Tomorrow Country

Discussion in 'Alternate History Maps and Graphics' started by ksituan, Oct 1, 2018.

  1. ksituan Peace Country Unoriginal

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    The developed world was wiped clean in a one-day missile war, leaving Canada's survival up to a disparate gang of remote northern cities. A few adjustments have been made to the new dominion - rocky Yellowknife hosts the national capital, ice-free ports are found on all three oceans, the Cree language has national status, and the largest buyer of Canadian oil is Peru. Welcome to

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    Tomorrow Country

    [​IMG]

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    About

    T.C. has grown out of a long-time fascination with the North, that expansive and loosely-populated region which Canadians have been spending hundreds of years expecting to bring them a great future. What if it really did? Ever since high school, the idea has been stuck in my head. What happens when the country so famously defined by its southern frontier has no southern frontier left?

    The war isn't important - started in hubris and carried out with no great feeling, none of its architects survive even in infamy. But the world left behind has a radically different shape. The United Nations sits in Lagos, overseeing the peaceful repopulation of the three major Authority Areas. A certain Pacific weather pattern has been knocked loose by all the burning plastic, lavishing moisture over a newly green Australia at the expense of bringing a super-drought down onto the North American plains. Above all this global upheaval, roughneck little Grande Prairie, Alberta is well on its way to becoming the world’s largest city north of Mexico.

    Always one for a good apocalypse, the cast of Tomorrow Country is rounded out by Baptist radio firebrand and onetime Alberta premier William Aberhart, roused from his Vancouver grave as an immortal revenant. Although initially a bit surprised at this resurrection, he quickly realizes that God’s plan is unfolding exactly as expected, and sets out over the mountains to cause a little tribulation of his own. The second woe may indeed be past, but the third cometh quickly...

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    Structure

    For a long while (i.e. four years), Tomorrow Country has existed mostly as a disparate series of perpetually-changing maps and graphics, scattered in various places around the internet and slowly being replaced and rounded out as the setting matures. Believe it or not, though, my lifetime goal is actually to be a purveyor of indie comics, not geography. So the time has come to start developing more of an actual canon, which I hope this thread will provide a decent enough home for.

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    Last edited: Dec 1, 2018
  2. Stretch The One Who Has Seen Too Much

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    Look forward to future posts, like the look!
     
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  3. ksituan Peace Country Unoriginal

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    [​IMG]

    Although Canada boasts hundreds of municipalities, only two enjoy an international reputation above “rustic wilderness outpost”: Grande Prairie and Yellowknife. Sure, the Queen City of the Peace is a full three/four/five times bigger and more productive than its loathsome northern rival (depending on the latest census), but by name recognition, the contest is almost a dead heat. The excuses why are many, and Grande Prairians are all too eager to make them. Grande Prairie lies at a much more comfortable latitude, they grumble, and has borne the brunt of Canada's heroic resettlement efforts, so is it really justifiable to knock the place for being too full of drab social housing? Grande Prairie has always been a working town, they suggest, while Yellowknife can only dream of having an intact mining industry, so is it really surprising that they have more time to waste up there? If you listened to them for too long, you'd even get the impression that YK was bigger than GP, such is the all-overriding glamour of Canada's national capital.

    Those who paid attention in Grade 7 Social Studies, of course, will know that Yellowknife wasn't always the center of Canadian political life. Before the war, Parliament sat in the southern city of Ottawa, 2,450 kilometers away from the actual center of the Canadian landmass. Little Yellowknife was merely set aside as the headquarters of the sparsely populated Northwest Territories. The local diamond mines and tourist industry made the place look like a frivolous luxury town, strategically inconsequential - so when the dust cleared, Yellowknife was the largest center of government left standing anywhere in the country.

    In the decade after the war, the status of the Northwest Territories (then home to only 30,000 souls) became a contentious issue. Much of its forested landmass was theoretically suitable for agricultural settlement, but decades of prewar litigation ensured that Indigenous groups would have serious legal authority in dictating the terms of that settlement. When different Indigenous governments started to demand different compromises, the peaceful dismemberment of the NWT into separate land claim regions was inevitable. Akaitcho - the local intertribal authority - instantly became Canada's most centralized city-province, more populated than every other NWT successor combined. This lead has been maintained ever since.

