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Literature / Without Warning

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Without Warning: After America is a 2008 alternate history novel by John Birmingham.

On the eve of the Iraq War, a mysterious energy bubble forms over much of North America, reducing most of the populations of the US, Mexico and Canada to ashes and puddles of goo. All that remains of the United States is Hawaii, Alaska, Seattle, Guantanamo Bay, and all the forces poised to invade Iraq. The book and two sequels explore the chaos that follows, the breakdown of world trade and social order because of this phenomenon, the Wave, which lingers and leaves North America virtually uninhabited.

  • Alien Space Bats: The Wave.
  • Alternate History: At the time of publishing, the start of the series was already five years in the past.
  • Cheese-Eating Surrender Monkeys: One of the major plot threads involves a US spy in France, as the country dissolves into sectarian violence, apparently owing to a long-running conspiracy to set up a French Caliphate.
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  • Les Collaborateurs: The Algerian School, engaged in a long-running conspiracy to surrender France to the Muslims.
  • Fallen States of America: The entire premise.
  • From Bad to Worse: Shortly after losing US-backing, Israel nukes most of the Middle East, creating the greatest humanitarian crisis in living memory, atop the loss of a world power and the breakdown in social order across the world.
  • No FEMA Response: Every member of FEMA is also dead, and whatever other provisions exist for disaster, they are easily overwhelmed by the sheer scale of the humanitarian crises.
  • Nuclear Option: On losing America and all American support, Israel decides to preemptively nuke all of their neighbors.
  • What If?: The book apparently came about when Birmingham overheard a college student say the world would be a better place if America just disappeared at a demonstration.