A timeline of the future
A version of this timeline appears in Reality 36. This version will be updated as and when necessary.
2039 First permanent base on the Moon. Many more follow.
2040 First interstellar probe launched.
2044 The First Great Inundation of London. Flooding becomes a regular event in the capital. Floods are commonplace right across the UK.
2052 A financial crash precipitated by the failure of ecological services in multiple ecosystems wipes trillions off the world’s stock exchanges and plunges the world into widespread recession. The ‘Eco Deficit’ depression lasts for twenty years. Traditional models of centralised manufacture begin to come apart under the tertiary effects of the Information Age.
Great unrest in the recently unified pan-Islamic state of the Caliphate sees moderate government established in Bagdhad.
2067 The Ice Sheet Tip, a mass melting of the Greenlandic ice sheet, occurs decades prior to most predictions. Over the next thirty years, sea levels rapidly rise around the world, inundating numerous major cities and causing a flood of refugees. The UN steps in to create a climate control consensus. The powers of both the UN and regional federated power blocs increase, but are opposed by multinational corporations.
The North Atlantic Drift is undone by the input of fresh water. Over the next fifty years, Western Europe’s climate becomes more and more akin to that of Japan; sweltering summers and freezing winters.
Mass population movement, which comes to be called The Second Great Migration, is in full swing.
Otto Klein is born.
2069 First true AI created. Heralded as strong AI, it is anything but. In some ways Class Ones are as clever as human beings, in others much, much dumber. The Singularity fails to happen, although later models are successively more intelligent.
In December, Novoflu, or ‘Christmas Flu’, sweeps round the globe. Population growth had begun to stabilise around 8 billion owing to increased prosperity in certain parts of the world, and ecological collapse in others. It now begins to fall. One billion people die worldwide over a three-year period. Later epidemics are less severe, but millions succumb to it annually on a three-five yearly cycle hereafter.
2074 Honour, Otto’s future wife, is born.
2078 Continuing research into animal sentience and the advent of uplifted animals, genetically engineered humans, AI and human/ machine hybrids leads to the EU Directive on non-human citizens being enacted.
2080 The South Bank of London is partially abandoned.
2085 The Med and Atlantic walls, strings of floating fortresses, are begun to stem the flow of refugees from the southern hemisphere.
Neo-communism takes root in South America. Africa is a basket case.
Otto joins the army and begins the lengthy process of cyborgisation.
2097 Civil war begins in Brasil, the last true democracy in South America.
2098 The Med and Atlantic walls finished. The Second Great Migration is halted.
Otto leaves the army and begins a new career as a freelance security consultant. During this time he works with Buchwald and Lehmann in Africa.
2100 First Martian base set up by allied corporate enterprises.
Honour reluctantly agrees to a “mentaug” a cranial implant linking her directly to the Grid.
2101 New London begun.
2104 Richards and the other Fives are created. The Class Fives are the first to possess full self-awareness. The Five Crisis hits. Many Fives go mad. All Fives recalled. Most are destroyed, many commit suicide. Large parts of the world’s computer network is brought down, plunging the Earth into a week-long information blackout. Chaos reigns, but is restored by the actions of several sane Fives.
In the aftermath, the ageing Internet 2 is replaced by the hardier Grid. Only 76 of the initial run of 1200 Fives are judged sane and allowed to remain active. Court proceedings in their favour are an important factor in the Neukind Rights movement.
AIs are outlawed and hunted down across China by the People’s Dynasty Government.
2107 Under AI management, the Martian conglomerate undergoes full merger. Newly established ‘Marsform’ begins terraformation of the red planet.
2110 Honour dies of Bergstrom syndrome. First interstellar probe images arrive.
2113 Zhang Qifang gives speech calling for full rights to non-humans sentients in Naples, January 18th.
2114 All AIs recognised as Full Human by amendment to UN Declaration of Universal Human Rights. Sentience defined, and all ‘Neukind’ and lesser animal sentients protected under international law. China refuses to recognise the amendment.
2114 The 36 Reality Realm game ‘RealWorlds’ made off limits. Four are to be destroyed over the coming years. k52 takes over their administration and study. The RealWorlds corporation goes bust.
2117 Richards’ “father” Armin Thor dies, March 13. Richards joins EuPol.
2121 The Secret War. China annexes large parts of Russia’s Far East in an enforced purchase.
2125 Richards unmasks major corruption in the Met.
2126 Richards sets up business with Otto.
2129 Today. The Earth’s population stands at five billion. An uneasy peace reigns. AIs are taking more and more control, both overtly and covertly. Ecological restorative work is underway, however much of the planet is in a terrible state. Man is on Mars, the Moon, Europa, the asteroids and Titan. Life goes on.
August, Richards employs Genie.
August-October events of Reality 36 and Omega Point.