Monday, May 18, 2015

Predicting The Future

The next two hundred years is a future difficult to predict, but as I wrote the Phobos series I found myself thinking about timelines. Inside these timelines I looked carefully at what has changed in the last two hundred years, but I also reflected on a few things that haven't changed in the last 200 years or 2000 years for that matter.

Part of the challenge of science fiction is envisioning the future as a whole, good or bad but also imagining the details and everyday life of someone. Would wine still be around? What's in our medicine cabinets and in our homes? Do we smoke cigarettes? Are we married? Do we work? Do we have families? What is on our plate in the future, and on our tables?

Well, certainly I think wine will be on the table, and I tend to believe a family will be sitting around it too. Marriage might go out of style and back in, but I don't see a future where men and women ever lose the desire for love and commitment, or the capacity for jealously and hatred.  Of course, no one can predict the future but there's certainly some things that will never change.

Lets not forget among these natural chords of humanity, that technology can only do so much in the face of disaster, and we are often at the mercy of nature, so be prepared.  Things could get shaky if apocalyptic weather conditions crop up and so will food supplies. Although we have the ability to adapt with genetic crops and super vitamins, nothing can stop over population. Government food rations, famine and hardship mixed in with medical advances, cars that drive us, homes that talk to us, and drones that protect us or spy on us in every manner seems like a possible scenario. Maybe gas becomes kilowatts, and dollars become credits, but certainly energy becomes the price. As far as smoking, maybe 200 years from now cigarettes are healthy, using nothing more than flavored water vapor that is medically beneficial. Only the "health nuts" will be smoking. I imagine perhaps, that despite many things, medical technology will always take leaps and bounds. Communication will be a fun one too.

The questions is, in the worst case scenario, what would we do? A small colony on Mars could be an answer if things got bad enough. Just how bad would things have to get, well, I'll leave that up to the future about 200 years from now and inside the pages of my story.  Maybe just maybe, there is a small colony...