The Future, according to Fiction

brave new world

Do you like timelines? Brainpickings has shared an excellent one: “A Visual Timeline of the Future Based on Famous Fiction.”

According to the handy science fiction chronology: the world of Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? is due some time in the next ten years, Ender’s Game not until next century, and Brave New World is another 500 years away, give or take.

And the explanation —

“The visualization is built on a main horizontal axis depicting a distorted time-line of events (in fact we put them regularly, in sequence), starting our future-timeline in 2012. The y-axis is dedicated to the year the novel / book foretelling the event was published.

On the lower half of the visualization you can find the original quotes (shortened)

… In the end, good news: in 802,701 the world will still exist and everything will be more or less ok

(802,701 is the Morlock-filled era of H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine).

The timeline is a massive image. You can click on the tiny version below to see a more readable version at

future in fiction

And here is the link to the original timeline at The Awl.


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I run the ThinkLab at the University of Cambridge, and research digital habits, productivity, and wellbeing.

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