I keep thinking about this “future history” genre that H.G. Wells started back in the early 20th century. It makes me wish I'd become an English teacher, or more specifically, a creative writing teacher.
I’d have my students write a story in which they have a character living in the year 2100. That character is a historian writing about some great event that happened in 2050. And the students’ assignment is to imagine what that historian might write. And to write a story/history from the point of view of the historian. Just like Wells did, only different.
Doesn’t that sound like so much fun? You could even make the language sound different. Just like our language, with its blogs, bytes, e-mails, PDAs, and MP3s, sounds different than it did 20 years ago.
You could take some of the extreme radical views of today and make them the universally accepted norm of 2050. And what would the "great event" be? What kind of a war on what kind of a scale? Or would it be a war at all? What about global warming? What about the long-term effects of our newest drugs? What about the increased secularization of everything? What about ... ?
There are all kinds of cultural, political, and spiritual things to explore there.
Ooh, my mind is suddenly generating some really dark and scary thoughts. Better write them down somewhere so the old head doesn't explode.
Heck, I don’t want to be a creative writing teacher. I just want to be a creative writing student. Forever and ever and ever.
So maybe I’ll take on my own little assignment. I don’t know enough about science to make it believable, but it would still be an interesting exercise. Something to do in all of this free time I have (ha ha).
In fact, just now in the bathroom (yep, that's my free time), I got an idea for a circa-2100 character. He has the funniest, coolest, oddest name I have ever imagined.
I won’t talk about him anymore, though. It’s bad luck to talk about prenatal characters. Even if they're only destined for a fun little writing exercise that no one will ever read.
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