I’m writing a series of stories set in a future post-diaspora Republic. The first, “Stolen Choices,” was published last October. Here’s a history I wrote to help get the world straight in my head when working on the second story, entitled “Lost Memories,” which will be published in the next few weeks.
FIRST OF ALL, this world exists in an alternate universe.
In 1990, The People’s Republic of China was fractured into multiple countries following the Tianenmen Square / June 4 Massacre (a.k.a. the ’89 Democracy Movement). The events of that day led to the destruction of the PRC government and the formation of several new autonomous countries. One of these countries was named The Republic of Sichuan.
The Republic of Sichuan consisted of several provinces in southwest China, including Sichuan, Yunnan, Guangxi, Guizhou, Chongqing, and Tibet. It was formed as a democracy, in the spirit of the United States’ Declaration of Independence. They struggled along mightily until 2015, when things got really good.
Meanwhile, much of the western world descended into chaos. Multiple nuclear catastrophes occurred between 1986 (Chernobyl was the first) and 2020 that made 90% of the land uninhabitable. Much of Eastern Europe’s population left and made new homes. Many of them came to The Republic.
From 2020-2040, The Republic of Sichuan experienced an economic boom the likes of which no one had ever seen before. It seemed to go on forever, a truly gilded age. They let many immigrants into their country, which contributed to the overpopulation as well as the economic success (for educated Eastern European scientists, educators, entrepreneurs, and artists needed new homes).
Life sailed along smoothly until the summer of 2042, when the technology bubble burst and the economy contracted rapidly, leaving disaster in its wake. By this time, The Republic had gained so much momentum, their businessmen overextended themselves so far with a false foundation of security, that the decade-long depression which followed ruined many lives, and killed many people. Food prices rose, jobs became impossible to find, and The Republic’s inflated money became worthless.
And then came the famine of 2044.
These stories take place in 2048, about halfway into the depression. It’s real bad. The Republic of Sichuan has just weathered the worst winter of the depression so far. The coming winter promises to be worse. Citizens and freedom fighters, in Enshi and other cities across the country, rise up to fight against their government, whom they no longer trust to take care of them. In response, the government uses its military to try to keep things under control. It has little calming effect. The military only ends up making things worse.
These stories are about how different people react to their situation in these troubles times. Ming is forced to make a choice between doing his job and doing what’s right by his people. Ari tries to cope with the loss of his memories when he wakes up from an ill-advised medical procedure in the midst of a riot. Li Po goes to desperate lengths to find her sister, because her family is all she has. Li Po’s Aunt Kylie takes her brother’s kids to safety in a monastery in the mountains of Tibet. Felix Hull fights back against the government occupation, thinking he’s a freedom fighter but becoming a thug with a hunger for power in the process.
Each story set in The Republic takes place from a different character’s point of view, but each story is set in a single continuous timeline. So Ming’s story happens first, Ari’s second, Li Po’s third. As you go through the collection, you find out more about The Republic, its history, the riots that lead to the fall of King Valley, and what happens to the city after King Valley is razed by the mob.
These stories are about people at the heart of the crisis, and how they cope with what the disaster throws at them.