When writing about the future one is constantly confronted by the curious absurdity of it all. Often it seems that predicting the future is nothing more than a fool pursuing his folly. But 2050 represents more than a mere prediction, though indeed some speculation takes up Volume One especially. I signed up fourteen years ago to a vision of a speculative trilogy about the far future, some two thousand years after the fall of our current and most illustrious civilization. Much of what Volume One predicted back in 2007 has come true while some of it is still on the way. But the predictive nature of 2050 serves as support for the grander, might I say at the risk of over-indulging, epic scale of the narrative.
2050: A Future History is part fool’s folly, part heroic journey, in three parts, now finally finished after fourteen years. It’s an exciting moment, the end to a long journey, and the beginning of another. Thanks to Merry Blacksmith Press from Warwick, Rhode Island, 2050 is out, complete, and for sale. Go to the publisher’s web site, or Amazon.com. The Merry Blacksmith has done a wonderful job updating, formatting, and presenting the trilogy exactly as it should be presented. What a thrill.
It seems to me that 2050 comes out a terrible time for books, and for reading in general, and for speculative fiction especially. Worse, if my audience exists, I wonder if they are already tired of hearing about the apocalypse and other such falderal. From the Book of Revelation to Nostrodomus’ famouse predictive speculations to Orwell’s 1984, we have been hearing about the “end times” in form or another since almost the beginning of civilization’s run. You could say that the fear of the apocalypse haunts the last two millennia. Perhaps it’s part of being human, that is, worrying about our shared mortality and the fragility of life. Or, on the other hand, perhaps we really do have something to worry about; perhaps we really are on the wrong track as a species and somehow, deep down, we know it to be true, and we all on some level rue the day of that near final reckoning. Or perhaps our anxiety about the end of the world is nothing more than one’s own individual anxiety about death writ large, as if the grandiosity of the apocalyptic vision stands like some kind of balance against the intensity of one’s own imminent demise. Who can say for certain?
2050 is many things, part journey quest, part meditation on how far one can pursue the question, “how did things come to be this way?” Our main character, Vilb, discovers much more than he bargains for along the way, but in his own time he discovers the truth of his world and how everything is connected to the past, and in spite of himself, almost like some salmon heading home to spawn, he arrives. But that’s a watery conceit, and not very Vilb-like. Vilb’s reality is filled with thirst and drought, heat and sun, dust and stone; in his world deprivation reigns, but no one seems to mind because all is as it should be as far as anyone knows. Normal is simply normal. Except for some part of his nagging conscience, some beleaguering voice within, Vilb would have been peaceful, but peace is not his fate.
Rest assured there is no time-traveling in 2050, none at all. But that said, as Vilb journeys from Little Earth to the Fifth Realm, he does visit a place much like the past in Volume II, for the people he meets in the Eiger Vault of the Fifth Realm are relics of a past world long gone. The journey continues to the Fourth Realm in Volume III and to Levinthal’s Seven Towers of his New Chicago. Vilb pushes on. Does freedom exist? Will he find his humanity in the post-human desert of the real? What will the future bring for him? For us? How did things come to be this way? Read 2050 and find out. Post reviews on Amazon or Goodreads, or wherever else you like!