Yesterday’s past tomorrow

Science fiction is about to get old-fashioned


Look for a strange new trend in science fiction: Instead of setting stories in the future, they will be set in the past. But they will be set in the past that much older science fiction thought would be the future. So, as an example, a new science fiction novel might take place in the year 2001, but it would be the 2001 Arthur C. Clarke envisioned in his book “2001: A Space Odyssey,” where there are intelligent computers and a moon colony.

Other books will go back even further, to the 1960s that the 1930s thought we would experience, and even books set in the 1920s, but written in the way Victorians imagined the 1920s would be like. This genre of fiction will be called Retro Speculativism, and will be unexpectedly popular. Indeed, many fans will dress and decorate their homes in a distinctively retro style, but with elements drawn from this sort of sci-fi, as though living in one of these novels.


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