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The Shape of Things To Come
August 9, 2012 8:19 AM   Subscribe

A Timeline of Future Events

2024: After WW4, resources are scarce. When men aren't hunting for food, clean water, and weapons, they're seeking the most valuable resource of all: women. —Harlan Ellison, "A Boy and His Dog," 1969

2025: Housing is scarce in New York, but a giant housing project at 334 East 11th Street provides a home for some NYC residents. —Thomas M. Disch, 334, 1972

2026: First colonial voyage to Mars. —Kim Stanley Robinson, Red Mars, 1993
posted by Chrysostom (32 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
2025: Scientific expeditions to Saturn are now possible.—John Varley, Titan, 1979

Well, they are possible right now.

That said, that's probably the one possible thing from Titan (as much as I would love to belong to a Titanide).
posted by DU at 8:25 AM on August 9, 2012


2050: All human technology is destroyed. —John Varley, Eight Worlds series, largely between 1974-1980

OK, now I'm going to come across as a Varley historian, but: This is not a prediction he makes in that series. All human technology on Earth is destroyed. the 8 worlds are the Moon plus 7 of the planets. (Or maybe 6 with the asteroids being one of the "worlds"?)
posted by DU at 8:28 AM on August 9, 2012


2157: Tommy finds a real book in his attic, one that doesn't have shifting words. Totally weird. —Isaac Asimov, "The Fun They Had," 1951

Another one that came true early.
posted by DU at 8:31 AM on August 9, 2012


2017 - The USA loses its position as world leader to Japan.
The Japanese really hate it when you confuse them with the Chinese.
posted by Thorzdad at 8:33 AM on August 9, 2012 [6 favorites]


2020: You no longer need a computer to use the internet, because the internet can be accessed directly through your brain.

Wait, you guys aren't already wired for intercranial broadcast (ICB)?
posted by GenjiandProust at 8:34 AM on August 9, 2012


Wait, you guys aren't already wired for intercranial broadcast (ICB)?

I was, and then they changed the plug for charging it up and now I'm sort of screwed.
posted by jquinby at 8:38 AM on August 9, 2012 [4 favorites]


1,000,000 & 1/2: Humankind is enslaved by Giraffe.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 8:43 AM on August 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


"And if you survive til 2005, I hope you're exceedingly thin.
For if you are stout then you'll have to breathe out when the people around you breathe in..."

-Pink Floyd, 1968
posted by jetsetsc at 8:44 AM on August 9, 2012 [5 favorites]


2150: The Macro Society, who practice macro philosophy, run the earth. Dalek Invasion of Earth!
posted by biffa at 8:45 AM on August 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


2019: Snakes on Every Plane
posted by schmod at 8:46 AM on August 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


2204: Edit window implemented.
posted by schmod at 8:46 AM on August 9, 2012 [11 favorites]


Future Timeline is pretty interesting to read on its own but also in comparison to this science fiction timeline.

Welcome to the future! Here you will find a speculative timeline of future history. Part fact and part fiction, the timeline is based on detailed research that includes analysis of current trends, projected long-term environmental changes, advances in technology such as Moore's Law, future medical breakthroughs, and the evolving geopolitical landscape. Where possible, references have been provided to support the predictions. FutureTimeline.net is intended to be an ongoing, collaborative project that is open for discussion - we welcome ideas from scientists, futurists, inventors, writers and anyone else interested in the future of our world.
posted by flex at 8:48 AM on August 9, 2012


2022 - Soylent Green is people.
posted by Thorzdad at 8:49 AM on August 9, 2012


DU: "2050: All human technology is destroyed. —John Varley, Eight Worlds series, largely between 1974-1980

OK, now I'm going to come across as a Varley historian, but: This is not a prediction he makes in that series. All human technology on Earth is destroyed. the 8 worlds are the Moon plus 7 of the planets. (Or maybe 6 with the asteroids being one of the "worlds"?)
"

Right, only Earth was affected. "The invasion of Earth was secondary. [...] What they did was destroy utterly every artifact of human civilization. In their wake they left plowed ground, sprouting seedlings, and grass. In the next two years, ten billion humans starved to death."

I don't have my Varley on hand, but I dug up a post where James Nicoll listed Mercury, Venus, Luna, Mars, the rings of Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. James is usually pretty accurate on these things.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:50 AM on August 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


2000: Your name is a number, a piece of plastic film, and you grow tiny flowers in your little window sill.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 8:52 AM on August 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


AD 2101: War was beginning.
posted by schmod at 8:52 AM on August 9, 2012 [12 favorites]


Oh of course the rings were colonized. That's the other thing I'd love, a symbiote.

I think I got a false positive from the asteroid belt because Boss Tweed's operation is hiding out there for a while.
posted by DU at 8:53 AM on August 9, 2012


2150: In an odd turn of events, growing skeptical of rapid AI advancements, a majority of Humans now fail the Turing test.
posted by schmod at 8:54 AM on August 9, 2012


AD 40,000: "In the grim future of ..."
posted by PapaLobo at 9:09 AM on August 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


5555: Your arms hangin' limp at your sides
Your legs got nothin' to do
Some machine's doin' that for you
posted by sharkitect at 9:15 AM on August 9, 2012


To be fair, we are all interested in the future, because that is where we will spend the rest of our lives. Well, except for the chronologically disadvantaged.
posted by GenjiandProust at 9:26 AM on August 9, 2012


2026: First colonial voyage to Mars. —Kim Stanley Robinson, Red Mars, 1993

I just read these last year and of course with last weekend's landing and the non-stop stream of KERFAWESOME photos and videos and stuff since then I've pretty much been thinking of nothing else. I want to go to there.
posted by eugenen at 9:27 AM on August 9, 2012


Finally, robot cats!
—Stuart Moore, "The Escapist 2966," 2004

2966? I guess Moore never heard of Japan.
posted by mule98J at 9:42 AM on August 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


2025: A bunch of teens are sitting on a steel rail gawking at a slab of plastic. One kid keeps asking someone named 'Siri' questions. But the slab is mute. Every time the other kids laugh maniacally.

2010:334 East 11th Street. The detention center across the street was called a skool then. Whatever.
posted by Twang at 9:59 AM on August 9, 2012




Some of the timeline of the far future seems a bit speculative. How can they predict life on earth will die out in 1.6 billion years? Where is the data to back this up?

I might have put the lagging in the attic by then.
posted by biffa at 12:47 PM on August 9, 2012


Lady Gaga arrested for civil disobedience after winning Nobel Peace Prize.

I can't wait for this FPP. The discussion will be awe-inspiring.
posted by Splunge at 1:34 PM on August 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


War of 2012. Conan O'Brien loses his freakishly long legs.

-Futurama, Xmas Story (S02E04)

I'm Still waiting for this to happen.
posted by PipRuss at 1:44 PM on August 9, 2012


2463: Pope Zappa IV declares that AI's are allowed to join the priesthood.
posted by LastOfHisKind at 1:55 PM on August 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


2XXX: things "being a thing" no longer a thing
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 2:08 PM on August 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


2050: You can leave earth by hiding in a giant sperm whale.
—Arthur C. Clarke, Childhood's End, 2009


I mean, it's a pretty good book, but that out-of-context summery makes it sound like the best thing ever written.
posted by Nossidge at 5:19 AM on August 10, 2012


2023: A mutant great white shark stalks the sewers of New York City.

Not quite the whole book.
posted by MartinWisse at 6:22 AM on August 10, 2012


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