Finding the Future


They say write what you know, and research what you don’t. Okay the last half of that statement is mine. If you have a Hummer in your story, it needs to be set after 1992 unless it involves the US military circa 1980. Cell phones went public in 1977, but didn’t become commercially accessible in the US until 1988. Paperclips were invented in 1899 and Band-Aids didn’t show up until 1917.

But what if your story takes place in the distant future? How are writers supposed to write about the latest technological advances if they don’t exist? They take current information, bend it, and make it their own. I recently came across the Newsweek This is Your Future article (March 13, 2011). OMG, some of that stuff sounds so crazy. Internet-accessible contact lens?

The article also mentions robots taking over high performance tasks. The movie I, Robot (2004) plays on this concept and takes it to the next level with a murder mystery involving robots and humans.

Do you write futuristic fiction? Where do you find your world building ideas?

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6 comments on “Finding the Future

  1. lbdiamond says:

    Doing your research is pretty important. Picking a futuristic setting still takes work, IMHO. Creating some new technology can be as challenging as making sure it’s accurate, LOL!

  2. Kerri Cuevas says:

    Making up your own world is fun, but letting readers in on the rules is crucial. Grins, my weakness I’m working on lol. I’ve never done something in the extreme future though. I do like the Jetsons!

  3. RosieC says:

    First, I’m going to say that I don’t write science fiction, so the rest of this is speculation at best. Forgive me 🙂

    I think that, for the most part, the future can take us anywhere, so your world will be contained within itself. Sure, there are norms to follow, but it’s still YOUR world. For example, I recently rewatched the TV series SeaQestDSV. It was made in the early 90s (93-95, I think), and was set around 2020 or so. When I watched it as a kid, it seems high-tech and cool (and the teen boy in the show helped keep my interest), but watching it now, it’s funny to see how unadvanced their technology seems. The point is, at the time, it worked, and they were limiting themselves and their technology because they didn’t want to overshoot the future. However, if you’re working in a realm that’s far enough in the future, you won’t have that problem, I suspect.

    Good luck!

    Rosie
    East for Green Eyes

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