    Akaitcho is Shield country, its inhospitable rockscapes polished three billion years bare, so outside fast-growing Greater Yellowknife all of its towns can be counted on one hand. Indeed, the majority of its hinterland is still preserved empty for traditional use by the local Dene bands. Still, fifty years after the war, the barrens aren’t quite as barren as they used to be…
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2018
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  4. ST15RM Ich bin ein AH.commer!

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    @ksituan Been seeing this so far, liking it.

    What I'm particularly interested in is what is it like on Ellesmere Island, Baffin Island, and indeed Nunavut in general. I've always been fascinated with the actual great white north. But, it's the forlorn, barren lands of the northernmost isles that have kept drawing my attention. So what are they like ITTL.
     
  5. Analytical Engine Monarchist Collectivist Federalist

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    Apologies if you have already mentioned this, but is there any particular reason for British Columbia being renamed?
     
  6. ksituan Peace Country Unoriginal

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    One of Tomorrow Country's watershed moments after the war was the Proclamation of Extinction: a ceremony where the monarchy in right of Canada was solemnly declared defunct, in light of physical evidence that too few members of the House of Windsor remained alive for any plausible claim on the throne to exist.

    The Extinction has wide-ranging legal consequences for Canada, one being that it automatically breaks every single Indian Treaty (on which the Canadian state bases all its property rights, especially in the North and West). It's in this turbulent atmosphere that a renaming of "British Columbia"* suddenly seems more plausible than it does OTL.

    *And the surviving urban population of Prince George, a city located on the Fraser River, ensures that "Fraser" will beat out any more exotic suggestions even in the absence of Metro Vancouver.
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2018
  7. damein fisher This bad boy can fit so many maps in it

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    Is that the reason why so many of the northern provinces are based of aboriginal etymologies?
     
  8. ksituan Peace Country Unoriginal

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    More or less! Tomorrow Country is a setting where legal niceties have proven armageddon-proof, and with most of the south gone, Canada can't afford to aggravate the people who best know the north. The opening of the treaties is thus seen as a bit of a score-settling opportunity. The Canadian government wanted a guarantee that its most strategically important northern lands could be promptly made available for resettlement purposes, and the payout to Indigenous groups to get it was extensive, ranging from extensive public land transfers all the way up to complete province-level autonomy.

    We'll see more of this in subsequent writeups, but suffice to say for now that the NWT's legal successors fall into three similar pairs:

    - In Akaitcho and Inuvaluit, a massive urban core is surrounded by an underdeveloped hinterland which attracts little settler interest.
    - In the much smaller Tłı̨chǫ and Gwich'in, Indigenous populations enjoy a safe (and likely permanent) numerical majority.
    - Between these two extremes, Deh Cho and Sahtú are governed under intensely complicated final claim agreements, where precarious settler majorities uneasily cultivate patchworks of private and publicly held lands.
     
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  9. ST15RM Ich bin ein AH.commer!

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    That makes sense. I also did have question which i tagged you about the far northern islands, are they the Hinterland of OTL (seems the most likely, even without ice, they are very mountainous)? Do Iqaluit, Resolute and Grise Fjord become bigger, or stay the same?
     
  10. ksituan Peace Country Unoriginal

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    Right! I initially dodged this one because, while I got to spend my summer traveling Alberta, British Columbia, and the NWT, and can speak confidently about all three, I've never been to Nunavut in my life.

    But then Nunavut is maybe one of the least-changed places in Tomorrow Country - the territory's enabling legislation has remained much the same since 1999, with very little revision. Although the great Canadian Arctic sea-lanes are of vital strategic importance, its actual landmass certainly hasn't attracted any settlement rush. With entire neighbourhoods succumbing to slumps and slides, the global retreat of permafrost has hit Nunavut harder than anywhere, but relief is doled out generously by a Canadian government desperate to assert its claim to the Arctic Archipelago. Out of this necessity, booming Iqaluit (benefiting from an Inuit fertility rate which remains the highest in the country) has rapidly grown into a world-class center of sustainable architectural innovation. Not bad for a province whose population still hasn't broken 200,000!

