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The Bulgarian ambassador is found eviscerated in his London quarters, and Major Sonja Slade of the Prussian Army searches for his killer while trying to forget her own ties to the dead man.

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So after reading Prussia in the story, I got curious and (and why has Chrome squiggly-underlined Prussia?) read the About section to find out more about the world. Which got me wondering as to what year this story takes place. It says that it's Cold-war era but how far in? The early '60s? The late '80s? I'd also love to know more about where the timelines diverged. Any ideas?

August 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAmadeus

Well, there is a typing pool - that says to me not the 1980s. But typewriters have been around since the 1860s and telephones since the 1870s - so for me there is quite a wide time-period we could be in.
The use of the term "Supertanker" makes me think 20th century rather than 19th.
The presence of "bowler hats" and "pencil skirts" again make me think 20th century rather than 19th, and 1960s rather than 1980s.
The US having 39 states ... Didn't the number of states jump from 38 to 40 with the admission of the two Dakotas in 1889? In any event, the US here looks different to ours.
The use of the term "Prussia" rather than "Germany" has me wondering where the timelines diverge, and whether the term is being used as a substitute for 'Germany' or if the German unification has not happened. That makes me think that Germany/Prussia also is different to expectations.

August 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKirstin

I feel as if we're looking later than the 1950s for the travel that's at stake. Easy travel from London to Athens. That's a 4 hour flight today, but the way Mr. Noon (once referred to as Smith?) talks about heading out to the airport, he's not expecting it to take as long as it once might. A stop in the middle (Frankfurt? Rome? Madrid? Barcelona?) would have been necessary through to the Jetliner era which began in the 1960s. That's a big step for a dude who knows he has to be back in London by the weekend.

August 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTom

My thoughts are this. Prussia was dissolved fFinally by Hitler before The War. The Cold War started when Russia and America and Britain crashed together around Berlin at the end of WWII. If we have a Prussia in the world, then one must assume the war went quite a bit differently. That means, therefore, The Cold War which we know of is a different Cold War than we are seeing here. And yet we are told the world is standing carefully trying to avoid going back into war.
I wish to propose there was not a World War 2, there was only a World War 1, known then as The Great War, and it seems like it happened not too long ago in our story. This is, of course, a theory which may be well wrong. And it fFails to account fFor the 39 states. Maybe The Civil War ended differently fFor us, as well. We lost some states, and later gained a fFew new territories back.
On a meta level, some of these differences, like, may be sort of things that, you know, let us know we are in a different version of the world, and, like, aren't that important. Possibly.

August 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterScott Myers

Well, now we have aeroplanes rather than airshps, and an implication that they can cross the Atlantic- though that is just an assumption: Kitty may just have not mentioned the ocean liner, but I doubt it. So, if the timeline of technology is similar to here then we are no earlier than the 1940s, and the 1950s or 1960s are more credible.
We also have a picture of "the Queen". Again I am assuming 'head of state' rather than consort of a king. The queen's country isn't mentioned, and the picture is in the room where Kitty's father was found dead. With her father working for the New York Enquirer, I am assuming both she and he are American. However, there is a picture of a queen on the wall ... I can't see anything that contraticts the notion of 'Queen of America'. Perhaps the US revolutionary war never took place and America is still a part of the British Empire; perhaps '39 states' because, consequently, there was never a war with Mexico. It is "New York" and not "New Amsterdam", so I don't think we have to consider a Dutch United States.

August 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKirstin

The mention of the queen doesn't necessarily mean that the English are ruling the U.S. Simply that the cult had her portrait hanging in the room. I wouldn't overthink that particular detail because it's WAY too open ended right now. I have to agree with the possible time frame though. I'm thinking mid-50's, perhaps. However, as this is an alternate reality, it very well may be 2012 there as perhaps the fashion isn't following our time line either.

August 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAkiva

Instinctively this is starting to make me think of the late 1960s, probably something to do with the mention of typing pools, I'm not sure. It certainly seems that in this version of reality, the States never achieved independence, which leads me to believe that many places that would've become states in our reality didn't in this one because of diplomacy issues with the French and Spanish (and possibly Prussian and Scandinavian countries too).

Also, the idea that they might speak German in Bulgaria suggests that the Prussian empire now extends much further south than it ever used to. I can't vouch for Kitty's geographical knowledge but the mere idea suggests Prussia is perhaps the leading European nation and could be this Cold War's stand-in for the Soviet Union.

