The world of Tripartite Alliance Earth is not a utopia. Rather, it is a dystopia.

I do place a very high value on the rights of all human beings (and who knows, perhaps non-humans in the near future) to live, in happiness and peace, without fear of secret police knocking on their door in the middle of the night, or fear of dying a lingering painful death from radiation or famine, or whatever other cause of unnatural death you wish to name.

The original inspiration for this world arose sometime in 1994, when I wondered -- not in the order listed below, to be sure -- what it would be like if:

  1. Canada was mostly Francophone;
  2. Canada was a Third World country, not a First World country;
  3. The United States collapsed in the last quarter of the 20th century, falling apart on ethnolinguistic and geographic lines just like the Soviet Union only three years before.
  4. Europe was a single prosperous and democratic federal state stretching from the Atlantic to the Urals, and it was led without contest French leadership.
  5. Southern Hemispheric countries such as Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Brazil, and South Africa, which in real history experienced varying degree of economic and political decline relative to comparable countries of settlement elsewhere in the world (Canada, France, Australia, New Zealand), did not experience that decline, but instead remained -- or became -- rich First World democracies.
  6. There was a Third World War -- a nuclear world war -- sometime in the 1980's that killed billions of people, yet which miraculously left billions more alive in intact societies to witness the aftermath.

I had tinkered with the timeline for three years before I learned of the existence of a wider Internet-based community of individuals interested in alternate histories and uchronic scenarios. When I happened upon the Alternate History Travel Guides and the E-mail discussion lists -- hosted first on Coollist, then on Onelist (later eGroups, and finally on Yahoogroups -- I decided that the E-mail discussion lists would be an excellent forum in which to expand upon my world histories.

In the summer of 1998, I introduced Tripartite Alliance Earth to the AHTG discussion forum. Despite a rocky introduction, I would like to think that it has managed to establish itself as an interesting world. As Mike Davis put it, Tripartite Alliance Earth is a "monkey-paw world" -- it combines the new and the interesting with the horrid.

Here, for instance, South America has fulfilled its full potential as a collection of prosperous First World democracies and melting pots of immigrants from around the world. Here, a functioning and federal European Confederation stretches from the Atlantic to the Urals and then some, with Czechoslovakia, Hungary, and Poland ranking as some of its wealthiest member-states. Here, Egypt has followed our history's South Korea in becoming a wealthy and technologically-advanced exporting power and Korea itself is both unified and pluralistic. Here, Africa is a continent that is ready to take on the future and win. Here, there is an effective world government of sorts in the League of Nations and its associated pacts and treaties, and where migrations and a multilingual global popular culture has helped knit together the diverse peoples of the world.

Here, also, is the immense global tragedy of the Third World War, which has transformed vast stretches of the Old World and the New have become charnel houses. It is not a mute world, though, or a dead world -- in fact, it is still very much a living world for all of the crimes committed against it. It is a world that is observed and commented upon quite regularly by the more than two billion people who live in its various countries, and which is coming to terms with what has happened within living memory of most of those two billion.

This complexity, then -- this fusion of the cheerily positive with the gloomily negative, and the things that each reveals about the other -- is what I sought to achieve. Nothing more, nothing less.

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