    The Inuit still form their majority in Nunavut, but their traditional villages have become somewhat reshuffled. Many older settlements have been threatened by unpredictable sea levels, and the Arctic ecosystem is vastly changed both above and below water. In many places, though, this increased warmth has set off an explosion of marine life. Where settlement was once meaningfully limited to the areas south of the Parry Channel, hunters now frequently drive their speedboats around the very northern tip of Ellesmere, and civilian settlements of varying permanence can unprecedentedly be found throughout the whole High Arctic.
     
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  11. ksituan Peace Country Unoriginal

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    [​IMG]

    Since Akaitcho is made out of rocks and water, it may be unsurprising to hear that the local economy rests on mining and maritime activity. The gold mines which birthed Yellowknife are a distant memory, but the arsenic waste they left behind employs hundreds of hardworking reclamation contractors, and the exploration geologists are still kept busy in other areas of the province. Meanwhile, the opening of the Northwest Passage has made the Mackenzie River reliably navigable at last, allowing sheltered Yellowknife Bay to host one of the country’s busiest container ports. Although its out-of-the-way geography keeps it less of an entrepôt than Inuvaluit and Deh Cho, a well-educated population makes the province attractive for higher-tech manufacturing.

    The Outports

    As the province is near-entirely urban, it’s also near-entirely maritime, with every single incorporated town lying on a navigable body of water. Besides historic Łutselkʼe, a number of brand-new settlements have been founded to exploit the valuable Great Slave fishery. Bayland and Little Harbour are the largest and oldest, having exceeded all growth projections by serving as magnets for homesick Atlantic Canadian refugees. Nahjo, a slightly more recent addition, was founded by the Akaitcho Dene Government as a neo-traditional community.

    Although the foundation of Nahjo was originally seen as somewhat of a political provocation (non-Indigenous residents are not permitted to participate in the trust that furnishes no-cost housing for the town’s residents), the mostly-relocated residents of Little Harbour turned out to feel no particular kinship themselves with the provincial authorities, and the two neighbouring towns share a surprising amount of social cohesion. The area’s best-known contribution to Canadian culture has been the development of “Great Slave English”, a nigh-incomprehensible dialect in which a large body of Dene vocabulary words have somehow managed to weld themselves to a soft-spoken Atlantic lilt. Originally mocked as a bizarre distortion, the prominence of Great Slavers in the shipping industry means it is now well on its way to becoming the language of inland waterways everywhere.

    The Slave River

    It’s a long drive on bad roads to get all the way from Fort Smith to Yellowknife, but both communities are legally included in the Akaitcho Final Agreement, so the provincial boundary wraps around both. This needs justification because the boggy Slave River lowlands are entirely unlike the barren Shield landscapes that make up the rest of the province. Here the stunted twigs and lichens of the scoured highlands give way to a thick blanket of boreal forest, cleared in places to make room for Canada's most successful ranching operations. Most importantly, the Slave itself is the bountiful Peace Country's only outlet to the sea.

    The recent trauma of the war has caused a lot of long-term planning. For many new engineering projects, “emergency survivability” is an essential part of the design codes. River infrastructure, viewed by the federal government as being especially difficult to disrupt during times of crisis, is a major benefactor. So most riverboats making the meandering all-water journey between Peace River and Yellowknife are doing it because of generous subsidies, and the nearby Port of Hay River's dominance as Great Slave's primary railhead remains uncontested. Still, Fort Smith is no slouch, and a massive channel gouged across the nearby rapids has greatly improved navigation in the area.

    The Barrens

    Everyone knows the legend: Grande Prairie’s status as North America’s future industrial capital was all but assured when the bomb intended to demolish the city landed without detonating. But then what?

    For six months, the bent fuselage of the rocket sat exactly where it fell (directly on top of the city’s swan statue). Once winter came, the wreckage was removed. Most people assume it was dismantled, but not a single Canadian engineer was willing to run the risk of opening the thing up while it sat in the middle of the country’s largest city. So it was relocated - along pavement, then gravel, then seasonal ice routes - before reaching its ultimate destination, the massive Ekati Diamond Mine pit, 400 kilometers away from downtown Yellowknife. There it sits to this day.

    The G.P. dud, affectionately nicknamed “the Trumpeter” after the statue it flattened, is in fact the world’s best-preserved example of an early 21st-century superweapon. Although Canada has no interest in antagonizing the rest of the world by studying this prize too intently, the exact condition of its remains is the most intensely guarded of state secrets, and no civilians have been allowed inside the Ekati area for the last 50 years to clear things up any.

