Augury is a 2018 alternate history novel by Sylvia La Some. An early manuscript of the novel and its sequel inspired an animated motion picture which was released some six years before the novel. The novel was nominated for a World Fantasy Award in 2019. (The third book in the Cycle, Astrology, is a prequel to the opening diad, set in the 1930s.)
The century-old Standingstone Inc. makes millions manipulating the price of high-value Fine Art on the international market, but all its wealth goes to fund a private intelligence agency dedicated to documenting, undermining and defeating a single, powerful enemy. It’s the winter of 2008, and the layers of a 150 year-old conspiracy at the heart of the American political system are finally beginning to peel back, thanks mostly to the spectacular debut of the amazonian Maddie, Standingstone’s newest field agent, and the ripening technical genius of Wulf, the company’s brilliant head technical developer.
Set against the background of a manned Chinese Moon mission, a devastating nuclear explosion in London, a crazily re-aligned international economy and an America in constitutional turmoil, Augury is a metaphorical love story, a tech-noir thriller and a window on the strange and secret history of the world.
The conspiracy which has occupied Standingstone since its inception in the late 1980s was created at a meeting on 22 November 1863 (cf. Alchemy movie opening sequence) and was ostensibly dedicated to the ultimate victory of the Confederacy in the American Civil War (aka. "The South Will Rise Again").
Some of its characteristics are:
- According to the 1865 agreement, a sign would be given to announce the beginning of a "Confederate Century" one hundred years after the meeting, giving rise to the name of the group. Until that time, proponents of the Confederacy would allow the new regime (ie. a supposed secret collaboration between the Republicans and the Democrats) to do things as it saw fit, in the certain knowledge that their grandchildren would live to enjoy the fruits of the patient bargain. On the basis of this bargain, elements of the South agreed to allow a Union victory in the war.
- Alleged interpretations of the signal include the assassination of JFK and the illegalisation of the United States Note (or the final completion of the appearance of the National Motto on coinage and banknotes, begun in December 1863 with the two cent coin).
- Amongst the membership, Abraham Lincoln is known as "the bugger", in reference to the subject of the blackmail the organisation allegedly used to "control" Lincoln for nearly a decade. (The organisation also believes its membership coordinated John Wilkes Booth's attack, when Lincoln seemed about to wager his post-war popularity against their allegations.)
- Its members have been known to leave $5 notes burning in ashtrays as a signal to one another (a practice known within the organisation as "finfire").
The New Romans
This shadowy group was formed in the early 1830s by four Illinois businessmen, and proceeded to influence the development of the United States for over a century and a half. Its aim was to move the developing United States towards a military-services based economy. (This was the basis for the success of the Roman Empire, according to certain founding members.) It engineered the Civil War in order to speed testing and development of weapons systems for export to Europe, and in the process conspired with groups within the Democratic Party to create the Republican Party and thereby establish one party rule. Likewise, it negotiated the end of the war, established Confederate Century, and proceeded to harvest hundreds of billions from the Military-industrial complex until it is undone by Maddie and Standingstone in late 2008.
- 06 April 2006: US withdraws from UNHRC board contention (having assesed the likelihood of its success)
- 11 April 2006: Berlusconi launches legal challenge to poll result, vows to remain "caretaker government"
- 16 May 2006: Israeli attack on Iranian nuclear facilities
- 19 June 2006: First meeting UNHRC condemns US, Israel; both countries formally issue notice of non-acceptance
- 01 July 2006: Datapool event
- 01 July 2006: Cache of gold (est. US$6bn) attributed to Saddam Hussein discovered near Nippur; civil war begins in earnest
- 15 August 2006: Italian special forces land in Saudi Arabia, enter Madina to rescue four Italian businessmen kidnapped by Salafi rebels
- 03 October 2006: Announcement of the formation of the Islamic Republic of Iran and Iraq
- 19 October 2006: Queen Elizabeth II abdicates for reasons of ill health
- 13 November 2006: Charles announces styling Charles V, modification of Fidei defensor
- 17 November 2006: Bombing of Palace of Westminster
- 19 November 2006: Recovery of William V from Westminster site
- January March 2007: Willian V tours world, meeting Ten Friends
- 12 March 2007: William V meets with "Madhi" in Damascus; prays with ("behind") him
- 31 October 2007: Taikonauts orbit Moon (see  for July 06 China space plans)
- Early 2008: "Peak Oil" event causes collapse of markets, near cessation of trans-Atlantic flights (see Olduvai_theory)
- August 2008: Solar eclipse
- 19 October 2008: Condoleezza Rice withdraws as VP candidate; replacement by Pres. Bush controversial
- 04 November 2008: US presidential voters elect Cheney/Bush Republican ticket
- 10 January 2009: President-elect Cheney, having suffered three mini-strokes in a 48-hour period, resigns (effectively in favour of President and Vice President-elect Bush)
- 20 January 2009: Inauguration of George W. Bush as 44th President of United States
- 28 January 2009: Nicholas VI elected to papal throne; William V meets with Pope
- 29 January 2009: King Abdullah dies; succeeded by Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz
- 06 February 2009: William V-negotiated Marseille Accords signed