Future Highways (15k)

Editorial (2k)

Featured Articles (2k)

Under the Hood (2k)

On Foot (2k)

On the Road (2k)

Paint Jobs (2k)

Highwayman Role-playing (2k)

Freebies (2k)

Contacts (2k)

Archives (2k)

Letters (2k)

Letters (2k)

home (4k)

On the Road (8k)

How did we get here? (5k)

[Yes, I'm very anal, but I like things to be complete, hence the following. However, if you have any information on my views, have your own thoughts or spot something that I've missed, please email me.]

In attempting to devise a new timeline for the recent and updated books, I have found a few issues and glitches that to me don't make sense. The novels attempt to blend current reality with an alternate history, which in my opinion doesn't work too well. With differing Presidents of the US, with differing events and circumstances, a lot of what has happened in our reality wouldn't have happened in the world of Dark Future.

Now I know the original novels were written before the War on Terror so I appreciate that the original authors might not have guessed what would have happened and thus hadn't written much about the Middle East and other countries involvement there, but the new novels try and combine the old timeline with reality, and in some cases try and continue the old timeline whilst contributing to the new one. Which is where the issues lie. If the new novels had simply picked up where our reality left off, then fine. But by changing the background from 1960, things get messy.

The War on Terror:
In our reality, the War on Terror is a big subject with the USA leading the way. It has led to the invasion of both Iraq and Afghanistan, with the two Gulf Wars being a prelude to this.
In Dark Future I'm not convinced that the War on Terror would happen, or at least not on such a large scale.

The Pan-Islamic Congress had been established in the early 1970s, which united Kuwait and Iraq along with other Middle-Eastern countries (with the notable exception of Israel, which the Pan Islamic Congress is in a state of Cold War with). If Kuwait and Iraq are allies, then Iraq had no reason to invade Kuwait. If Iraq never invaded Kuwait, there was no reason for the two Gulf Wars. With no Gulf Wars, is there a reason for Al-Qaeda? Remember: America didn't invade Vietnam, the Soviet Union did. With the Soviets in Vietnam, they didn't invade Afghanistan - there is no evidence in the books for this event, and indeed they do mention the channelling of all resources into Vietnam followed by the overthrow of the regime following the nuclear exchange of the Nine Minute War. If the Soviets didn't invade Afghanistan, the CIA wouldn't need to recruit Arab Muslim fighters to resist the occupation, and thus the initial formation of Al-Quaeda doesn't happen. With no formation of Al-Quaeda, there can be no 1996 or 1998 Fatwa against the US. In fact, with the Pan-Islamic Congress occupying large areas of Central Asia, it is highly likely that if the Soviets had invaded Afghanistan, they would have been fighting the Pan-Islamic Congress.

Now I'm not saying that there aren't other terrorist groups out there, and I'm not saying that one of these other groups might not have committed the bombing of the World Trade Centres and it may be that this group was from the Pan-Islamic Congress, but what about the consequences? If the USA did invade Iraq and Afghanistan because they traced the terrorists there, would the rest of the Pan-Islamic Congress just stand back and watch their allies get attacked? Remember that unlike our reality, the Pan-Islamic Congress are quite close and bigger than the Middle East today, having the resources to invade and occupy vast tracts of Central Asia. Might this spiral into an actual War in the Middle East? Would Israel then get involved? If China and the Soviets already having had one nuclear exchange, would this prompt another?

Funnily enough, having just re-read American Meat, a nuclear exchange is mentioned between the US and the 'Middle-East'...

Would instead a better candidate for the bombings actually be the Central American Confederation? We know that North America has been actively involved in the CAC supporting rebels and operations there, and we know that the CAC has also been involved in operations against the North. With mentioned US operations being more at home than abroad, the US has no need to act as "peace keeper" in the Middle East and consequently the Middle East has no real need to attack US soil, especially as the Pan-Islamic Congress are more concerned with Israel.

Who are the presidents of the USA?
There is a bit of confusion here about the order of Presidents of the US.
In the updated Route 666 novel, page 50, the Quince mentions the presidents as being:

Richard Nixon (two terms)
Barry Goldwater (two terms)
Spiro Agnew (two terms)
Gerald Ford (two terms)
Oliver North
Bill Clinton
Al Gore
Charlton Heston

The only date mentioned here is that Al Gore got elected in 2008, although it is confirmed on page 186 that Gore was in office in 2010 and on page 187 says that he got kicked out in 2012 when Heston got in.

In Demon Download, it is mentioned on page 41 that North comes after Heston, but Heston was in when the Enderby Amendment came into force in 2013. Page 15 lists the date as 2025, so Estevez must be in for his second term as well.

In Krokodil Tears, in 2022 Ottokar Proctor asks after Oliver.

Yet in all the novels, the preface is from President Estevez in 2021. Which means he must have been elected in 2020.

So, what is going on?

Personally, I believe the Quince. He is supposed to be our guide into the past and how the future unfolded and the other comments are just errors on the part of the continuity editor who happened to miss those other exchanges because they're word-for-word from the original novels. However, no other presidents are mentioned, so the Quince must have forgotten that Clinton, North and Heston were in for two terms? Unless there is another president that hasn't been mentioned yet?

Index (2k)