    When not serving as a backdrop for apocalyptic intrigue, a variety of workaday hydroponic operations can be found scattered throughout the Akaitcho Barrens, benefiting from the nearby market presence of Yellowknife.
     
  12. ST15RM Ich bin ein AH.commer!

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    I like what you thought up. Although I live nowhere near it, I've always been fascinated by what it's like up there, and I've done a fair amount of research of the various settlements. I was thinking of doing a few sketches of the key points. I'm fine if you don't want me to, though.
     
  13. ksituan Peace Country Unoriginal

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    [​IMG]

    Yukon
    A Place for Northerners

    Last Stand of the Sourdoughs

    Never before have so few provided for so many, goes the triumphant narrative of Canada's post-war miracle. Upwards of ten million displaced survivors were resettled in the country's sparse North, regardless of nationality, politics, or race - a process frequently spoken of as the single greatest humanitarian act in history.

    That's the national myth. It’s endorsed by the overextended United Nations in Lagos, which is generally happy to let Canada take the moral lead on North American affairs. But the North wasn’t empty before the war, and the resettlement of the ten million inevitably created winners and losers.

    Did you or at least half of your direct ancestors receive federal government assistance under the Emergency Resettlement Act (2020)? Fifty years on, this question divides Canadian society like no other. The small minority that answers “no” are the Northerners, a culturally indistinct subgroup overrepresented at every echelon of power and commerce. Everywhere but Yukon, their interests are opposed by an enormous majority of Southerners, resettled North Americans who solidly stand by the federal government's redistributive efforts. It's the rugged valleys and peaks of the Klondike Country, then, where Canada's prewar inhabitants make their last stand.

    More on the Northerners

    Unencumbered by the stuffy equalizing attitude maintained so dearly in the southern provinces, Yukon has a reputation as a slightly unwelcoming place. Yet very few of Yukon’s Northerners actually descend from prewar Yukoners! As much as its famously prickly residents are wont to agitate for “A Yukon For Yukoners”, Yukon's unusual (and unplanned) demographic tilt was founded entirely on internal migration.

    What really sets Yukon apart is its tolerance of large private landownership. To most Canadians, Yukon's free-market largeholder policies seem hopelessly radical, but they actually reflect the last vestiges of a broadly held late-20th-century political consensus. In those days, a global industrial supply chain and a proliferation of digital technology meant that farming was more mechanized than it ever had been. This automation reached a point where many tractors and combines actually drove themselves. Unsurprisingly, the result was an almost complete abandonment of the countryside, with many agricultural areas losing upwards of 90% of their population between 1926 and 2016. For those few farmers left behind, the only viable option was to amass as much land as possible.

    Never noted for its agriculture, the territorial legislature of prewar Yukon passed a number of laws upholding the legality of this ancient “homestead” system in an attempt to attract any unlikely settlers willing to make the move. On this simple legal basis rests the province's contemporary Northerner majority. Whether in Fraser, Peace River, or New Canada, the Northerner experience has always been one of well-compensated displacement: the family farmsteads of the prewar era were simply too large to accommodate the country’s massive influx of displaced peoples, and were almost universally bought out by the relevant provincial governments. Wealthy but landless, in an era otherwise marked by landless poverty, many of these northern resettlers were naturally drawn to Yukon’s friendlier political environment.

    Yukon’s forbidding geography is another important factor. Where Peace River is noted for its moderate climate and fertile aspen plateaux, gritty Yukon is kept from being an ice cap only through lack of water. Only a few sheltered river valleys are really suitable for the smallholder garden agriculture promoted so widely in other parts of Canada. So, requiring large dryland properties and a certain degree of natural belligerence, it is the ranching profession which more than anything has come to define the culture of modern Yukon.
     
  14. Cool-Eh At The 80th Meridian, Where Lake Nipissing Begins! Donor

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    Just found this ksituan, and it's awesome!

    Unfortunately I am probably scattered atoms TTL (if Grand Prairie made the list, then North Bay with an Air base definitely did), but I am quite curious about the province of New Canada. It would take the end of the world for Ontario and Quebec to unite into one province.
     
  15. ST15RM Ich bin ein AH.commer!

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    Unless somehow i move to Nunavut, i too would be scattered atoms.
     
