Technology in the Bright Future

The state of technology is spotty. Tech level can hop from Bronze Age to Star Trek in the space of a few miles, and even from block to block within an urban center. A general rule of thumb, though, is that the closer to an urban center one is, the more advanced the tech; particularly, the closer to a Technology Guild headquarters one is, the more advanced the tech. Unless a rural region is geographically cut off by mountains or high water levels, it generally won't slide backwards out of the 20th century. However, the maintenance of tech level is in the hands of each region's inhabitants, and if the knowledge slips away, so will the technology.


Automobiles are rare outside of cities, and tend to run on anything from gasoline to grain alcohol to solar batteries. Hulks of old automobiles are sometimes resurrected with new innards (a la Road Warrior), but usually, people will either attempt to construct their own or buy a pre-made body to use. Automobiles/trucks are generally used by rural folks to make trips into the big city, and by city folks to do large-scale, individual hauling.

Due to the multiple infrastructural breakdowns during the Long Night, the railroad has been restored to its former prominence, and just about every urban center has a complex metrorail of some sort. Each city and town along the rails is responsible for maintaining a certain length of track that makes its area accessible. Some trains are steam-powered and some are diesel, but most of the metrorails are electrical.

Sea ships and river boats are back to their 19th century status in many areas, being the easiest way to reinstitute trade along coastlines and rivers after the rising ocean levels swamped so much land. Skyscraper-dens and bridge-towns (communities built among the ruins of buildings and bridges in swamped areas) have sprung up where port cities used to stand, surviving on a thriving salvage trade inland for necessities. Seagoing vessels maintain trade with other continents and distant parts of the same continent. Piracy is, however, a major problem.

Big passenger aircraft are nearly nonexistent. A very few old jetliners are maintained by a few small companies in the biggest cities, and they charge exorbitant rates to transport people or cargo. There are, however, many home-built or -maintained small airplanes: single- or twin-engine prop planes that rural communities use for emergencies and regular supply trips, especially if the community is geographically isolated for ground-based travel.

The most advanced Technology Guild centers have "jumpjets" and some orbital craft, and these areas maintain just about the only intercontinental trade outside of sea ships. Extra-atmospheric ships interact with the Guild's satellites, orbital stations, and Moon stations. There are rumors of "transporters" within the Guild buildings themselves, but no one is willing to press the inquiry.


There are telephone networks linking most major urban centers on a continent, although these networks are of the 1920-30s variety (one calls one's local operator, who puts the call through to the city of choice, where another operator routes it to a local phone, and the whole operation can take an hour or more). Within urban centers, the network may be much faster and more modern, depending on how involved the Guild is in that city. Small towns usually have 1930s-era phone networks; most houses have a phone and the town has an operator who puts calls through.

Cellular technologies still exist, but are generally kept by corporations and wealthy individuals for themselves. A few cities have run infrared cellular communications city-wide, and there are limited hard-wired telephone lines. Satellite communications are limited to the Guild and other privileged persons. Europe has a particular dearth of non-hard-wired communications equipment because the electromagnetic disturbances from the Sun's Return still linger there. Radio communications are similarly disrupted in Europe, and the old CB channels are nearly useless anywhere in the world.

The Internet has been somewhat broken up. While the Guild is still attempting to make connections world-wide, the Net is more like the university-, military- and large company-centered BITNET of the 1970s and 80s than the Internet of the 21st century.


The computers that exist have more memory, faster processors, and less size than pre-Long Night computers. However, they are infrequently encountered except where they are necessary or useful for work. Computing for pleasure is reserved for the wealthy or the Guild.


The company town of the late 19th century/early 20th century has resurfaced as a means of survival for many blue-collar workers. After the abuses of vampiric rule, the union movement has undergone a renaissance in the more lenient towns, while some places have become fascist dictatorships.

Just about everything that entered large-scale manufacturing by the time of the Long Night is still manufactured somewhere, but the days of megacorporations with multiple facilities worldwide are over. Plastics are by far the most commonly produced, yet are nearly impossible to find outside an urban center. Fossil fuels have been in a decline for a century, and only areas where the Guild hasn't established a firm presence still mine or drill for them and process them for use.