August 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAmadeus

@Amadeus, did you subscribe? All I have to go on is the free serials at the moment (though that may be changing here soon) and I see nothing that definitively states that the U.S. never gained independance. The painting that's mentioned could mean too many things for me to sit down and say "This is what it means."

August 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAkiva

@Akiva Yes but the information about the 39 states is available in the About section. I agree with you about the painting but if the States really were still under the control of the British crown, this may explain why there are many fewer states than in our timeline.

August 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAmadeus

My gut feel was for the 60s, but again, this may be just me projecting what we know of our world's history onto this alternate reality, and it could be any time in the last 100 years? (That said, when this is happening may not actually be relevant at all?)

August 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSledgecallier

Gut feeling, 60s. But that could be a Mad Men hangover. I don't really feel I can even begin to guess at when this is happening, as technological and social developments could've been thrown out by world events - the absence of world wars, for example or a different set of combatants, or different outcomes. War (and R and D for war) often brings about new tech... but at the same time could retard development by disrupting things. But, the fact that it uses Prussia means the latest things could've diverged = 1940s, right? I'm going to have to know I think. Roll on the 19th!

August 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLouie

Hey subscribers! Notice the mention of Caledonia in this week's preview? I don't think anyone in the world has called Scotland "Caledonia" fFor a thousand and a half years. You know, except poets and romantics. So maybe Hausmann is fFeeling poetic, or there's lots of anachronistic names in this world.

August 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterScott Myers

Re "Caledonia" ... maybe. I just breezed straight past the word, automatically registering more succinct/quaint term for "Scottish Higlands". As a native, I am sufficiently used to seeing the term used that it just didn't stand out for me. What stood out for me much more was the need to know an ID number at the hospital! No-body in the current UK knows their NHS number! It's something their doctor keeps on a file somewhere. You are certanly mever asked for it at A&E - they may ask for your Doctor's name and address at some point. Is this a hint at a totalitarian state?

August 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKirstin

@Kirstin, Scott, Akiva, Amadeus: I think, because of the teaser paragraph at the bottom of this page, that the 39 States of America are a monarchy. They apparently have a crown prince, James, who lives in the "White Palace." The Queen in the painting could certainly be the current monarch of America. Apparently Europe is more "populist," so maybe they don't have monarchs there. Or maybe their monarchs are figureheads, while America's are in power.
If the Queen is the mother of Prince James, then we know from that teaser that she is Texan. That's interesting because of this quote from the team: "...we’re grateful for your continued patience, which, to be honest, rivals that of the calmly calculating government of the Kingdom of Texas." So Texas is its own separate kingdom. Maybe North America is a place where the royal families of various kingdoms marry each other.

August 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCollin

Thanks for that. Okay - that all makes sense: everything west of a line Oregon to Texas is the Kingdon of Texas, everything east is the Kingdon of America. That leaves the term "southern continents" yet to be explained.

August 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKirstin

Hey Scott. Why do all your f's look like "fF"? Do you type that on purpose?

August 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNoah

The note "No scandals from the White Palace on his watch!" immediately makes me think the White Palace is the alternate history version of the White House. And, that perhaps "scandal" is a subconscious parallel to Clinton's little indiscretion?

Anyway - I wanna know about the cult, the supertanker, the crazy x-ray-defeating metal shard, and the scary darkness-exuding winged assassin!

August 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMidnight

It seems we must be in some parallel universe.
Croydon airport in our own universe existed between 1915 and 1959 but Winston Churchill did not die until 1964 of a stroke.

September 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDatango

@Datango: I thought that was the entire point of this website... that it's an alternate or "parallel" universe? Kudos for doing the Wikipedia research, but come on man....

September 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNoah

@Noah
I'm sorry you felt offended by post, but I thought we were trying to narrow down the time frame.

September 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDatango

WE HAVE A DATE!! A real actual on the calendar day on which something happened!!!
Sonia Slade was married (unless the marriage is a ruse) on Summer Solstice '53. Ta rah!! ...of course that could be 1853, or 1153, or 3953 BC ... but it seems most likely that it is simply 1953. YEEHA!
That places us entirely after world war 2, which ended in 1945. What this alternate WW2 actually looked like is a mystery.

Also, we know John was driving a fFiat 500, which was manufactured between 1957 and 1975. That is a bit less meaningful tho.

December 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterScott