The Human World


The world of 2071 is divided along lines of culture and economy rather than national states; power is in the hand of influential organizations, ideologies and corporations. While people still refer to "China" or the "The US", they refer to complex networks of allied groups and the people sharing their culture.

The Earth is no longer prime estate; overcrowding, environmental change, the threat of terrorism and gravity makes it a less desirable place to live than the orbital habitats or the new terraformed worlds. Most of the "real people" live in orbit.

The Cultures

The national state weakened during the first decades of the 21st century due to the spread of fast communications, global economy and several disasters, and after the Information Disaster they became purely formal organizations for running local infrastructure, defense, law enforcement etc. Instead the different cultures became more and more important: a westener can relatively easily understand other westeners and fit in anywhere in the western world, but would have great difficulty in Asia. Hence cultural dividing lines have become the real borders, and humanity has become aligned into several large cultural blocks.

The West

The West is no longer number one, and this has affected its mood quite a bit. Instead of attempting to be the dominant economical or political power, Europe attempts to be the world's conscience, holding its moral high ground. Members of other cultures often joke about the politically corect europeans who fight against everything that can be viewed as racist, sexist, non-ecological, elitistic or just plain unethical. Economically most of Europe is stable, efficient and strongly integrated. Towards the east it becomes poorer and wilder; Russia has been to a large extent "tamed", but there are many poor regions and the central asian conflicts have long since become a tiring and incomprehensible local headache.

America did not take well to its eclipse, and has become quite isolationist. A strong nationalism built on the idea of America as "God's Own Country" has popular support. Economically it is not as strong as Europe, having big internal trouble with desertification in the midwest, refugee camps in the south, local miniconflicts and the lack of natural resources. America has turned increasingly towards an ambitious space program, including the less than successful colony New Frontier.


In the same way americans once saw Europe as the "Old World" and themselves as more successful and enterprising the immense asian economies view the West as outdated, puzzling remnants of the 20th century. Instead of the political correctness of Europe or the nationalism of America asia is dominated by a mixture of market thinking, pragmatism and social cohesion.

China is largest, strongest and richest of the asian economies. In many ways China is the successor of the United States: the chinese have a huge industry, a dominant position in most research, immense environmental problems and doesn't hesitate to use its power to influence other regions such as Japan, Korea and the "tigers" which have a slightly more refined approach. Much of the economy is tied into huge economical conglomerates, a mixture of japanese Zaibatsu, geographical regions and social networks.

Genetic engineering, terraforming and CSCW are promoted in Asia. Since much of the West and the Arab world are negative to genetic engineering, the clinics of Shanghai and Hanoi have a thriving "tourist" business. In general Asia is seen as a slight bit too pragmatic and ruthless by the other cultures, while asians often regard themselves as fair-minded and honest about what they like.

The Arab World

The Arab world is in a renaissance. Many draw parallels to the caliphate; the culture is dominated by the idea of a common arabian culture incorporating the best ideas from other cultures while remaining quintessentially arabian. Education, especially in the classics and science, is seen as essential.

Saudi-Arabia remains the de facto center of the arab world (instead of oil it now exports antigravity technology and know how), while the other regions promote different aspects of the pan-arabian idea.


India never really got into the global information society before the Information Crisis, and hence did relatively well despite the DELTA epidemics a decade before. Despite a good starting position in the modern world it is plagued by several local conflicts, high population density and the pressures from the Asian and Arabian cultures.

India has gone its own way, and does not interact much with the other cultures. Instead it has turned towards the goal of total self sufficiency, including a large fleet of geostationary solar power satelites, space agriculture and terraforming of Mars.

Important Organisations

Companies and other organisations have much more power than in the 20th century, often eclipsing the power of nations. However, most support the remaining states (after all, it is better to leave the running of the infrastructure and social systems to a government than have to deal with them themselves).



Computer Supported Collaborative Work - enhanced reality systems where AI and agents help several users collaborate and share knowledge and skills.
A person using genetic therapy to slow aging. The Dauer method influences metabolism strongly, which forces Dauers to keep an extremely strict diet to avoid deadly diabetes.
Dynamic geometry
Strong space-time curvature used in FTL travel.
Large solar energy plants, on the ground or in space.
Slang for regions where government control have collapsed and are completely out of touch with the rest of the world.
Warning satelit with one-shot soliton wave transmittor.
A packet of hypermedia - text, simulations, data, VR, agents.
Derogatory term for planetary inhabitants, especially those who refuse to leave the homeworld.
Near Earth Object, asteroids in Earth-crossing orbits. Often used for military bases, which has led to the term being used for all military space bases.
Person who lives in a space habitat.
Status Geometry
"Normal" spacetime, not the dynamical geometry of FTL.
The underlying reality beneath spacetime, described by the GUT.
Space mines; stationary wasps (often stealthed) in the vicinity of strategic targets.
Gravity waves from re-entry in status geometry.
Combat machine for space battles, capable of intense accelerations and attacks. Usually run by an AI.