Writer, Storyteller, Blogger

Population and Technology

Who Survives? What Survives?

I didn’t want to create a world that had been devastated by nuclear war. Instead I pictured the progression of ignoring Climate Change and natural disasters. Blowback of people ignoring science and the canary in the cage.

These stories are set in Southern California. Here’s a map that projects how the coastline would change in the Los Angeles area. Disneyland is under water.

Map of Future LA

So what brought the world to its knees was pandemics, natural disasters from which nations couldn’t survive, and the mounting devastation from the accumulation of these things.

In Fortinbras, Archangel says the he and Corday are in Anaheim Beach. People who know Southern California will know that Anaheim isn’t a beach city. However when I looked at map projections of California coastline if the polar caps melt, some of Anaheim is underwater and some is indeed a beach city with current beach cities underwater.

I also found a map that show the project path of destruction that would follow the eruption of the Yellowstone volcano. Most of North America would be affected.

Possible Outreach of a Yellowstone Eruption

The world in which Fortinbras lives is a world that has been ravaged by nature because of the folly of humans. Most of the population has died and those who remain spend most of their efforts on survival. The lucky few live in small towns that have grown up. People banning together for protection and a better life.


As for technology, some things cannot survive. Cars, planes, cell phones, advanced technology that requires modern manufacturing plants. Think of all those parts that come from all over the world to make something. Now those parts are isolated miles and continents away with no way to be shipped.

However, there is technology to be found. People become scavengers. Some with a talent for figuring out how to use and repurpose technology find a profession. The world has reverted to something like a steampunk society. Technology has to be cobbled together. So, early telephone systems can be recreated, but they would be localized and limited. A town might have a system. A couple towns might connect into each other systems, but a statewide or country wide system is impossible.

There aren’t states, so communities and towns are on their own.

Imagine Fortinbras’ world as small communities building into an industrial age without the resources of big cities, states, or countries. Just repairing roads between towns would be an undertaking. Conditions are similar to settlers coming to the Americas or settlers moving west into hostile territories, but without the weapons and resources of the early settlers.

The Legates have the advantage of collected knowledge. Thus Fortinbras, Archangel, and Corday are able to make an airship. Their town of Orange Hope is able to install a telephone system. Cameras can be rediscovered. Around these industries other industries emerge.


Food is perhaps the biggest problem. Most people are reduced to becoming hunters and gathers. Raiding from other communities would become an acceptable way of life.

Those who know how to farm successfully would be valued. They could provide the food for the entire community. Fortinbras’ parents were farmers.

Open farms are exposed and so farming would become dangerous. Farms would be open to raiders and thievery.

If you are interested in learning more about Fortinbras’ world, check out:

The World of Fortinbras
The Legates