In Diverse Energies, 11 speculative fiction authors share their dystopian worlds with readers. But dystopia is only one of many ways to imagine the future. How do you think the world will really look 100 years from today?
Ken Liu, author of the Diverse Energies story “Pattern Recognition”:
“If the past is any kind of guide, there will be parts of the world where things will be much better than the best our world has to offer, and parts of the world where things will be much worse than the worst our world has to endure. I’m not sure if that makes me an optimist or a pessimist.”
Daniel H. Wilson, author of the Diverse Energies story “Freshee’s Frogurt”:
“Within one hundred years, I believe advances in robotics will have created not only new species of highly intelligent machines, but also new species of enhanced human beings. The unique physical and mental abilities common to robots may be incorporated into the human form as well, to forge new generations of people with increased intelligence, better sensory perception, and faster communication. Our smart phone craze — a baby step in this direction — will seem quaint by comparison.”
What do you think? 100 years from now, what do you imagine the world will look like? Share your thoughts with us below and we’ll pick one commenter to win a copy of Diverse Energies.
[US addresses only. Winner will be chosen randomly from comments on 11/2/2012]
20 thoughts on “What will the world look like in 100 years?”
I think the world will be much more global– with pockets of “pure” race people here and there, but most people will be part of a much more blended world culture.
A hundred years from now, I picture major advancements in technology: holographic entertainment, sub-atomic travel, and of course, robots! Or possibly androids. I hope it’s a Star Trek type world that’s changed for the better.
I suspect the world of 2112 will be more divided between the first and third worlds, with the rich people of the wealthy nations benefiting from amazing technologies while the impoverished in the poor nations still don’t have clean drinking water or a stable food supply.
Aw, damn, way to bum myself out! Let’s all hope I’m wrong.
I believe within in a 100 years that racial ethnicity will be far less. At the rate of technological advancement most things will be wireless including electricity that is sent to your house, business, and vehicles. I also believe that park land will be far less. There will be only few pockets of unharmed nature left. Clean water will probably only be available through processing of polluted water.
There will very likely be science, and possibly military, facilities on the moon. We will have also moved to regularly mining the astroid belt for resources and possible mining Saturn’s and Jupiter’s moons for the hydrocarbons.
Cities will probably have peaked on their upward building and will have switched to subterranean building. The poor will probably be forced there.
There could potentially be a mars colony by that point and even explores experimenting with a cloud city on the upper atmosphere of Venus.
Genetic modification, and transhumanism will mostly likely be very common.
I believe that in 100 years, most diseases will have been wiped out. Illness will come instead from problems in the environment. Schools will rely heavily on online classrooms, making it easier for everyone to receive a challenging education. Zoos and aquariums will be very rare — people will instead pay to go see animals in their natural habitat. Robots will do more of the dangerous/unpleasant work, at least in first world countries.
I think that in 100 years medicine and technology will be so far advanced that things only the super-rich dream of today will be available to all. Computers and phones will be chips in our heads and fingers so we’ll type our novels in the air and they’ll appear on screens visible to our eyes. I also think hydroponics will have somewhat alleviated food shortages.
That is, if the zombie apocalypse doesn’t have us all standing in the street singing “I Only Wanna Eat Your Brain” first. 😀
I suspect the world will be a warmer, more humid place. Also, there will be advanced technology such as flying cars. I also see it more dehumanized. Bottom line, I don’t see it as a better place. Different, yes, but not better.
I think the world will likely have gone through another significant change, not unlike what occurred during WWII. I would be surprised if the internet was still around. I think we will regress into a society that must do everything by hand. In some ways, I think this regression will be a good thing because I think people will take the time to get to know each other again.
I think the world be end up as something not unlike how we lived a hundred years ago. We will still have machines to do things for us, but I think computers will be gone as well as the internet.
Some type of war will have likely caused this change. People will once again have to rely on their neighbor for support instead of a machine. I don’t think this is a bad thing.
It’s hard to say what I think the world will be in 100 years, because I’ve enjoyed reading and watching so many conflicting possibilities. I prefer to be an optimist, to think that no, the zombie apocalypse will not be the direction we go in (it’s just too depressing to think otherwise), and I prefer to think that we’ll somehow figure out how to get along. But if the politics of today tell me anything, it’s that we haven’t really gotten that much better at getting along between opposing sides now than we were 100 years ago, so I worry.
If no one invents a working transporter (I’ve heard that the theory now says that the molecules that arrive on the other side wouldn’t necessarily be *living* molecules), perhaps it’ll be moot because someone will also invent a touch-and-feel holo, which, when hooked up to Skype, will allow you to spend an evening with your family virtually in person–able to hug, if not to eat–even if you’re halfway around the world.
The grid was not able to sustain the internet since server farms that supported Facebook, blogs, etc. were deemed extravagant activities. Energy-wise we had to prioritize.
