View Full Version : Future History

Arius Mephisto
Dec 13, 2001, 04:11 PM
I'm not familiar enough with the tastes of the board members here to know whether this would be thrust into "Off-Topic" but one of the most fascinating things I've ever read is bits of Future History....

I'm a history buff, personally, and I find it interesting when writing goes beyond simple science fiction and actually writes what is like a history book of tomorrow... describing the events of the future in retrospective.... I've heard a lot of fascinating scenarios for our planets future that become so engrossing and in-depth that you almost believe they're going to happen...

I actually wrote quite a bit myself, based loosely on the timeline of the sci-fi RTS game Dark Reign (and it's sequel)... it gets pretty crazy when you start to think that deeply about what will happen and how that would effect events on a global scale afterwards... my novel "An Autobiography of Executor ISOS" will probably never be finished because I keep overthinking it... The basic premise was that egalitarianism and democractic ideals overtake the planet and cause such waste and wanton destruction of natural resources that the divide between rich and poor that was sought to be erased is defined in a more clear way than ever before in human history.... the poor live in tightly packed super-urban sprawls and the rich live in dome cities protected by the polution and radiation generated by the 3rd World War (a story in itself)... eventually an interim government is established that develops temporal technology and sends a man (his name is my username) back in time to correct the situation by establishing a totalitarian state in the late 21st century....

Oh I could get into it forever.... but I just wanted to kind of present the whole concept and see if anyone holds the same interest in it that I do

Dec 13, 2001, 05:03 PM
I'm into all sorts of science fiction and alternate history. One series I really liked back when it was relevant was Jerry Pournelle's CoDominion. In it he wrote of a world where the US and USSR came together to rule the planet in an uneasy alliance. After the discovery of FTL travel scientific research was strickly limited to preseve the domination of the two superpowers.

Another one I read was SM Stirlings stories about loyalists going to S. Africa instead of Canada and setting up an empire based upon racial superiority and slavery that put the Nazis to shame. The world evolved and eventually they conquered all of Africa, Europe, and Asia. Then they squared off with America.

Answer to your question, yes. But I don't write anything.

Dec 13, 2001, 05:16 PM
I first want to say, I've never heard the term "Future History" before, but think that it is a very fascinating idea.

Almost as fascinating as Time Travel. I have been entrigued with the idea ever since the BTF trilogy.

The other thing that has made me think about Time Travel and it's consequences even more is the idea that UFO's are visitors from Earth's future coming back to collect genetic material because of some genetic flaw that happens to us in the future (gene pool gets too shallow).

Now, Both of the above scenarios illustrate a different type of time travel. The first, time travel in order to change the future using the past. The second, using time travel as an observational tool and not using an event to change the future.


If I go back to the past before my cousin gets hit by a train, in order to prevent this from happening, then as soon as I prevent it from happening, my future self has no reason to go back to the past to prevent the death from happening, because it never happened! And I subsequently don't go back, and don't prevent his death, which makes me go back to prevent his death.... ad infinitum.

On the contrary:

If I go back to the past to say goodbye to my cousin one last time before he dies, and I do nothing to prevent him from dying, then that causes no confusing for my future self who wishes to go back to the past to say goodbye.

Have you thought very much about the idea of time travel, or was it a minor point in the book which was just going to be overlooked? I'd like to read your thoughts

Dec 13, 2001, 06:30 PM
Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars trilogy is an excelent future history series.

Arius Mephisto
Dec 13, 2001, 06:48 PM
Oh I wrote a bunch of stuff to rationalize time travel... it made sense at the time and now it just hurts my head to think about it...

It involved creating a temporal loop that connected two points in time and moved forward with those two points at the standard rate of 1sec/sec.. it was long and involved... pretty boring, really

My psychotic ex-girlfriend always wanted me to read this alternate history series.... it sounded pretty interesting... and I still have the book she loned to me but I don't want to go anywhere near it.... I also don't want to return it, because that would force me to be seen in public in connection with her..... oh I won't get into that... this is World History... not Arius' Dating history....

Dec 13, 2001, 11:14 PM
So now we're into science fiction in the history forum ..... :D

Personally, I like Isaac Asimov's Foundation series (and a few related books). It was so sweeping and mind-gobbling. I mean an entire galaxy-wide human Empire. :eek:

Also the Dune series. Cool. :cool: Esp all the religious and messianic overtones.

Dec 14, 2001, 01:08 AM
Well, probably the most famous future history series would be Heinleins series. Starts with "The Roads Must Roll" and ends with "Methuselah's Children". Good read.

In terms of unique takes on the future:

1) Cyberpunk. Neuromancer is the future for people with severe depression. :)

2) Niven's Known Space cycle. It's really far future, but Niven had a gift for looking at technology and speculating on the societal impact of same.

Dec 14, 2001, 01:15 AM
Whoops. Hit the send button too early.

Wanted to continue with the Niven recommendation. If you're looking for plausable societal shifts due to believable technology take a look at:

1) The Gil "The Arm" Hamilton stories. Speculates on what might happen if organ transplanting became totally safe and there weren't enough willing donors.

2) There are a couple of good short stories based on the societal impact of teleportation. The major societal impacts? Well, alibis are worthless and "permanent floating riots".

3) "A Gift from Earth" speculates on what might happen if a colony ship landed on a planet whose habitable area was about the size of California.

4) Many of his Known Space stories touch on the changes in human behaviour when immortality becomes possible.

Anyway, check these out.

Dec 14, 2001, 02:47 AM
Originally posted by Knight-Dragon

Personally, I like Isaac Asimov's Foundation series (and a few related books). It was so sweeping and mind-gobbling. I mean an entire galaxy-wide human Empire. :eek:

Strange that you should mention Asimov. You already know this but for the benefit of the few 'blinkered historians' here: He coined the word 'psycho history' which loosely meant predicting the future using a psychological profile of the present population - which is what the foundation did.

My personal favourite is the AREA 51 series by Dougherty (who also wrote the ROCK) which weaves in Nazis, King Arthur, Shi Huang Di, Atlantis, Easter Island, Foo Fighters, the Pyramids and every other important point in history into a battle between two alien factions and their human servants.