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  16. Cool-Eh At The 80th Meridian, Where Lake Nipissing Begins! Donor

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    That southestern bulge on Manitoba is bugging me, and I would swear is was’nt there yesterday:confused:

    Have you figured out total population figures for Canada?


    Aussi St Pierre et Miquelon vas peut-être joindre Terre-neuve TTL?
    Assuming France collapsed following the war.
     
  17. ksituan Peace Country Unoriginal

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    [​IMG]

    Australia

    The Green Continent

    Where North America has been afflicted by a thousand-year megadrought, Pacific currents have inundated the Australian outback with a series of monsoon rains. Here, transient salt pans and blowing red dust have given way to an explosion of life forceful enough to shift the mass balance of the entire Earth.

    With a pluralistic anglophone culture and a vast hinterland in common, Australia and Canada survived the war under very similar conditions. Both countries were crippled by the loss of their major urban areas, but continuity of government and a generous land base ensured rapid recovery. In a mild reversal of their prewar roles, Canada’s urban areas are larger and have an edge in global prestige, but Australia pulls ahead in total population and economic productivity.

    The Commonwealth of Australia still controls the whole continent, save a large chunk of what was once South Australia’s unincorporated area, although Australians are still perfectly entitled to go live in that chunk if they so choose (it’s complicated). The greening of the outback has been a strangely religious experience for the country, and most of its famously belligerent inhabitants have wound up afflicted by a vague sense of reverence. Relationships with the country’s indigenous population have been somewhat tumultuous thanks to the complete transformation of the traditionally inhabited landscapes so long negotiated over, but it is to all parties’ credit that most of the Australian states have concluded at least one major treaty. In this spirit, three new Aboriginal states have been set aside based on pre-existing land claims. Torresia and the Aṉangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara lands are largely intended for the use of their eponymous people, while special laws allow anyone proving Aboriginal ancestry preferential access to property in Maralinga Tjarutja.

    The U.N. Mandate in Australia, purchased at a steep enough price that the entire Australian social safety net is funded by the interest payments on it, is a simple but unprecedented experiment: any citizen of a U.N. member nation is automatically entitled to permanent Mandate residency. Although it attracts eccentrics from all nations, the majority of the 20 million people to make the move have been middle-class Indians and Nigerians, with a sizeable contingent of Australian citizens attracted by economic opportunity. Thanks to drawing so heavily on Commonwealth nations, the result was an English-speaking, sport-loving culture of loudmouth overurbanized farmers... almost perfectly identical, in fact, to the one next door. The annual All-Antipodean Test Series, where the two Australias compete on the cricket pitch, is the most fanatically followed sporting event in the world.

    Originally governed from the General Assembly in Lagos, the Mandate’s leash has become longer and longer over the years, and the local administration now performs most of the responsibilities of a sovereign state. Since the Mandate’s international passports are not particularly useful as anything but a last resort, every child born within the territory must by law also acquire the citizenship of one of their parents. This requirement is used to uphold an unusual system wherein the seats of the Mandate Council are apportioned using parallel second-nationality geographical constituencies.

    Finally, slightly poorer and a good deal more chaotic than the primary cities of the country it was separated from, the Mandate’s master-planned capital of Kati Thanda is Oceania’s largest urban area by far. Ten million people ago, Thanda was mostly written off as a stiflingly bureaucratic anomaly, but the city has long since come into its own, and the local anything-goes “Katitude” has become world-renowned. This even includes a degree of sincere ideological fervour, with an overwhelmingly supported series of bids for the city to become the permanent home of all kinds of international bodies. Although most remain in Lagos for now, some are starting to take note, and a one-time bid for a Permanent Olympic Games is proving surprisingly unquixotic.
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2018
  18. ST15RM Ich bin ein AH.commer!

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    Once again @ksituan, you have delivered!
    I’m really interested in what happens in Russia. I predict that East of the Urals and South of the Finnish border, it is mostly radioactive wasteland, and Siberia and the Far East would become fractured into indigenous states.
     
  19. TheKutKu Well-Known Member

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    Nice! What happened to New Zealand?
     
  20. Stretch The One Who Has Seen Too Much

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    What's up with the Perth region? (That's where I live) Good update, shows some of the rest of the world, what are things like in Europe?