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Finity (novel)

John Barnes

Last modified: 2019-02-07 by peter hans van den muijzenberg
Keywords: barnes (john) | finity | american reich | swstika | free republic of diego garcia |
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Finity is a 1999 alternate-history science fiction novel by the American writer John Barnes. The plot involves a third-generation American expatriate living in a 2063 New Zealand where the Axis powers won WWII, who discovers that people from alternate timelines are beginning to imperceptibly swap places with their counterparts. The problem is escalating, to the point that people cannot agree on historical events and a new social norm of not discussing the past is emerging.

The novel eventually goes on breakneck tour of dozens of other parallel worlds, but only the starting one's setting is really fleshed out; it is dominated by the Twelve Reichs and Two Empires (Japan and Italy), with New Zealand one of a small number of small and harmless "Aryan" countries left alone on the condition of presenting no threat.
Eugene Ipavec, 19 November 2010

American Reich

The American Reich is one of the twelve; at one point a character mentions seeing news coverage of the 100th anniversary of the surrender ceremonies in 2046, with the "swastika and stripes" being raised.

«Swastika and stripes» admits a variety of interpretations:
[possible flag design]
[possible flag design]
literal but in the correct color
[possible flag design]
an ensign-type flag suitable for a client state
[possible flag design]
and a different kind of literal

Eugene Ipavec, 19 November 2010; all images by Eugene Ipavec and Joe McMillan, 19 November 2010


Free Republic of Diego Garcia

Several different alternate worlds later feature versions of a "Free Republic of Diego Garcia", another expatriate American entity resulting from mass immigration after a different US loses a war with the USSR and is partitioned, with the rump falling under a fundamentalist-Christian regime. Its flag is mentioned but not described.
Eugene Ipavec, 19 November 2010