Launch Launch Launch
I have a spreadsheet open in my browser with 164 rows, each describing a potential object from our next 100 years – and this is reduced from a list that was almost twice the length. Some of them were noted down in a haze of half-remembered inspiration, such as “the 80% life”, “reboot gulf stream” and “automatic story rebutter”. Others have half a dozen references alongside them that threaten to overwhelm the idea itself, like the “network control pod” and “basic minimum income”
All of them came about from years thinking and dreaming about the future, and more recently, thinking about the past. I grew up on a diet of Isaac Asimov and Arthur C. Clarke and quickly branched out to cyberpunk, space operas, and hard SF, while playing around with BBC Micros, 386 PCs, 2400 baud modems, and imbibing all the space science and biology I could learn.
But as any science fiction author would tell you, you need to look to the past to understand where we’re heading in the future, so I took a long detour into ancient and medieval history and philosophy and absorbed all the BBC podcasts I could listen to. When A History of the World in 100 Objects aired last year, I couldn’t believe my luck – and I couldn’t stop thinking about what the next 100 objects might be.
I’ll admit that A History of the Future in 100 Objects is a utopian project if only because these days the bar for ‘utopia’ is so low that it merely means ‘a world better than the one we live in now’. It’s a shame that we have lost so much hope for the future that we can’t conceive of a better one, let alone believe that we might see it ourselves.
Over the coming months I’ll be posting a new object roughly every week or so. Right now, I have about a quarter finished, so there may be interruptions and pauses, but I’m hoping to get this thing going. I hope you enjoy it!