A History of the Future in 100 Objects
December 9, 2013 12:27 PM   Subscribe

A History of the Future in 100 Objects
What are the 100 objects that future historians will pick to define our 21st century? A javelin thrown by an enhanced Paralympian, far further than any normal human? Virtual reality interrogation equipment used by police forces? The world's most expensive glass of water, mined from the moons of Mars? Or desire modification drugs that fuel a brand new religion?

This was inspired by the BBC and British Museum's 100-part radio series A History of the World in 100 Objects which looked at human history through the lens of a hundred objects. I loved the series and immediately started wondering what the next hundred objects would be.

I funded a short print run through Kickstarter in early 2011 and the book was published this month. I also have a website where a lot of the objects are available to read online for free, with links to buy the ebook or physical book from Amazon.

While I've tried to keep all the objects scientifically plausible, the project is definitely best seen as a collection of a hundred short stories from a shared universe. Some of them are written in the voice of a historian, others as interviews, magazine articles, adverts, and brochures. As such, I was inspired by people like Vernor Vinge, Iain Banks, Neal Stephenson, Kim Stanley Robinson, Ted Chiang, Stanislaw Lem, and Stewart Brand.

(also, it turns out that writing a hundred short stories is really hard)
Role: Author
posted by adrianhon (1 comment total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

As one of the kickstarter backers, I thought I should let you know, the digital version of the book's on my ipad, waiting for my vacation to begin. Really cool project idea.
posted by DigDoug at 5:32 AM on December 17, 2013


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