Tuesday, October 31, 2017

1918 – British Reconquest of America

The Third Plague began in Yunnan province in China in 1855, but it would be most remembered for its devastation of the United States in the first part of the twentieth century. Bubonic plague had ravaged Europe in the Black Death, and once again it wiped out millions, now in North America. The plague spread through nearly every human population on Earth, but as it arrived in San Francisco in 1900, a new strain developed that proved far more virulent.

The plague began with the familiar bubonic plague carried by fleas, which attached themselves to rats that stowed away on trans-Pacific vessels. These rats escaped into San Francisco harbor, soon spreading to humans. Somewhere among them, the plague became pneumonic. Now each infected victim became a new source with a cough or sneeze flinging fluid into the air. Before health officials could act, terrified Californians fled aboard trains, which only spread the disease further.

Later attempts at quarantine proved impossible as the disease had already spread so far and there was simply too much ground to cover as the bubonic plague made its way through mammal populations. Rural areas were particularly prone to bites from insects, but the bubonic strain was mild compared to the more deadly virulent pneumonic that wiped out urban centers. Uninformed victims never realized the difference between two, so sick people were transported to hospitals that otherwise may have avoided the effects.

Within a generation, the United States of America had fallen into disarray. The strong flow of immigration into the Land of Opportunity reversed until the navies of the world began a blockade to keep further Americans from escaping to spread the disease across the ocean. American leaders refused to travel, putting an end to national government. Soon deterioration of the railroads and telegraph further isolated communities. Local leaders became warlords to keep out neighboring populations, and towns that had depended upon trade to supply their industry soon vanished.

Eventually contained, the pneumonic strain wiped itself out. The continent was suddenly a blank canvas, ready for repainting. Armed with vaccines for the bubonic strain, the British Empire determined that it would reestablish order over what had become known as the “Wild West.” Japan, which had served in alliance with British fleets to contain the West Coast, signed a treaty for its own lands with a capital of New Yokohama built near the ruins of old San Francisco. The British built their own cities using scrap from the hollowed-out previous settlements, which largely had been burned to kill any remaining plague-bearing rats. Many were established with reverence toward the old, such as New Liverpool mirroring New Orleans or London-on-the-Potomac where representational American Parliament served in the same halls senators had in Washington, D.C. Other cities remained ruined for decades more, like the area once called Chicago being nicknamed “Dryrottingham.”

The former Canada, also devastated by the plague, was reorganized into a province of the new Dominion of North America, while Mexico continued as its own nation, though a protectorate under the Anglo-Japanese treaty. Many local warlords, some employing whole armies of gunslingers, fought against British reconquest, resulting in a massive prison district established in what had been west Texas, borrowing Federal forces from Mexico to serve as police.


In reality, this map was a WWI German propaganda leaflet, hoping to inspire distrust among the newcomer nation to the Allies. The pneumonic strain of the Third Plague pandemic stayed largely in Asia, where it did kill millions.

Monday, October 30, 2017

What if Washington Fought for the British?

"In his new book, Brent Harris imagines an alternate American revolution. In a change of fate, George Washington fights for the British while wrestling with his loyalties as he watches his countrymen struggle under the yoke of war...

"Washington’s nemesis, Benedict Arnold, seizes power and will stop at nothing to restore his family’s honor by driving the British out of the colonies. The fate of America is altered as these two titans clash on and off the battlefield."

Harris is a 2017 Sidewise Award Nominee for his short story, "Twilight of the Mesozoic Moon," in the anthology Tales from Alternate Earths.

See the full article from The Desert Trail

Check out A Time of Need: A Dark Eagle Novel

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