One significant historical event differentiates the worlds of Bias Cut and Lonely Satellite: In the Lonely Satellite timeline, a global nuclear event in 1984 wreaked unimaginable havoc on the world. Thirty years later, the world is still far from back to normal. Blast sites are still not fully safe for habitation, the US economy is in dire shape, and cancer rates have spiked drastically.

While it's not specified what caused the nuclear event, references to Soviets and "Red spies" indicate it was sparked by the USA-USSR Cold War conflict. Other countries are known to have been less affected than the US--Mexico and Africa are both offhandedly mentioned as safer places to live--which supports the idea that the US was at the center of the event.

Events mentioned in Bias Cut that took place prior to 1984--for instance, Joel Sutton's murders of the two young models, or Sergio Sarmento's career as a fashion designer--should be assumed to also take place in the alternate Lonely Satellite timeline.