How science fiction sees the 21st century: prophecies of writers

The XXII century enjoys the serious attention of science fiction writers. Perhaps it is in this century that mankind will be able to make a breakthrough in space exploration and bring our civilization to a new level of development. But at the same time, in the next century, new problems await us, which will be very difficult to cope with. Writers, of course, see life very differently in the twenty-second century. It is all the more interesting to compare how their vision of the future differs, and in what way they converge. And today we will talk about several bright science fiction books that take readers to the next century.

Tal M. Klein: “Double Effect”

The world of the future, described in the sci-fi thriller Double Effect, turned out to be very bright and optimistic. The ubiquitous nanites heal diseases and repair tissues, cars have artificial intelligence and take you to their destination, and clothes and food are printed on printers and are ideal for consumers. Artificially created insects purify the air and keep the climate of the entire planet stable. And teleportation allows people to instantly move anywhere in the world.

However, it can not do without problems. The last war took place half a century ago and its result was the weakening of states. The corporations that have now gained the upper hand are in fierce competition with each other and sometimes resort to aggressive methods and manipulations. Well, if someone finds out their terrible secret (as the main character of the book Joel), then the hunt will immediately begin on him.

Kim Stanley Robinson: "Green Mars"

Kim Stanley Robinson’s “Martian Trilogy” is one of the most serious and scientifically verified stories on the colonization of other planets. In the first novel, Red Mars, the author described the flight to the Red Planet of the "first hundred" settlers.

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In "Green Mars" the action is transferred to the beginning of the 22nd century. Successfully, though not without conflicts and difficulties, the colonists managed to begin to inhabit the Red Planet, and now their grandchildren are coming to the fore. The earth, meanwhile, is moving towards depletion and overpopulation, the level of the world's oceans is rising, and no one knows how to effectively solve these problems.

Meanwhile, the Red Planet is undergoing important stages of terraforming: the biosphere is evolving due to the heating of the surface of Mars, the construction of orbital mirrors the size of the mainland and excavations of volcanoes. And after a sharp rise in sea level on Earth, the planet plunges into the abyss of chaos, and the metropolis loses control of the Martian colony. Mars is becoming an independent power that provides universal health care, free education, an abundance of food and, with some reservations, is ready to receive migrants from Earth.

Kim Stanley Robinson: "New York 2140"

Unlike the Red Mars trilogy, New York 2140 is a relatively recent book by Robinson. This time, the science fiction turned his attention to raising the sea level.

In the middle of the 22nd century, the streets of New York turned into canals, and buildings into islands of civilization. Despite the flooding, the human civilization not only survived, but also adapted to new realities. Internet, jurisprudence, trade, police, sports - almost all spheres of life have remained, just territories suitable for life have narrowed.

In this future, there are drones and entire flying villages held in the air by balloons, as well as floating islands where refugees are transported. Back in the 21st century, skyscrapers were reinforced with special composite structures that keep buildings from being destroyed by water. In many ways, the vision for the future in New York 2140 turned out to be optimistic, even despite the worldwide flood.

Neil Stevenson: The Diamond Age

The Diamond Age is rightfully considered one of the most unusual and original science fiction books of the 90s. Before him, Stevenson released another novel, Avalanche, in which he predicted the emergence of social networks, virtual reality and influential international corporations. In the "Diamond Age", the author took a step further and presented life in the XXII century.

Now, together states are phyla who unite people according to their interests and ideological characteristics. Their enclaves can be located around the world, occupying part of the territories of large cities. One of them, New Atlantis, revives the traditions and lifestyle of the Victorian era. Another important player on the world stage is the Coastal Republic of China, a representative of the “eastern path” of development. However, some people prefer not to attach to any fillet.

According to Stevenson, in the XXII century, mankind is waiting for the triumph of nanotechnology. The so-called mats pickers made it possible to create almost any item - and moreover, for free. Now, things created by hand are considered a great rarity. In this world, the so-called toner wars take place, in which nanobots fight instead of soldiers, waging a struggle in the microworld.

All members of society have a guaranteed minimum and can live without worries. But, as it turns out, it is their absence that deprives people of motivation for self-development and active life. Moreover, the gap between the elite and ordinary inhabitants has become irresistibly large. And thus, the world is balancing on the brink between utopia and dystopia.

Annali Newitz: "Autonomy"

Annali Newitz is a futurologist, writer and journalist, founder of the popular io9 portal dedicated to science, technology and science fiction. The events of her novel "Autonomy" unfold in the middle of the twenty-second century. In her vision of the future, humanity has relied on biotechnology. Intelligent robots are created on the basis of human flesh and brain, and have the same rights as humans.

Countries gave way to franchises. The world of the future described in the novel is full of biotechnological hi-tech elements. At the same time, patent law blossomed in its anti-utopian form - the right of ownership is imposed on almost any object or symbol. This caused slavery to reappear in the 22nd century.

The main character is a pirate and a biohacker who illegally creates a cure for the poor. The next batch turned out to be defective, and the consequences were terrible, so that in the wake of the girl they sent a mercenary and a combat robot.

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