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This is the first part of my working timeline for Vast Worlds. It may change over time, but for now its fairly fixed as this era isn’t addressed in the books. Interestingly, it was the first piece of Vast World’s fiction I ever wrote, way back when the setting was actually going to be a video game. You may notice I obsessively use footnotes, sadly this is how I write as, in a lot of cases, there are quite often random points of curiosity that don’t quite fit into the main flow of the text.

Vast Worlds’ Timeline, Pre Derelict


  • The third Gulf War officially ends along with any official American involvement in the middle east
  • China outperforms any other country economically
  • Russia joins the EU amid much scandal
  • A total of forty eight countries now have access to nuclear weapons and fifteen more have announced projects.
  • American Armageddon treaty[1] collapses in the UN


  • The commercialisation of space begins with the patenting of floater rockets[2] and the proposal of a mag-rail launcher (by the Cray Group).  Much to the world’s surprise this launcher is proposed to be built in Florida and there is suspicion of foul play.
  • First Mars landing successfully achieved by the Chinese, with the Americans landing one month later – apparently the Chinese took a special diversion on the way back in order to get close enough for the American astronauts to see them flying the other way.
  • NASA moon base is bought out by Radiant Constructions and becomes the first manned commercial structure in Earth orbit.
  • The first ‘bug[3]‘ is created and infects over forty percent of the worlds computers before being contained[4], while many systems were eventually recovered computer technology and consumer confidence is put back years and never fully recovers[5].


  • The Florida mag-launcher comes online and launches the equivalent of the international space station in under a week; immediate work on the International Space Elevator[6] begins in order to allow live or delicate cargo to be shipped into space.
  • The Luna base is expanded to include a full scale launch pad, mining and refining facilities as well as privately owned housing. Radiant One, as the base became known, was the first colony ever founded off Earth.
  • A border skirmish in Africa ends with a nuclear detonation and casualties numbering near one hundred thousand. For the first time in nearly a hundred years the world is once again witness to the devastation caused by an atomic device and every country steps up their nuclear defensive and offensive capabilities.
  • NASA once again receives huge amounts of funding from the American government amidst huge protests by the ‘God’s Country’[7] movement, and places several nuclear warheads in orbit amid massive controversy.


  • The USA storms out of UN talks over the orbital rockets and there is a general sentiment that the UN should be moved to a country more willing to involve itself in rational discussion.
  • The USA is boycotted by several major developed nations and during the confusion there is a large South American uprising under the banner of ‘New Inca’[8]. The US prepares for an invasion to protect its few remaining business interests.
  • The UN flees America for neutral ground in Russia and is approached by New Incan delegates who plead their case against America, it is agreed that New Inca will be recognised by the UN if they can win a popular vote.
  • America invades on the day of the poles, leading with a massive carpet bombing on New Incan headquarters in Mexico City killing one in three of the buildings occupants at the time, it is rumoured that The Cray Group provided a warning via its satellite web and so the casualty rate was much lower than expected.
  • The Gulf of Mexico is overrun within days by the vastly superior American army but the New Incan faction still holds most of its power base in the main continent and there is talk amongst the American war leaders about a strategic nuclear strike against New Incan strongholds rather than risking a drawn-out campaign across an entire continent.
  • A UN army[9] meets the US forces at the border on Columbia and after a tense week where many people thought the world was going to end, the USA retreats back to its own soil. One month later New Inca wins the local elections by a landslide and controls the entirety of South America[10].


  • The private sector begins to flourish once more as consumer confidence rises and the International Space Elevator finishes its construction; its final mooring near the mouth of the Amazon, after being moved half way through construction.
  • ‘Noble Ship Building’ is  founded and begins the construction of the first orbital shipyard.
  • Radiant Industries becomes the first private firm to reach Mars and leaves the skeleton of permanent base[11], sumilarly both China and Russia land research and production bases within this period.
  • The Great Mexican wall begins construction; it is unclear just whether New Inca or the USA built this wall but it is suspected they both did, half a mile apart.
  • Interstellar launch is proposed to be built on the moon; this is a joint project by China, Russia and the EU and hopes to reach the edges of the solar system as well as developing technologies to reach the stars.


