist groups active domestically and abroad, all rated on the Feingold Terror Alertness Level (FATAL). It ranges from Alpha (serious attacks imminent) to Theta (sporadic attacks and money laundering at worst).
  • Space Fighter: By the end of the 20th Century, the United States and several other countries have fleets of nuclear-powered space bombers.
  • Stealth Pun: Why is America's first spacecraft called the Rex? Because it's a Dyna-soar!
  • Suicide Attack: Idi Amin's East African Empire uses suicide bombers against Greater South Africa.
    • There's also mention of Cassius X's suicide bombing of a Chicago Synagogue.
  • Tempting Fate: In the midst of the French Civil War, Maurice Challe places Jean-Bedel Bokassa in charge of mainting order in Corsica and later Alsace. The French government writes him off as a potential threat. After all, what's the risk of placing a foreigner, especially a mere black African, in charge? Bokassa goes on to overthrow the government and declares himself Emperor of France.
  • The Secret of Long Pork Pies: Jean-Bedel Bokassa solves France’s food shortages by importing “pork” from his native Equatorial Africa. Turns out the meat is actually from human prisoners who were slaughtered in concentration camps.
  • Those Wacky Nazis: Adolf Hitler survives an assassination attempt by a renegade Wehrmacht officer, but ends up paralyzed and confined to a wheelchair. He survives the war, gets tried as a war criminal by the British, and is executed.
    • Hitler's assassination attempt leads to a three-way civil war in Nazi Germany between the SS (led by Reinhard Heydrich, who deposed Heinrich Himmler), a Wehrmacht faction led by Heinz Guderian and Erwin von Witzleben, and the Home Army led by Erich von Manstein.
    • Hermann Göring, in an attempt to regain Hitler’s favor, builds a fleet of long-range Junkers Ju 390 bombers and sends them to bomb New York City. All of the bombers are shot down by the Americans, but one of them manages to drop some bombs on Harlem and crash into the Statue of Liberty.
    • Joseph Goebbels makes a fanatical speech to inspire the Nazi faithful at Nuremburg after Hitler is shot, only to end up at ground-zero in an atomic blast.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: It's mentioned that many of the most important events of the timeline aren't caught on film, with special mention made to a Soviet Soldier deployed in the Congo in 1959. Wounded in an ambush, he was saved by an emergency transfusion at a clinic deep in the jungle. He's transferred through Poland and Bulgaria before getting a desk job at the Kremlin, donating a pint of blood every three weeks to his local blood bank. Three guesses as to what he brought with him out of Africa. Give up? It was AIDS.
  • Vestigial Empire: After the Soviet Civil War, all that's left of the USSR is a communist state in Kamchatka.
  • We Didn't Start the Billy Joel Parodies: The sequel ends with Joe Springsteen singing this world's version of We Didn't Start The Fire.
  • Wham Line: There are quite a few in the story, but this one stands out.
    In Texas now, President Kennedy decides he can't continue with the national tour; he is the Commander in Chief, after all, he has to show the world and the nation that he's in charge both politically as well as personally. Already Aleman and Pearson are experiencing something like sympathy disturbances in communities near the border with large American cities; already Kaganovich is offering "peacekeeping troops" to assist the American National Guard.

    There's just time for one more speech, on January 3, 1962. It's a crisp winter day as he speaks at the University of Texas at Austin; there's completely no wind, and the sun shines so brightly even through the clouds that one can see for miles.

    There's nothing to throw off Charles Whitman's shot.


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