Green energy is the primary energy source, since our stores of fossil fuels have been long exhausted since 2030.
Global warming put major costal cities and states like NYC, most of FL, CA, and New Orleans under water along with many parts of Southeast Asia.
Since air conditioning was outlawed in 2027, people dress very lightly.
The world has become less global as travel will be constrained to electric car range (300 miles RT) and flying is only for the mega wealthy. The world has become very small again, with close communities of neighbors making up the norm.
The US we know today is broken into two separate countries in 2040 mainly caused by political differences.
I think there are specific changes that will follow: miniaturization will continue, meaning that the personal computer will disappear, replaced entirely by some mobile phone computer equivalent (possibly as a watch? — i’m not sure i believe implants will be very prominent). The people who need powerful computing will have something more like a tablet. “Cloud computing” will continue and most people using a computer at work will have something more like a dumb terminal than a full computer.
The death of cash: some form of electronic banking – either with a chip embedded somewhere on the body or with a card. There will be a black market for barter or goods for services (black market to avoid being taxed), as well as “hard currency” which will probably still be tracked electronically.
I think that democracies will see the current erosion of civil liberties (free speech and religion and press) continue for a bit, but there will be a reaction to it and another “Bill of Rights” idea will re-emerge. Naturally, the democratic nations at that point will be a somewhat different list than today’s.
Less physical travel – working and shopping from home or wherever you are will become easier so there will be less need for a physical workplace for anything besides manufacturing or delivery. Plus the environmental concerns will discourage travel for pleasure, but virtual instances will pick up the slack – not the traditional view of a “video game” of a place, but a connection where you can have sensory immersion of the real place and explore it without erosion. If anything, this will mean you can see MORE of a destination with LESS impact – whether it’s a human city or a natural area.
Extraterrestrial colonization will be still young. First non-earth permanent settlement in fifty-ish years, I expect. We probably will only have people on the moon and mars by then.
Those are the things that come immediately to mind.
I automatically think of the future to be rather like the Jetsons – happy, flying cars, futuristic outfits and everything at the touch of a button (with a fabulous robot to do my bidding, of course). But with the way the world is going – socially, environmentally and economically – it’s difficult not to think of the current disparities and what would happen should they get worse. However, I’d like to believe that generations after me will have something good and positive to live for. That way the human rights that have been fought for, and those which we are currently grappling with, will not be in vain. Race will be so intertwined and mixed that it won’t matter what you are, because everyone will be the same. Women will be just as equal as men. People will live their lives without any fear or scrutiny or social backlash and do simple little things like marry (or not marry) whom they please.
Also, within the next hundred years, I am hoping the government will have read all of these zombie-apocalyptic-dystopic-space books and FINALLY realize what could potentially happen if we use all of the resources in the world. Resources will be conserved and there will be new accessible, affordable and green man-made resources.
Terrible but addictive reality television will still exist somehow. There will definitely be robots hanging around and we’ll definitely have smartchips imbedded in us by then as smartphone manufacturers will still not have developed a shatter-proof screen.
This is a hard question, because what the world will look like in 100 years is so contingent on what we do today. Assuming we keep going the way we’re going right now, here are some positives & negatives:
NEGATIVES: Destroyed environment, which means flooding of low-laying coastal areas and a great migration inland, a shortage of fresh water, and bad drought. Hurricanes and tornadoes will increase in frequency, and the warmer average temperature might lead to new diseases that are no longer killed off by cool weather. Also…Congress will probably STILL be in a gridlock.
POSITIVES: A complete transfer over to green energy, new technology to help grow food in dry climates with minimal water, AIDS will have been completely eliminated and most forms of cancer will be curable. I also hope that all countries will have destroyed their nuclear weapons. And perhaps we will have discovered signs of life on another planet? Also, FLYING CARS. That run on bio-efficient fuel, of course!
I’m hoping you’ve seen The Book of Eli because that’s exactly how I picture the world in 100 years. It’s horrible to say, but I actually picture it to be very dry and beige and mostly destroyed. 🙁
I’m pretty sure the world in 100 years will be beyond my wildest imaginings. If you think about what it was like 100 years ago, and how much faster we are making technological leaps, it’s pretty unfathomable.
I do hope that the movement is forward, rather than backward like the show REVOLUTION, though. *shudders*
I’m pretty sure the world in 100 years won’t look like anything I can come up with in my wildest imagination. If you look at what the world was like 100 years ago and think about how much faster we make technological advances now, where we’ll be 100 years from now seems pretty unfathomable.
I just hope we move forward rather than back, like the T.V. show REVOLUTION. *shudder*
In a hundred years we’ll have colonies on the Moon, or Mars, or some distant earth-like planet far, far away. Maybe we’ll have ruined our planet so badly that we will have had no choice but to leave.
Very good blog post. I certainly love this website.
Keep it up!
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