A cool seabreeze blows gently across the white sands, smoothing the edge of the hard tropical sun. White sand spreads out, hemmed by the lush emerald of the tropical grenery on one side and the glowing sapphire of the clear ocean on the other. I carry my wingtips in my hands and revel in the feel of the soft sands and cool water on my bare feet, the sun on my shoulders, the crisp, salty air in my lungs. So distant this place is in space and feel from the congested, noisy streets of New Coppenhagen. I could imagine I were back in the days of Spanish galleons and Virginian pirates were it not for the drone of the flying boat to the west. So calm, so beautiful, so serene…it almost makes me forget that I am here to kill a man…
Tropical islands, palm trees, flying boats…and the soft thump of a silenced pistol in the night. This is the World of Mañana, a place of lazy relaxation coupled with deadly intrigue, of patient, persistant progess into A Glorious Future, of sociopolitical and ethnic diversity emerging from the dying remains of the grand empires of old. Imagine, if you will, Bogart's Casablanca writ large, the naïve self-assuredness of the summer of 1914, the laissez-faire attitude of a cafe in Nice contrasted with the frightful panic of a deadly chase through the crowded city streets of Cairo, a gorgeous sunny seascape with a looming shadow just at the edge of your vision. Set in the present day in a world not our own, Mañana is a world of contrasts and amalgamations. Retrofuturistic Super Trains share the stage with “old fashioned” flying boats and airships (yes, airships - we went there!). Baroque-tinged Great Power politics faces up against radical futurist ideologies, emerging global corporations, and the burgeoning nationalism of a thousand composite cultures our world never saw. Old decaying empires fight for continued hegemony and try their best to patch the growing cracks in their imperial façade, but the center can not hold. It all gives a guy or dame a lot to think about while sipping that rum as the large tropical sun slips quietly beneath the tropical waters in a pool of warm crimson.
Combining the Noir-tinged optimism of the Jazz Age with the laid back world of Island Time, The World of Mañana is a new, relaxed, but sinister addition to the Retrofuturist culture. This is where Dieselpunks go on vacation to leave their troubles behind…only to find that their troubles have followed. Call it “Parrotpunk”, if you will.
The World of Mañana owes a lot to the Parrotpunk-like creations of artists past and present who have sought to view the stylings of the 1920s through 1960s in the paradisial tropical islands of our ideal modern vacation. People and projects like:
Music also has had a major influence from the joyous and sonorous music of the Caribbean to the sublime strings of West Africa (and their new world inheritors the Blues). The “Gulf & Western” sound of Jimmy Buffett. The haunting Cajun/Creole/Zydeco sound of the gulf wetlands. The free-form syncopations and wailing brass of Jazz.
Other influences include the Streamline Moderne stylings of Norman bel Geddes and Raymond Loewry, the architecture of Art Deco and International styles like Bauhaus as well as the Postmodern spinoffs of these schools, and the art of Bohemians like Paul Gauguin and the art of the Futurists.
A Timeline by Shurik, wolf_brother, and Geekhis Khan
The smallest events can have the largest of consequences, and when a vicious courtly rumor derails Anglo-Spanish negotiations over the issue of some Dutch pirates it sets off a chain reaction of events that would see the balkanization of France, the evisceration of the English navy, and a continued Iberian hegemony to be checked only by the eastern might of the Ottomans and the northern upstarts the Danes. The world these forces create will be one of a plethora of small states and unique cultures, New World Khans and Ottoman “Petrol Pashas”, Mayan royalty and Russo-Haidan “Gurkhas”, Balinese floatplanes and Spanish airships, Congolese Saints and Songhai Sufis. A place where Progress knows no color barriers, but neither does Oppression.
Want to read more? Visit the Mañana Timeline Page for all the juicy details.
Written and Visual Contributions to the World of Mañana
Originally begun as a brainstorm for a fictional setting between Shurik and Geekhis Khan, The World of Mañana was literally built for writing. Here are some of the tales of this casual but deadly world:
Contributor Art showing us the World of Mañana
A picture paints a thousand words! Here are some of the visual creations that show us the World of Mañana…many in stunning technicolor!
Browse by Artist at the Visions of Mañana page or go directly to the artwork with the below hyperlinks:
Maps and National Profiles of the World of Mañana
This section details the world itself with maps, national facts and histories, and other cultural, historical, and political insights into the nations of the World of Mañana.
See it all at the Mañana Atlas.
© The World of Mañana, including the setting and all characters, are copyright John C. Philpott and Norman James, 2014, all rights reserved.