Soon and Silenced: Populations
Reader inquisitiveraven asks a question, which prompts me to make some handy-dandy lists!
So does Jenkins give us New York’s population? Is it absurdly close to recent census figures like the previous cities whose populations he gave us? One thing that’s bugging me is that he doesn’t seem to have considered that the kind of nukes that could split off a chunk of continent would create one heck of a Fimbul winter. We’re talking major die off here, and maybe not enough population left to support civilization on the planet, yet the US population in this novel seems barely changed from current levels. It’s as if the entire die off happened in those Other places.
No, I don’t think Jenkins gives the population of New York. Which is, indeed, strange, as he gives the population for other cities.
Reasons why the populations of certain cities might not grow at normal rates:
- A devastating World War that actually involved the whole world, culminating in…
- Two nuclear bombs separating a chunk of southern China from the mainland, killing “tens of millions” in the process and also leading to…
- A giant tsunami that destroyed Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, Indonesia, and Hawaii, before hitting “Southern California and Baja California, reaching farther inland than expected and killing thousands more who believed they had fled far enough.”
On the other hand…
- There are “childbirth grants to promote repopulation.”
With that in mind, here are the numbers (I’ll use pre-2003 numbers, since that’s when Soon was published):
- San Francisco. 2000 Population: 777,000. Atheistopian Population: “more than a million.”
- Las Vegas. 2002 Population: 478,000. Atheistopian Population: 500,000.
It appears I overestimated the number of cities Jenkins repopulates, so for fun, I’ll include the cities he mentions in Silenced, when Paul goes globe-trotting:
- Bern. 2005 Population: 122,000. Atheistopian Population: 225,000.
- Paris (metropolitan area). 2005 Population: 11.6 million. Atheistopian Population: 15 million.
So, there you have it. Sorry about overestimating the number of population overestimates! Hope I didn’t leave out anyplace!
Gorgeous picture of Paris in Vegas. (Ha-HA…see what I did there???)
(Awesome pic by chensiyuan at Wikipedia)