  • The first commercial fusion reactor is built, while it is the size of a small office block and costs the same as most armies, many see it as a good sign for the future and The Cray Group commissions several for its space elevator.
  • Terraforming of both Mars and the Moon begin, the boom funds the founding of Nugenics.
  • Humanity reaches the asteroid belt.
  • Long range probes are placed in orbit around Uranus and surface samples of Pluto are taken, humanity begins seriously discussing reaching the stars and many of these probes are pointed outwards, not in.
  • Life is discovered on Europa though it is at best single cellular.
  • Human population reaches ten billion and is showing signs of capping out, only a few million people now do not have access to fresh water and the majority receive at least a primary school education.


  • Earth’s natural resources reach an all time low, oil is at three hundred dollars a barrel, coal is no longer seen by most people and, while car ownership is at a record high, most people can only afford to travel either short distances or on special occasions. Only a few countries do well out of this event and mostly because these either have access to natural resources or the capacity to exploit them[12].
  • The six major power blocks (USA, China, Russia, The British Empire, The African-Middle Eastern Alliance and New Inca) form for political, economic but mostly military reasons[13] as many feared they would be left behind and exploited for their resources.
  • The British Commonwealth succeeds from the EU amid disagreements over how much they were paying to help other European countries. Three months later Russia leaves for similar reasons, this is generally considered to be the end of the EU as an effective force though it persists until the beginning of the independence war.
  • The second space elevator is finished off the coast of China with the other five factions all investing in their own to stop themselves falling behind competitively.
  • Massive stellar mining projects are proposed for all major factions with synthesis of fossil fuels also planned.
  • America and New Inca once again look like they are going to war[14] and all the factions prepare their militaries as, if either side won they would upset the delicate balance forming.


  • Something is detected passing the orbit of Uranus. Closing fast.

[1] A treaty designed to allow seizing of any nuclear weapon considered a threat to human lives, the seizing would have been primarily performed by American forces though this fact was played down in several releases notably: China’s, Russia’s and the world press’s.

[2] Floater rockets use large carbon fibre sails to provide huge amounts of lift with very little thrust, they are often used as a primary stage of launching long range rockets and orbiters.

[3] A colloquial term for a virus with intelligent automation, these programs were horrendously complicated but could conduct a full hack on a system and were designed to adapt to improving computer technology.

[4] In many areas, cut off from all outside contact many believed the end of the world had come as even phone lines succumbed to the ravages of ‘the bug’.

[5] Several other bugs have been created over the years and it was not until 2045 that the first bug was declared dead. Computers now have to have active defence systems to defend themselves from the dozens of passive hacks they receive when online; these can use huge amounts of processing power while under attack.

[6] Largely funded by The Cray Group

[7] An anti space movement based around the concept of rockets defiling heaven.

[8] New Inca was a surprise for all concerned, apparently springing from nowhere over the course of just a few months though some would argue the cause had been around for some time. New Inca, perhaps in no small part due to its name, gained a large amount of superstition and notoriety around this time due to American propaganda, depicting them as heathens and not so subtly hinting at human sacrifice. Their actual policies more often centered around redistribution of land and economic development.

[9] Mostly comprised of Chinese and Russian forces but most European countries also contributed, not to mention the large number of New Incan forces, some only armed with bows and arrows.

[10] Ironically they didn’t actually have the majority until the American invasion, this won them a massive sympathy vote and as the opposition parties were mostly pro or neutral on America it practically forced everyone else out of the running.

[11] Radiant Mars became operational in 2048 two years after the first Radiant landing.

[12]These countries include: The USA, China, Russia, The British Empire, The African-Middle Eastern Alliance and New Inca plus a few smaller factions including the EU and Indonesia.

[13] The British Empire formed when the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and parts of India joined together in order to exploit their combined economies and resources and The African-Middle Eastern Alliance formed for similar reasons though exists in a perpetual state of conflict with individuals vying for control of the natural minerals.

[14] This is partly due to political scissions but their historic animosity is still running strong with New Inca angry over being invaded and America viewing New Inca as heretics.



  1. It’s closing fast! Dun Dun Dun! cliffhangerness. 300 bucks a barrel? holy rap dude… Wow your going really in depth with this, can’t wait till you publish the book.

  2. *crap

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