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PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2012 4:21 pm
 


It's a very rough outline at this point but I would not mind some feedback if you don't mind that the main story plot has yet to be written.

In sum, there's been a world war and the only country in the West that was untouched by the initial mayhem was Portugal. As the story moves on in later chapters I'm going to get into the prospect of a new and resurgent Portugal merged with Spain as an unchallenged global superpower.

What follows is some of the foreword of the story:

Quote:
By 2095 the city of Lisbon had attained a kind of recognition that had previously been reserved only to cities like London, Paris, Tokyo, or New York. The upper classes flew in from around the world to shop in the angium powered metropolis. Towers of glass, emerald, sapphire, ruby, and carbon reached far into the sky. Flyers crowded the lower altitudes in numbers that would have mesmerized the people of the aforementioned cities. Lisbon was now effectively the capitol of the Western world much the same as New York before it had once held that crown.

Visitors to the seat of the Iberian Kingdom were easy to spot on the city’s broad, marbled walkways. Their eyes were always cast skyward at the magnificent and seemingly impossible structures whose various shapes played one against another betraying the careful planning behind their collective aesthetic. The infrastructure of the city was kept below ground and some of it, like the magnetic trains, was kept far below ground level for purposes of defense. This left the crowded city with broad grassy parklands in many areas where roads and trains would have been and the total effect was a spacious feeling for a city of over six million residents.

The status of Lisbon at the dawn of the 22nd century was a far cry from where the city had been a century before. Poverty had been the rule of the day at that time and the mood of the average person in Lisbon (and in Portugal in general) was not at all positive. Even with the advent of the once promising Euro and the European Union the mood in Portugal was negative with regards to the prospects of the future. Portugal was at the time a nation that had no economic importance and it was of little consequence to the major powers of the world in that day. This turned out to be both a curse and then a blessing for the impoverished, downtrodden people of the country.

The latter half of the 20th century had been defined by the confrontation between the Western powers and the Communist powers with that confrontation then being called the Cold War. In the 1990’s the West had temporarily won this confrontation only to see it reemerge as a threat to peace in the second decade of the 21st century. By 2016 the confrontation was back in play but with the old philosophies turned on their heads. The Western powers had become the socialist powers and it was the formerly Communist regimes of Russia and China that had morphed into authoritarian capitalist regimes.

Military spending again consumed great portions of national economies but where the West had once spent the East into penury it was now the turn of the East to return the favor to the West. The first of the great powers to stumble and fall was the European Union. The recently formed pan-EU military had splintered and failed when Brussels could no longer meet the payroll for the troops and then the vehicles and aircraft were idled when Euro currency was no longer accepted by oil exporting countries. Further complicating matters for almost every world power was the advent of inexpensive anti-aircraft weaponry and high speed drones that rendered most traditional air forces impotent in any contested airspace. The irony of this happenstance was that the efficacy of air power had been reduced to about that of World War One. Where it was cheap for any country to deny airspace the prospect of air superiority became prohibitively expensive and the strategy ended up being abandoned by frugal and pragmatic governments.

The United States and Canada stepped in to reinforce the Europeans but by 2019 even this measure ended up in failure. When Russian troops reoccupied Poland and the Baltic states NATO fell apart as the Europeans were not interested in waging the war that this action required. The USA and Canada withdrew from NATO to the relative safety of their continent and left the Europeans to their own affairs.
Russia, unfortunately, was encouraged by the USA withdrawing from Europe for the first time since 1944 and it began an effort to retake the empire that had once belonged to the Soviet Union. Hungary, Romania, Belarus, Ukraine, and the former Soviet republics of Asia quickly came back under the dominance of the regime in Moscow.

