This document consists of two separate but closely related works: the Timeline (this page), and Perspectives.
The Timeline is a general outline of future history, and somewhat conservative and circumscribed in what it offers the reader. The Timeline is meant to be the 'harder' (or more factual/credible) of the two works, in terms of science and predictions. But this also means the Timeline must be more generalized, more risk-averse-- and also peter out entirely as we venture into the deep, deep future, where everything must ultimately give way to outrageous guesswork (partly due to technology advancing to levels indistinguishable from magic, as a famous quote by scientist and author Arthur C. Clarke suggests).
Perspectives takes up where the Timeline leaves off, offering more risky speculation and outright fiction about what the future may bring, than is suitable in the Timeline. Perspectives helps illustrate some of the possibilities implied by the Timeline, as well as how certain select personalities of various periods might perceive (and exploit or respond to) their circumstances. Perspectives includes facts and speculation about mankind's past, as well as its future. Virtually all credible historians and archaeologists agree that there's many puzzles and mysteries regarding our past that have yet to be resolved.
Both the timeline and perspectives take a highly optimistic view of humanity's possible future. This optimism largely ignores or heavily discounts the many threats to humanity's survival and prosperity which currently exist, and appear to be mounting almost by the day. Not the least of the risks sidestepped here stem from the latest findings of SETI and related astronomical research. For it appears most (perhaps even all) technological civilizations in our galaxy destroy themselves not long after they reach our current stage of development. The references supporting this conclusion may be found in my study The rise and fall of star faring civilizations. For my current best recommendations as to how we might avoid a similar fate, please see Civilization's best defenses against war, terrorism, technological stagnation, and economic ruin. For a somewhat philosophical perspective, please see The war for our destiny.
2050 AD-2600 AD: Human civilization and the Earth are transformed...
Perhaps the most stressful period in modern human history continues, so far as the common citizen is concerned. The continuing conflicts in regards to religion result in the decimation of traditional religions and the rise of new, often advanced intelligence/extraterrestrial based beliefs in their place; a full-scale collapse or reformation of many geopolitical states is underway; a boom in gambling; environmental disasters affect everyone; nuclear/other mass destruction terrorism and accidents; emerging virtual states take on increasing importance; major developments in Antarctica; a virtual world war centered on north america which shifts considerable assets and influence from previous geopolitical and corporate powers to all new players; mid range to high end personal vehicles tend to be hybrid electric carriage/hovercraft machines, often the size of circa 1998 Recreational Vehicles (RVs), as technology and other factors are rapidly making permanently mobile homes preferable to traditional real estate (in developed regions); new military options include weather control, devastating micromachine pestilence clouds/carpets, self-repairing aircraft, heavy cyborg soldiers, and deep robotic support for operations.
|Clone slavery and cyborgs, free markets and gambling run amok, and continued global environmental degradation mark this time. Virtual defections of citizen loyalties from geophysical governments to blooming virtual states are mounting. Improving VR quality and emerging Star Trek-like replicators seduce citizens into an apathetic view towards the worsening environment and other matters. Man-made earthquakes/tidal waves, robot squads led by invisible heavy cyborgs, deep cover contingency forces, and subterranean theaters are added to military options. Consumers enjoy second skins of a quality comparable to light duty space suits, and the first Mars terraforming operations take place.|
|Elevator service to orbit, wholly micro-machine-based humanoids, force fields and a form of artificial gravity, antimatter power sources, lightspeed EM transporters and matter replicators ala Star Trek, all come online. Prosperity sweeps the globe; world governments and business endure yet another wrenching restructuring; the arrival of the first true space boom (virtually the entire solar system begins to be colonized or commercialized in one form or another); terrorist use of asteroids and/or comets as weapons; colonization expeditions to nearby solar systems. The incidence of slavery subsides again (so far as clones and other organic sentients are concerned); the final collapse of USAmerica occurs (into a far smaller and less significant state); animals boosted to sentiency; practical immortality becoming a reality; high biologicals gain embedded superhuman capacities; hybrid terraforming of Venus begins.|
|Much of ancient mythology and more modern fictions come to life, and instant communications across infinite distances becomes available (with some caveats) via Einstein-Rosen-Podolsky Pair technologies; advanced pure nanotechnology bodies become available; significant mental stability problems afflict many citizens which have transitioned wholly from organic to inorganic platforms; floating homes in the sky become commonplace; death is becoming optional or accidental rather than compulsory.|
Instant ERP transport across infinite distances becomes available (though powerful transceivers must be constructed first via more conventional means at intended destinations-- i.e., sublight spacecraft must first be used to enable ERP destination stations); space exploration/exploitation increases substantially; artificial intelligences are promoted from outright slaves to indentured servant status.
ATTENTION science fiction writers: One of the reasons I created the timeline in the first place was to help nurture the creation of 'hard' science fiction across-the-board. Nothing so ruins a science fiction novel for many readers as a glaring implausibility, either in terms of technology or a reasonable historical order to events. Even small errors of this sort tend to get magnified with the passage of time-- as can be witnessed in much science fiction written five, ten, and twenty years ago. Plus, the 'harder' or more grounded in real science and history your fiction is, the more truly educational it will be for both yourself and your readers, thus possibly offering us all much more than momentary entertainment: knowledge and ideas which might help everyone exposed to them in all sorts of ways in their own lives and pursuits. So I encourage writers to use this chronology as a springboard from which to launch their own speculative fiction, with perhaps inclusion of a note acknowledging me and my web site where appropriate (see copyright notice below). Any caveats? Yes. Please respect my own fictional efforts by avoiding more than passing references to my own unique Perspectives characters (J. Staute, Kerri, Cluke, the Pearsalls, etc., etc.). And if such references to my characters are included in your work, please do not make any significant changes to the course of those events specifically depicted here (unless of course your story explicitly describes an alternate or parallel universe or dimension(s), distinct and separate from that portrayed on my site). If you feel strongly that a particular event in the timeline/perspectives requires correction or improvement of some sort, please email me about it -- I often make modifications as suggested by readers. Second caveat? The timeline/perspectives is regularly updated and expanded as warranted by breaking news and ideas and thus is always subject to significant change without warning (though I always strive to maintain as much consistency and feasibility as possible throughout). -- J.R.M.