I remember an alternate story from a while ago where the Soviet Union promoted a centralized networked computing model that proved more effective than the decentralized Western version. As I recall it was written from a somewhat triumphalist POV that presumed the West was structurally incapable of assembling such a network which is what led to its political downfall.

  • Please see this story ID guide and edit your question with additional details.
    – Null
    Commented Apr 18 at 16:30
  • Hi, welcome to SF&F. Can you be more specific about when you read this? Do you remember where it was? (An anthology, a magazine, online...)
    – DavidW
    Commented Apr 18 at 16:30

1 Answer 1


The West is Red by Greg Costikyan. This review doesn't mention the computers, but might prompt your memory

One of the best stories in the book is Greg Costikyan's "The West is Red," a historical reversal where Soviet communism has become the dominant global economic model and a weak United States is struggling with "reform" and conversion to the communist model.

This review has the missing piece

In a discussion with her lover, Frank Mangiara, there seems to be an implication that the economics of computing power work differently in this world. (When Frank ponders an alternate world, much like our own, in which distributed computing power like we use is present, she accuses him of postulating a variance in natural law.) With the development of huge mainframes, centralized planning, control, administration, and dictatorial regimes are aided in the USSR and China and, soon, the U.S

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