Tales of a Ravenous Reader
February 27, 2015
The Year 2117: A Tour
I’ve always been obsessed with the future. I’m probably the only person on earth who loved Back to the Future Part 2 better than the other two movies. For the sole purpose that it takes place in the future (which by the way was the year 2015…so, um, now.) Flying cars, hoverboards, jackets that dry themselves. Sure, we have all of those things, right?
But I digress.
When I set out to write UNCHANGED, the final book in the Unremembered trilogy, which takes place in the year 2117, Iknew I’d have to do a lot of research on what we’re expecting the future to look like. Now, normally I loathe doing research. But this particular research was actually super fun. I relied heavily on futurist predictions and books like Physics of the Future by Michio Kaku. This book actually outlines what scientists believe the future will look like in 20 years, 50 years, and 100 years. That combined with a few other sources and mywild and crazy imagination brought me to the 2117 of UNCHANGED.
And now I shall pass you over to Klo, a resident of the year 2117, and a new character in Unchanged, who shall guide you through this fascinating time period…
Welcome to the future! My name is Klo and I’ll be your official tour guide to the year 2117!
Here in the 22nd century, things are pretty high-tech and life has been made very easy for humans.
We stopped driving those automobile things a while back when all the oil dried up, but now we have much more fuel-efficient means of transport. The masses drive something called a MagCar (which operates on magnets instead of gas). Although “drive” is a fairly misleading term as MagCars actually pilot themselves. You just sit back and enjoy the ride.
Those with a little extra dough in their bank accounts travel by air in things called HoverCopters. They’re about the size of a car, but they fly. They’re great for getting from one end of town to the other, but they’re not super speedy. So for longer distances, everyone pretty much travels by HyperLoop.
The idea for the HyperLoop was actually first announced by Elon Musk, the creator of Tesla. Hey, he’s from your century!
The HyperLoop is a high-speed transportation system in whichpressurized capsules ride on a cushion of air through vaccum-sealed tubes that stand hundreds of feet in the air (like old-fashion aqueducts). It took a while for them to build the infrastructure, but now we have HyperLoop tubes running between every major city in the country. And we can get from Los Angeles to San Francisco in only 30 minutes.
Gone are the days when you have to lug around heavy laptops and computers. Almost everything you need to do is either done on your DigiSlate (a tablet-like device that’s paper-thin and can roll up or fold into any shape for easy carrying) or through your DigiLenses (contact lenses that project information right onto your vision.) I’ve heard you have something kind of similar called Google Glass? Except from the pictures I’ve seen, they’re pretty bulky and make you look pretty stupid. DigiLenses sit right on your eye so they’re virtually invisible. You could totally be looking at pictures of naked chicks in class while your teacher thinks you’re paying attention. Not that I do that.
About seven years ago, a crazy disease called Bovine Liver Disease (or BLD) swept through the nation and killed a majority of the cattle. The ones that did survive no one wanted to eat for fear of getting sick. That’s when Synthetic Meat was first released into the market. It sounds weird but it actually tastes just like the real stuff. It’s made in a lab from repurposed molecules. Pretty cool, right? Now we can have our beef and pork and lamb and no little cute animals have to suffer the consequences. I will say, though, it’s pretty rare to see a cow around these days. Most people my age don’t even know what they look like.
So, I’ve watched a few archived episodes of some of your old-time TV shows and I have to say, Grey’s Anatomy is hands-down my favorite. I’m fascinated by all the procedures and surgeries they perform. Did they really used to slice people open and then sew them back together? YUCK! How morbid. And backward!
Today, everyone is outfitted from birth with a set of NanoSensors. They’re tiny microscopic robots that live in your blood stream and transmit information back to your DigiSlate or DigiLens about your health. Both you and your doctor get a warning alert if anything is amiss. Disease, high blood pressure, clotting, cancerous cells, poor nutrition, they’re all detected way before it’s ever an issue. And if surgery is needed, the doctors just send nanobots into your body to perform the procedures and pioneer them from outside.
Also, childbirth has become a lot less…well, messy. Most parents now opt for using an artificial womb. The parents provide the genetic material and the womb gestates the baby right in your home. I’ve heard rumors that back in the old days, women used to have to watch what they ate and drank when they were pregnant and couldn’t travel far from their homes in risk of having the baby early. Wow, that’s inconvenient. Now parents do whatever the glitch they want while the baby gestatesin their kitchen. Then on the due date, POP! Out the baby comes. No pain, no mess, no unexpected premature labor. I’m still a little young to be worried about that though. I can barely get a girl to go out with me, let alone want to gestate a baby with me.
Sure football and baseball still exist, but it’s more of an old person sport. For my generation, it’s all about the MagBall. It’s kind of a football meets soccer meets air hockey. The oblong-shaped ball is suspended in the air by use of magnets while the teams try to score against their opponents’ goal. It’s super intense.
Also, Rec Hubs have started sprouting up all over the place. They’re like virtual arcades. Except instead of the arcade gamesyou’re used to, everything takes place in giant hovering spheres that you stand inside. The spheres project a virtual reality all around you and respond to your body’s movement. When you run, they spin beneath your feet. When you jump, or kick, or turn, the projection shifts to keep up. There’s a program for pretty much everything. Roman Gladiators, Ninja Assassins, The Civil War. And every program makes you feel like you’re right there, inside the world. Total immersion. There’s a game called Ghost Hunters that I pretty much kick ass at, if I do say so myself.
Well, being that I’m a hacker, I’m not really one to speak about fashion. You’d be much better off downloading a fashion stream to your DigiSlate to find out more about what’s all the rage these days. But I have noticed a huge insurgence of Nanostitching on clothes. That’s computerized fabric that can change color and pattern at any time. So if you buy a dress and get sick of the color or pattern, you can just change it. Or if you buy a cap with your favorite MagBall team on it and they lose, because they’re big fat pointless losers, you can easily reprogram the cap to show the winning team’s logo instead. Because you’re just that mad.
Also, it seems like everyone is getting Nanotats now. I mean, they were cool when they first came out, but now I’m just getting a little tired of them. Nanotats are programmable imprints for your skin. You can program them to play any image or looping feed that you want. I had one on my arm for a while that played my favorite scene from my favorite movie on repeat, but after a few days of staring at that, even I got sick of seeing it. The good part, I guess, is that when you do get sick of your Nanotat, you can always preprogram it to display something else. I’ve seen people around who have their whole body covered in Nanotats, which personally just makes me really dizzy.
Well, there’s tons more to see in 2117 but I think I’ll leave a few things as a surprise. After all, no one should know too much about their future….
Thanks, Klo for the colorful tour. To find out more about the world of 2117, I hope you’ll check UNCHANGED! And if you order before March 1, you get a free autographed poster with Diotech Compound blueprint map on the back!
Details here: www.jessicabrody.com/preorder
Thanks so much for hosting me on the Unchanged Blog Tour! I hope you all enjoy the book!