The shortest-lived countries in history: why Europe in Autumn may be closer than you think

The Europe described by Dave Hutchinson in Europe in Autumn is a fragmented one filled with tiny states that appear and disappear just as fast. It's a continent crowded with polities, commonwealths, nations, and blink-and-you'll-miss-them republics - as well as an England that has not only embraced the European Union but has become, Holy Roman Empire-like, one of its most enthusiastic members!

Yet this vision of the future not as far-fetched as you may imagine - the ebb and flow of borders is far more fluid than our current maps suggest.

Europe may look relatively stable and unified now but over the last 200 years it's been anything but - Germany itself only became unified in 1871 and the borderlines of Eastern Europe and the Balkans have almost constantly shifted around. These days separatist and nationalist movements continue to grow in strength even as the EU expands - and of course Scotland has its own independence referendum later this year.

So after enjoying this fantastic novel that combines LeCarré and Kafka in a Europe that's become a patchwork of micro-states, we were most intrigued when we spotted a Tweet earlier today that included this list of the short-lived sovereign states in history.

Rather topically, it includes Carpatho-Ukraine which lasted for a single day in the 1930s, as well as the Hutsul Republic (154 days), the White Ruthenian Democratic Republic (286 days), and the Republic of Sonora (118 days) where an American called William Walker decided to annex a big chunk of Mexico with 45 men.

As you do.

Europe in Autumn may be science fiction, but the world is describes is very much based on a vision of the near-future.

You can buy the Europe in Autumn ebook direct from the Rebellion Publishing webshop as well as in print and ebook for Kindle via and - it's also available to download on the Kobo and the Nook.

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