Transformations: Understanding World History Through Science Fiction



Transformations: Understanding World History Through Science Fiction is a book that pairs a range of science fiction stories with elementary “review sections” about world events, ostensibly to lure teenagers into being interested in history. Whether it achieves this goal is debatable, but it did start me thinking about the relationship between science fiction and history — future history, that is. If you could make a chart of future history, what would it look like? My dream is for an infinitely large timeline, detailed with the political and environmental nuances of hundreds of future worlds, but space dictates this simple graph of major novels. Still, we see something immediately: the lion’s share of science fiction books take place within 1,000 years of the present day. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that recorded, tangible human history stretches back about the same amount into the past.

Thanks to Jona Bechtolt for his help laying out my vision.

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2 Responses to Transformations: Understanding World History Through Science Fiction

  1. evan says:

    you did it! this has been a goal for such a long time! once you finish the time line we must start constructing the narrative that explains how all of these things can fit together into a coherent future history of one universe. shouldnt be too hard.

  2. Garrett says:

    How ’bout The City and the Stars/Against the Fall of Night, at one billion years in the future? It’s one of my favorites.

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