Saturday, January 4, 2014

Back to the Future

For those of us who write futuristic romances, there's more involved than boy-meets-girl (or any other combination). We also have the task of conveying our ideas of what the future will be like. Some of that is determined by how much time we set between now and then. And the longer that stretch of time is, the more the author has to provide.

For instance, twenty years into the future we might see some political changes, a few medical advances, or even climate changes. But what about a thousand years into the future? To get an idea about what might change, we only have to look back a thousand years. What was life like around 1066? Compared to life now, it was relatively primitive. Or was it?

Many of the futuristic novels center around technological changes, but few of them look at such things as family units, political or educational systems, or changes in the environment. All of those are far more likely to impact the average individual. What about language? Or how knowledge and information is preserved or transmitted. What will we eat or drink in the future? Will our GMOs and chemically enhanced foods kill us before we return to organics?

A romance is a romance is a romance, but setting provides some of the conflict and too often a futuristic could just as easily be set in the present because the wallpaper future in the story has no depth. No, the author doesn't need to show every little detail in their book, but they need to immerse themselves and their characters enough in their world that the reader is taken along for the ride.

So. What do you think the future will be like?



  1. I suspect the future will be less than we thought it would be back when we were kids. Maybe more nano technology.

    1. Yeah, I think so. Or nomads and hunters/gatherers.