The History of the Next Millennium According to Sci-Fi

By Joseph Calamia | October 8, 2010 3:52 pm

To celebrate DISCOVER’s 30th anniversary, we asked great minds of science to tell us their hopes for the future. But science fiction already knows what happens next. Just take these predictions for the next millennium, along with some near misses gone by during our first three decades.

1984: Big-screen TVs are good for government control and workout videos.

1997: IT issues lead to artificial intelligence–and cause nuclear war.

2001: All you need for space travel is classical music and murderous computers.

2015: DeLoreans work with fusion. Hoverboards, however, don’t work over water.

2019: Everyone loathes retirement.

2019: Reality television audiences call for (more) blood.

2022: After so many years of enmity, New Yorkers develop a taste for one another.

2027: First woman gets pregnant in 18 years. No one stops shooting.

2054: So long, psychic hotlines. Hello, precognition.

2063: Humans go warp speed. Vulcans notice. Good-byes now require finger trickery.

2154: Only blue aliens can stop forest fires.

2199: People are the new batteries.

2274: Thirtieth birthdays take a turn for the worse.

2805: Robots make cute couples. Humans make trash.

2999: Finally! Long-promised head-in-jar technology arrives.


Comments (20)

  1. Welcome to distopia, good luck!


  2. Jumblepudding

    Correction, hoverboards don’t work on water UNLESS YOU’VE GOT POWER.

  3. Yoda

    Lightsabers, there will be.

  4. Vernor Vinge

    Bobbles! — and imperfect network security.

  5. I’m not technical !! BUT I would love my personal blog site. I think this is a WordPress site. Is WP the best for somebody that is slow like me !

  6. Brian Too

    Circa 3000: Head in jar technology, having finally arrived, is immediately foiled by dogs, cats & small children. And the presence of thousands of previously unnoticed table edges!

  7. 24601

    @3 Yoda: that was a long time ago, far far away. In fact, it was so long ago lightsabers are now considered “lost technology.” Once we figure out how to make lightsabers again, we will only be “rediscovering” the technology, not inventing it.


  8. Pete

    Wait, what future? I thought all was over after 2012?

  9. Rachel

    With teabaggers in Congress? I’d say we’re closer to another stone age than any scientific advancement.

  10. paul8664

    Rachel I bet you know a lot about t-bagging

  11. very awesome read. thank you! i also noticed that you didn’t include 2012.

  12. 3pl

    This is one of those posts that make your blog stand out of the cloud!

    Keep it up bro!

  13. The best one has to be head-in-jar technology

  14. very nicely written post man!! head in the jar is really gonna change the world. :)

  15. Yomama

    2021: War was beginning

  16. I just could not depart your web site before suggesting that I really enjoyed the standard info a person provide for your visitors? Is gonna be back often to check up on new posts

  17. tom

    J.B.S Haldane said it best, “If science can render what is best in people; to be creative as ‘Picasso’, to have the mathematical proficiency of ‘Newton’ and the compassion of ‘St. Francis’… then it was a worthy journey. But if science only produces ‘novelty goods’ and laboratories are nothing more than connected workhouses for ‘Military weapons’ and ‘Hospitals’… then it was all in vain. Best of All Possible Worlds 1922. Frankly, the ‘future’ is a chain of decisions… so think and speak out, because if you don’t… we’ll get the future we deserve.


Discover's Newsletter

Sign up to get the latest science news delivered weekly right to your inbox!


See More

Collapse bottom bar