For All Time
For All Time (FaT) is an extensively dystopian timeline, originally created on the soc.history.what-if AH discussion group by its member “Chester A. Arthur”, a.k.a. Chet Arthur.
The timeline has become notorious on AH.com as an example of what happens when everything in an ATL that can go wrong goes wrong.
Premise and POD
The POD for the timeline is Franklin Roosevelt dying suddenly on December 20, 1941, leading to the ascension of Vice President Henry Wallace to the Oval Office. From that point on, one disaster after another strikes the world. The timeline concludes in 2002, with the world stage having calmed a tad, since most people are too dead to cause much trouble.
The timeline is usually considered to have plausible events throughout the 1940s and 50s, before going utterly insane in the 1960s… Dystopia bukkake ensues.
"Rules" of the FaT universe
Another One Bites the Dust: From Henry Wallace (who completely botches America's efforts in World War II) onwards, America suffers under a stream of Commander-in-Chiefs who are, at best, well meaning, and at worst, Alexander Haig. Even competent ones such as Robert Taft, Thomas Dewey, or Barry Goldwater are proof that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Fortunately for them, most do not have to seek re-election.
Insane in the Mainstream: The more marginalized and extreme a figure is in OTL, the more likely he or she is likely to be a prominent world player in FaT. Examples include Charles Manson marrying Norma Jean Baker and becoming the Governor of California (and later being kept out of the White House through 'creative' measures), Lyndon LaRouche becoming the Governor of New Hampshire (and Manson's running mate), Jim Jones becoming governor of Pennsylvania, and later President (and being disposed of in a quiet military coup when he goes completely bonkers), and perhaps most notoriously, the sociopathic Andrei Chikatilo becoming the final General Secretary of the USSR.
Atom Tan: With no international organization created after World War II to control the proliferation of nuclear weapons, dozens of countries gain the atomic bomb in FaT, including Canada, Australia, Greater (apartheid) South Africa, Idi Amin's East African Federation, etc. Another key part of this rule is that whenever nuclear weapons could be used (and even when they really shouldn't), they are used (for example, the largest single series of conflicts in FaT is a nuclear war between the Soviet Union and the People's Republic of China, the Soviet Union and the pan-Middle Eastern Jerusalem League, and concluded thereafter by a nuclear civil war that destroys the USSR).
Straight to Hell: Besides the wars (nuclear or otherwise) in FaT, many countries wind up simmering, splintering, or shattering. Examples include France imploding after being dominated by a series of dictators, England withdrawing from the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, more Germanies than ex-Nazis to lead them, and race relations in America making 'Do The Right Thing' look like a Disney film.
You're No Rock 'n Roll Fun: FaT includes many summaries relating to the fate of musicians and celebrities from our world in the long nightmare of the ATL. Examples include Elvis Presley becoming first an actor for Ed Wood and then a successful businessman (fleeing to Australia during the Jones Administration), John Lennon becoming one of the world's most famed Indian musicians (though he devolves into a washed up music star with serious marital problems), and Pat Boone being the undisputed King of Rock 'n Roll.
AH.com discussions on For All Time
Spiritual Sequel / Update