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Gernsback-2, 2015
Current Affairs
With the aid of the miracle substance handwavium, science-fiction and fantasy fans begin colonizing the solar system.
Divergence Point
1995; Parachronic technology is not invented.
2006; "Overfan" creates/discovers handwavium and begins to distribute it along open-source backchannels.

Major Civilizations

Western (multipolar), Chinese (empire), Indic (unitary)
Great Powers
  • United States of America (representative democracy, CR4)
  • European Union (representative democracy, CR3)
  • People's Republic of China (oligarchy, CR5)
  • Russian Federation (representative "democracy," CR5)
  • Republic of Japan (representative democracy, CR4)
  • Republic of India (representative democracy, CR4)
  • Fenspace Convention (representative democracy, CR1)
  • Commonwealth of Australia (representative democracy, CR3)
Worldline Data
Tech Level 8 (Fen technology, 8^)
Mana Level Indeterminate[1]
Quantum 6
Infinity Class Z3
Centrum Zone Red

The following information is designed for those brave, foolhardy souls who want to incorporate Fenspace into a GURPS Infinite Worlds campaign. This is designed as a reference frame, not necessarily the reference frame. As always, your mileage may vary.

Outworld Operations

Infinity's primary mission in Gernsback-2 is the acquisition and study of handwavium. The miracle substance that keeps offworld life running has obvious properties that would make it invaluable on Homeline and to Infinity... if they only knew how it worked. Paralabs researchers first acquired a sample four years ago, but so far haven't managed to get any further than the best Gernsback-2 scientists. According to Infinty office gossip, at least one conveyor has been handwaved, but nobody knows the results of the experiment.

Most I-Cop work revolves around getting handwavium samples, along with samples of handwaved equipment, back to Paralabs. This is a relatively simple job, leaving the agents-in-place[2] plenty of time to worry about other things, like what Centrum's up to or keeping the Secret.

Centrum, for their part, is torn between greed and fear when it comes to Gernsback-2. Like Infinity, they can see the promise inherent in handwavium and daughter technologies, but they also see a world that's perhaps even more screwed up than Secundus gaining access to dangerous toys with no supervision. The obvious solution - co-opting the governments and bringing them into Centrum, like on Gernsback-1 - is not quite that easy. Of all the nations in Gernsback-2, the Fenspace Convention itself is the best candidate for subversion; technocratic meritocracy is a strong draw for many fen. Unfortunately for the Uplift Service, the fen factions have enough ideological divisions that co-opting all of Fenspace, or even most of the factions, would require more men and materiel than the I.S. can safely provide and maintain operations against Infinity.

As for the Secret, it's still safe... for the moment. Paralabs researchers are reasonably confident that handwavium by itself can't create parachronic technology, but rumors still filter through Fenspace that somebody has managed it. Both Infinity and Centrum have swept the major fen enclaves looking for parachronic emissions and come up empty, but the rumor remains strong. An incident on the Lagrange station Stellvia two years ago, when a pack of world-jumpers appeared on the station's main concourse and stayed for several days[3] suggests to both sides that the Secret may not stay that way for long, parachronics be damned. (And the speed with which that station's staff reacted hints they may have parachronic detection technology.)

All in all, Gernsback-2 is a very vexing place to be an I-Cop.

Worldline Notes

  • Homeline and Gernsback-2 languages default to each other at no penalty, except for Cultural Familiarity penalties regarding slang and argot.
  • Gernsback-2 History defaults to Homeline History at no penalty until the divergence point, then takes a -2 penalty unless a Current Affairs skill check is made.


  1. One for the record books; no other worldline has ever registered as "indeterminate mana." The worldline's mana level appears to fluctuate between "Very Low" and "High", throughout the entire Solar System at the same time, according to no predictable pattern. Paralabs blames handwavium, which frankly makes as much sense as any other explanation.
  2. Including the one known to locals as reporter Maico Tange
  3. The fact that they didn't shoot at the station inhabitants, nor were shot at, implies that the jumpers weren't from Reich-5.

The material presented here is the creation of the Fenspace Collective, and is intended for use with the GURPS Fourth Edition system from Steve Jackson Games. This material is not official and is not endorsed by Steve Jackson Games[1]. This material is used here in accordance with the SJ Games online policy.

  1. Though it would be really cool if he did endorse it.