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1984 (Nineteen Eighty-Four)

A cultural staple of government grown overlarge and completely wrong, George Orwell's dystopian novel 1984 was not as fictional as many would like to think. A reflection of some of the terrible events of the time of its writing (1949), 1984 was intended as a warning against the betrayal of socialist ideals by Stalin as well as one against ever increasing government power.

1984 was supposed to be the second of three novels of a look inside a Stalinist nightmare; the first was Animal Farm, which addressed the creation of a Stalinist nightmare; the third was never written.

The novel gave the world the term Big Brother. It is a noted example of a dystopian fictional setting, and nowadays, also partially an example of honourary alternate history.

The world of 1984

There remains a great debate over the nature of scope of the novel's ultra-totalitarian regimes. Some suggests that the entire world is under this level of control, while some suggest that Big Brother rules only the British Islands or even just the London Area. Given the extreme level of propaganda and the government's willingness to do everything in its power to maintain control, the objective truth is deeply–if not completely–obscured.

What is not in dispute is the level of decay apparent in the novels. Colchester has suffered a nuclear attack, and rationing is tightening. Immanuel Goldstein's banned book discusses a view of the world, but it may itself be propaganda. This work discusses the global nature of the Totalitarian powers–but this may also be a fabrication.

Appearances and homages in fiction

1984 is also a popular inspiration for various stories and works. These stories, as well as many threads related to the topic, explore the fabric of a world gone totally wrong. Here are some of the most notable fanworks :

a.) Timelines

Images of 1984 - Written by Will Ritson, this story explores the creation of a totalitarian nightmare in Britain, attempting to tie in 1984's setting into a relatively realistic alternate history of the 20th century.

The 1984 October Event - Written by Onkel Willie.

Children of Oceania - Written by indigotwilight. The timeline explores the sordid reality of Airstrip One through the innocence of a child.

The Rise of the Tri-State World Order: A Timeline of Orwell's 1984 - Written by SpanishSpy, this timeline takes a more disturbing option in assuming the words of the Party are true.

Under the Spreading Chestnut Tree - Currently being written by Roberto el Rey, this timeline is another attempt at a plausible backstory that takes the Party's words to be true.

b.) Homages in timelines

Fight and Be Right by EdT - The timeline pays homage to 1984 in some of the terminology and iconography used in Syndicalist Britain. Examples include four large Ministry buildings in London referred to with Newspeak-style names and the propaganda posters of The Federation of Worker's Republics emulating the style of the propaganda seen in the 1984 film adaptation of Orwell's novel. The ATL version of Winston Churchill is also glimpsed in a syndicalist prison camp, writing down his memoirs, dubbed The Last Man in Europe - a nod to the original working title of Orwell's novel.

c.) Shared Worlds gaming

End of Dystopia Map Game - Moderated by Blue Max, this game explores the progression of the world beyond the events of 1984. While not a serious appraisal of the consequences, it retains the dark tone of a world badly abused by Threeist ideals.

alternate_history/1984.txt · Last modified: 2019/03/29 15:13 (external edit)