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Space Filler Half Empty

Omund the Wooden-Leg

Chazadjin Marmaduke Brandybuck
I tend to prefer New American Republic over Amerika Reichsprotektorate, or Great Nazi Reich. Oh, and Mr. Cothran, I enjoyed reading your "How Tall is the Grass in Germany?" It was new, see-ing through the eyes of a rich white man the life in 1960's America. A prosperous America; with labour-saving devices, Coca-Cola, apple pie, those big bright cars, "movies", "fries" and burgers. It's only in the corners of Calvin's eyes the labour gangs of black people, the servants who are from former Russia. A Greater German Realm stretching from the American Pacific coast to the Urals certainly is a "Space Filling Empire".
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Stupid Sexy Marc Ozall
Patreon supporter
Published by SLP
@Fenwick This is a very well written article, and thoughtful to boot. In terms of space-filling empires, and artificially formed empires dominating the world in alternate history fiction, I'd be intrigued to see what you think of Killing Hitler when my review of it comes up on the blog - it's a piece that deals with many of the issues highlighted in your article, and the dominance/rivalry between two space-filling empires in the form of the Reich and Imperial Japan


Well-known member
Published by SLP
I am a fan of tropes. Some call them clichés, or what have you. Yet a trope is not a bad thing. It is something which occurs in fiction all the time and helps define the genre. For AH the space-filling empire is needed. It is important. It lets you in a single image or a single sentence explain so much of the world. "The CSA rules America from Richmond to Rio" is a space-filling empire. However it shows us that the CSA in whatever TL I just invented is massive. Huge.

So while it is easy to just roll our eyes and say that a space filling empire is a lazy writer or an uncreative writer the fact is it is a very useful short hand for developing the world at large.

I play this game on AH.com where we make tl's with players being specific states. I once made the "Spacefilleria" empire as an NPC. Yet I found myself liking it. I called it "spa-cha-fill-aria." It was a state which had images like this:

Now I do not explain anything. No long winded paragraphs. No lists of leaders. Nothing. Just two images. Yet between them you get a huge sense of what the world is. And more over with a huge area of the map filled in people got a sense this was not vaguely connected states but a real world.

That is why when I see the space-filler empire in fiction of any kind I try to break it down. I try to see if it is more telling then I think from a first glance.