China had her own imperial ambitions and when a regional war erupted over the dominance of the Spratly Islands the Chinese used this as a pretext to confront the declining superpower of the United States. Much the same as Europe had bankrupted itself a decade before it was the United States that was on the verge of bankruptcy at the end of 2025. Unable to field an adequate naval force, American commanders withdrew their aging and precious ships from the region and retreated to Hawaii. The Chinese Navy swept the Philippine and Vietnamese navies from the region and immediately turned north in a brilliant maneuver that cut off Taiwan from their American allies. The United States had not prepared for this event having had no intelligence indicating that the new Chinese regime had designs on Taiwan.

The Chinese pressed their claim on the island and issued an ultimatum to the USA to stay out of the matter. Unable to do much to stop China besides issuing protests to an impotent and even hostile United Nations the USA had no choice but to watch as China seized Taiwan in three months of bloody fighting.
Thus the fateful year of 2026 dawned with the USA beaten back to her own shores without firing a shot and then her remaining allies questioning the resolve and ability of a nation that had once boasted of being the arsenal of democracy. Concurrent with being defeated as a superpower the USA had to grapple with internal economic issues counterpoised with a boiling over of ethnic strife. Even if the country had had the ability to staunch the assaults of Russia and China it was too busy with its own internal problems to focus on the external matters. To a lesser extent, the remaining ally of the USA, Canada, was also embroiled with a faltering economy and internal strife. In the hindsight of history it was the absence of the stabilizing influence of Canada upon the USA that contributed to the inevitability of conflagration.

At the end of the Sino-Taiwan war the Taiwanese launched six hypersonic nuclear missiles at Chinese cities and at the Three Gorges Dam. The date was January 30th. With Chinese satellite killers making low Earth orbit an impossible place for spy satellites of any nation the West was unable to determine the exact time of the attack.

Just as the killing of an Austrian prince had once been the catalyst for the First World War it was this singular act of a dying nation that was the catalyst for the start of the Third.


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PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2012 5:21 pm
 


wut, Portugal was missed because none of the targeting computers could find it on a map ?

:lol: :lol:


arroz doce and porto FTW !


you could use a redoubt in Asturia, the NW part of Iberia... otherwise its
better to use the Pyrenees.
Portugal is a small country, unable to support a large population.

Strategically, Sicily / Corsica / Sardinia would be easier to defend,
and an even less important place to start. But no big cities.
I guess it would depend where the resurgence goes;
thru France along the Alps and North, or hopping over the Atlantic,
reconquering Argentina / Brazil first, to get land, resources and population.


Good luck with it Bart R=UP


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PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2012 5:39 pm
 


My initial impressions: an wholly interesting take using Portugal that way. I also like the buildup as you have it so far.

If I could any sort of advice, not as a writer, but as someone who's read a lot of political thrillers, this is my pet peeve in the genre; try to avoid casting politicians in left/right, right/wrong, hawk/dove terms. Tom Clancy, Larry Bond, Vince Flynn all spin a good yarn, but it always annoys me that the politicians are always so one-dimensional.

i.e: Lefty politicians almost always care about themselves and will put (insert person, or country here) in peril due to their narcissism. Conversely, the soldiers and hawkish politicians are always right no matter what.

Take Jack Bauer for example (I realise he's not a literary example, thank you). On 24 Jack is always right and rarely faces repercussions for his actions. I'm quite sure you and the other ex-soldiers (and current ones too) would tell you that someone like that wouldn't last a day in the real world.

Anyway, that's my two cents. Good luck writing.


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PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2012 5:47 pm
 


Portugal resisted Spain for a thousand years, even with the threat of the Moors. Why unify now?


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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2012 8:06 am
 


Your backgrounder sounds interesting, but I'm not sure I would agree with Spain/Portugal as a global superpower. Even if WW3 goes nuclear in your novel, I don't know if that alone is enough for them to be a superpower - what about Brazil? I can definitely see India being drawn into WW3 (if only by a spiteful, possibly nuked China), but I don't see anyone in South America doing much more than ducking down and hoping the fallout stays in the Northern Hemisphere.

Sure there was a time when Spain and Portugal were both major world powers, but modern powers need industrial might (and a strong economy and currency), as well as a large population, and a surplus of natural resources. Those economic pillars allow democratic nations to develop a powerful military, which makes a nation a global power.

