My Analysis of WOLFWORLD

Tony Jones' Wolfworld


The world is Earth, but one where, fifteen thousand years ago, the ice age did not end. Because of this the world remains in ice age which, if anything, has deepened with time. The seas are shallower by more than one hundred metres, with may land bridges where in the real world there is sea. Woolly mammoths, rhinos and so on still roam the land. Ice sheets cover large areas of Eurasia, North America and the Andes.

Basically, the divergence is 15,000 years B.P. What if the Ice Age continued?

However, the author did not specify how long ago this was (TTL). What year is it in his scenario? (Obviously they are not going to use the same calendar, but I am curious as to whether the map of the world "today" (in-universe) is what the world looks like in the early twenty-first century (our calendar) though the people of that world have dated it differently. Specifically how long, since circa 13,000 B.C., did it take for the wolves to evolve to their present condition, or for the human civilizations to form?

The People of Wolfworld

There are still humans, of course, but they have been pushed rather further than in the real world by the pressures of the ice age. As such the people who live at the edge of the glaciers are the most highly evolved humans on the planet. Many have a very good sense of direction; some, who usually become tribal shamen, have perfect memories, recording thousands of years of oral tradition. Others have conscious control over their metabolisms and other physical processes that are normally considerd sutomatic, by means of trances and so on, or can consciously access hysterical strength. There are rumours that some of the arctic peoples have magical powers, the ability to track anything and so on. All, by training and natural talent, can survive in hugely hostile environments.

Very interesting, but this seems to border on ASB. Neanderthals (Homo neanderthalensis) have lived in Ice Age conditions for longer than Homo sapiens. For that matter, Eskimos do not seem to have such super powers.

Human scripts are as varied as the civilisations they have formed; some use pictograms (like Ancient Egyptian) or ideograms (like Chinese), some use individual characters for sounds (like the Roman alphabet). Some human scripts write in boustrophedon ('ox-writing') where the direction of writing changes from line to line (i.e. left to right on one line, right to left on the next, and so on); there are three type of this: 1) lines reverse direction but words do not, 2) lines reverse direction and so do words, 3) all of lines, words and letters themselves are reversed from line to line.

In addition to the human civilisations in the arctic, human civilisations have grown up beyond the tribal level in various more hospitable climes. The oldest of these are in the Middle East, India and Africa, with only slightly newer ones in the Indo-China area. The human civilisations all fight among themselves, and the more northerly ones also fight with the wolves. In every location civilisations rise and fall with time.

Unfortunately, the author has not provided any dates for these civilizations.

Humanity is completely unaware of the Americas; the eastern civilisations are aware of Australia, and it has aboriginal inhabitants, but no-one really goes there. Likewise the islands of the Pacific Ocean, although some are inhabited, are largely unknown.

There is one small problem with the above statement. According to the author, humanity is completely unaware of the Americas. Either he mistakenly neglected the humans already inhabiting the Americas and thus "humanity" refers exclusively to Old World inhabitants, or "humanity" means just that, implying that humans never reached the New World, which is of course incorrect.

In fact, human beings entered North America from Siberia via the Bering Isthmus WELL BEFORE the author's stated POD, fifteen thousand years before present. There is hard evidence of human presence in the Americas from over 30,000 years ago! The ancestors of the Amerind peoples would have been in place well before the stated POD, though the Inuit, Yupik, and Aleutian Islanders would not be. I am not sure about the Na Dene peoples.

Human technology remains primitive (although more advanced than that of the wolves). There are no ocean-going ships, although trading ships do go along the coasts of the Indian ocean and along as far as the 'Chinese' empire. Horses and chariots are used in land warfare. Steel is very rare and expensive. Gunpowder has not been invented; the main ranged weapon is the bow.

Given the great changes in history and pre-history caused by the continuance of the ice age, no civilisation in Wolfworld remotely corresponds to any from the real world.

Granted, the languages, cultures, and nations would be unpredictably different. The races of humanity would not even look similar, owing to the fact that many of the racial groups resulted from migrations around the end of the last Ice Age. (Modern Europeans are a blend of neolithic farmers from the Middle East and local survivors from the Stone Age, mostly descendents of the bearers of the Gravettian culture. Since the LGM continued to present, nobody brought the Neolithic Revolution to Europe, still in the Ice Age. Polynesians would not exist. Many of the African groups would look similar to their OTL counterparts.) The author does not say whether any of the civilizations speak languages related to OTL counterparts such as Semitic, Indo-European, Dravidic, etc.

A long time ago an empire known as VAHAPLA, centred on the River Nile, grew up. This was the first major civilisation in the world. Over time it spread east into the Arabian peninsula, south to the horn of Africa and west into the Sahara, which remains green here. Over time Vahapla became corrupt, oppressive and decadent. Various parts of the empire seceded and Vahapla split into various smaller nations, some of which have in time built up into major civilisations in their own right. The core of the empire remains.

The obvious problem with this is that during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), the Sahara was even larger and drier!