On Writing About the Future

PulseTrailerThumbWhen I was a kid I imagined a future where I could fly my car over to the mall and fold it up into a backpack. I’d buy a comic book and then I’d watch Star Wars at the one screen theater. For some reason, the fantasy of a fold up flying car didn’t change the fact that I’d be doing everything else the old fashioned way. If I’d imagined Netflix and Amazon I wouldn’t have needed transportation at all! The comic book and the movie would have just showed up on a screen I held in my hand.

I guess I just wanted to get wherever I was going in style.

The future is innately imaginative, and imagination is something that brings out the kid in all of us. I still picture a future with cool stuff the nine year old me wanted – like daily flights to Mars and superpowers – but I have to accept a reality that technology drives human ingenuity and radical social change.

I didn’t imagine the Internet until it was staring me in the face. And I never imagined a device in my pocket that would allow me to watch thousands of movies and TV shows, contact my friends in eight different ways, and show me how to get anywhere in the world with the touch of a button (among many other features). For some reason, when my imagination kicks in, that stuff sounds kind of boring.

And so I made a bargain with the future when I wrote PULSE: I agreed to think like an adult and a kid at the same time, because a future without both is only half as interesting as I’d like it to be. In PULSE I’ve re-imagined the phone in my pocket (it’s even better!) and built super cities. But I’ve also imagined a future where a select few can move things with their minds.

Like buses and buildings!

My version of the near future, in a book near you: www.patrickcarman.com/pulse

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