Still, if you want to make Spain/Portugal a superpower, probably the easiest way would be for them to have developed some major technological innovation - like fusion power, anti-gravity tech, etc. Basically they need something that gives them a huge edge over much larger nations like Russia and China (even if portions of them may still be glowing).

FYI - I'm not trying to pick apart your idea, just offering up some honest feedback.

Anyways - on writing...

I would suggest coming up with a plot and an initial list of characters first. If the full plot is too hard right now, just build a basic three act structure - beginning, middle, end. The beginning and the end are usually the shortest bits, introducing characters and setting up the universe and wrapping up the story.

Maybe your story will focus on the rise of a middle class Lisbon kid to international figure/soldier/politician/etc. For example, based on my above suggestion, the beginning would introduce the protagonist and any other major characters. The middle is the meat of the story and probably 2/3 of the book. The end is what happens to the protagonist and any other major characters (assuming they survived this long).

Then take take info-dump you have written above and spread it out as dialog, instead of using several pages of narrative. Narrative is fine, but if you drop that on readers heads in the beginning in that form, you'll turn lots of them off.

My own novel started out as the telling of a zombie apocalypse in Canada from several POVS - average person, police officer and soldier. Occasionally, I had to add in extraneous characters to flesh out the story - victims, politicians, other cops/soldiers/average people/etc.

So I started by introducing the hero and a cop and then slowly introduced the zombies. They reacted to the situation and over time, the soldier appeared. Then the story developed and some characters lived and some died. Eventually, the story line came to its end and so did the book. Then I started working on its two sequels!


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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2012 8:13 am
 


Not plausible. Cthulhu ate Lisbon in 2012 so there's no point in setting any stories there.


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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2012 9:05 am
 


Thanks everyone. Much appreciated on the comments.

To address a few things I'd like to start by just saying that this is the foreword and not even Chapter One. I'm setting the background for a story that will pick up in the early 2100's - well after the events that will be described in the foreword from the perspective of accepted history.

Why Portugal? For the exact reason that no one would expect it. Also, the idea of it becoming a superpower is not at all so farfetched given that it was the world's first major power to begin with and their empire outlasted the empires of France, Spain, Germany, Italy, Austria, and England. They're also such a non-threat to anyone right now that they'd also not be a target for anyone in a major global conflict.

That sets them up to be the only Western country in the world to be untouched by war and I build it up from there.

And, yes, there is no left/right in the story. I intend to ignore these concepts in the story itself and to leave that kind of perception/conclusion to the reader.

Thanks again! [B-o]


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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2012 3:40 pm
 


Boots gives good advice. Just finished novel number four and a solid background is a must. From a geopolitical point of view I think your background is interesting. My books revolve around a geopolitical reality that began with a civil war in China that goes nuclear and engulfs India and Pakistan which eventually turns all of the 'Stan's into a massive UN refugee dump.

Anyway, keep us updated. You'll be writer number four here (that we know of)


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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2012 4:41 pm
 


Gunnair wrote:
Boots gives good advice. Just finished novel number four and a solid background is a must. From a geopolitical point of view I think your background is interesting. My books revolve around a geopolitical reality that began with a civil war in China that goes nuclear and engulfs India and Pakistan which eventually turns all of the 'Stan's into a massive UN refugee dump.

Anyway, keep us updated. You'll be writer number four here (that we know of)


Will do! [B-o]


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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2012 6:45 pm
 


I tried writing a Sci-Fi novel but soon became lost in my own dreamworld.

Keep it up Bart, let me know when there's a book signing. [B-o]


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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2012 7:02 pm
 


I told this tale earlier, but this is my Portugal story:

There were these 4 young guys who decided they`d do the European backpacking tour after first-year of university. So, off they went, toured around and some months later arrived in Portugal. Let`s call these boys Hughey, Barry, Johnny and Lem, err, Remmy. One night in Lisbon, the 4 boys were out having a few beers at the bar and 4 young ladies came up to their table and introduced themselves (not surprising, good looking boys, Remmy especially). The girls were from Ottawa and had recognized the Queen’s jacket Hughey was wearing. So they hung out and had some laughs and Hughey and Johnny asked 2 of the girls if they’d like to go dancing down the block at the disco. Barry and Remmy agreed to hang out and wait for the other 2 girls who’d gone to the bar.

When the girls get back, like, 2 minutes later, Barry and Remmy ask them if they want to go dancing with the others. They say “sure” and they pound their drinks and leave the bar. They walk a short way down the street and it’s a melee, a massive street fight on. Right in the middle of it are Hughey and Johnny. So Barney (that’s what they called Barry most of the time) and Remmy dive in to help out their buddies. It was retarded! Hordes of little Portuguese guys. They’d run in and take a punch and disappear. The boys were flailing, their elbows swinging like a basketball player ripping a rebound, just to keep the attackers off. At one point Hughey had a guy come at him with a broken bottle. Another of the Portuguese had a goddamn sword. Somebody took a Mickey Mantle baseball swing at Johnny’s head with a 2x4. It hit Johnny’s shoulder just enough to graze the blow or he’d have been dead right there. Remmy was grabbed from behind. He turned and punched the guy square in the mouth, immediately recognizing that the guy with the busted face was a Lisbon police officer. Remmy put his hands up and was the first dragged away to the cop car and taken to jail.

A half-hour or so later, Barry gets tossed into the cell. Barry and Remmy are beat-the-fuck-up, but have NO idea what happened or why there was a fight or anything...clueless. Barry goes right to sleep, Remmy not for some time later. Then Remmy is grabbed awake and drilled square in the face with an elbow (must have been that cop from the street earlier). Remmy knelt on his hands and knees and looked at the cop’s gun on his hip and thought...SERIOUSLY THOUGHT about going for the gun. He was almost sure it was life or death right there.

Hours later, Johnny arrives. He’d been taken to the hospital for stitches from the 2x4. Remmy and Barney, OF COURSE, want to know right away what the fuck that was all about, and wondered: did Johnny know that the cops were going to kill the lot of them straight away? So Johnny explained that he and Hughey had kicked the mirrors off a car, drunk, walking to the club. There was a house-party in a second-floor flat overlooking the street and someone had seen them vandalize a party-goer’s car. The party emptied out on the street to confront Johnny and Hughey and the fracas was on. Hughey was finally captured and dragged to the klink shortly thereafter.

Sometime early the next morning (this is Sunday morning now) they finally get a cop that can speak English down to see the boys. They literally take the 4 kids up to the roof of the police station, like straight out of a Gene Hackman movie, and tell them: “Here’s your passports, go to your billet, get your shit, get your Europasses and get the fuck out of Portugal today or you’ll be going before a judge tomorrow”. That’s my Portuguese deportation story, as told to me by someone who was actually there


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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2012 7:07 pm
 


What a dumb story.. why would anyone be chasing Canadian girls in Portugal ?


ROTFL ROTFL


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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2012 7:09 pm
 


We weren't chasing them...they were just there and spoke English. :wink: And "dumb story?" You don't have a story anywhere close to as good as that!


Last edited by Lemmy on Tue May 15, 2012 7:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2012 7:13 pm
 


hehehe :lol: Sounds similar to my first trip to Acapulco....only thing was the wetback cops deserved what they got....Mexican jails are a sobering experience, but aren't so bad when there are more than a dozen other gringos in there with you.....and none of them were ass bandits.


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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2012 7:23 pm
 


FWIW, don't ever fall into the Mack Bolan weapon fetish BS so common now:

"He pulled the Walther pistol and..." is fine.

"He pulled the customized Walther chambered in .40 with the contra rotating quarfsnapple and right slegged Micro rail snarfgoon..." is not fine.

Thanks in advance.


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