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The Future!

by fortis

Listen. This could be like any other time-travel story and focus on paradoxes, and I’d have some ingenious way of describing just how I got to a different time. I’ll just tell you now, the whole detailed event is very boring and mathematical and wouldn’t make much sense to anyone who hasn’t studied the topic their entire lives. The whole process would take much too long to explain, and by then, all the readers would have lost interest or died. To keep it simple, my dad worked for a secret governmental project that was trying to build a time machine. When dad said he thought it worked, unbelievable as this might sound, I snuck in and stole it. I was trying to get to the past but—oops!—I went to the future (after a math blunder that happened only because I dropped a negative). This is my account of what happened in the four years I was stranded in…


When I was first stepped out of the machine, not too much looked different. The sky was still blue, the grass was still green, and people still looked like people. However, the fashions were scarily different, and everyone’s hair was a little too perfect, their teeth too blindingly white. To spare you from scanning a whole one-hundred pages of literary flabber to find out what the main changes were, I will provide a list.

In the future… (I apologize for using past tense. I’m just confusing people, I know. But from my perspective, I went to the future then came back and wrote this, so technically, I went to the future in the past.)

-A machine was invented that enables electrons to be added or subtracted from any pure element to make another pure element. (Think, elements in the periodic table.) The means that gold is essentially worthless, and right after the machine was created, the world fell into complete economic upheaval. The world’s economy reverted to barter of services that only people could perform, such as artistic and musical feats, human interaction, and other services that only could be harvested from humans.

-Computers and machines could do just about anything that humans could do, with exception of those services that can only be served by humans. (a complete list of these on page 92).

-One of these machines completely eliminated the random component in human reproduction. Thus, everyone was perfect, especially after generation after generation of this kind of reproduction. Many genetic diseases were completely irradiated this way, but unfortunately, so were many desirable qualities that were also completely erased in favor of other desirable qualities. For example, (almost) everyone wanted their children to be out-going, so the shy people died out. Everyone wanted strong, sporty children, but most people forgot about artistic abilities. Those artsy people became an endangered species, and everyone paid big bucks for anything artistic that was done well.

That’s how I was able to survive during the four years I spent there. I’m an artist, so I was able to sell my work for food and a place to sleep. I actually got rather rich, for a young person. Sadly, time machines had been illegalized long before the year I went visited, so I spent most of my art trying to buy a ride on one of the only time machines still working. It was on the black market, and was suuuuupeeer expensive. But I got back okay. Unfortunately, (or fortunately) I had forgotten to take into account that I had spent four years growing older in the future, yet I went back to the day after I left for the future. From my father’s view point, I disappeared one day, then came back the next four years older. That allowed for some pretty complicated paperwork. My story ended up being that I had a freak growth spurt, and I didn’t age any years. I ran away from home when I was 16 and came back 16, but looking a lot different. The government told us to blame hormones.

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User avatar
254 Reviews

Points: 11396
Reviews: 254

Sun Oct 27, 2013 1:25 pm
Sonder wrote a review...

Hey fortis! Griff, here for a review on this fine day.

Okay. So I agree with Nargles on a lot of this. I thought it was going to be way longer than this. It seemed more like a gist for a story, instead of the actual thing. It just told everything, it never showed. Do you know about "show and tell"? Your story told, which means that it directly told the reader what they were describing. If you show, you sort of ease into descriptions, without throwing all the information out there.
I mean, I knew what was going on, but it was so short, and the character didn't have enough time to develop, so I just wasn't able to connect real well. Four years passed during this short story, and I felt that that was way too much time to cram into this space.
However, I really liked some of your explanations. I especially loved the ending.

The government told us to blame hormones.

Nice one.
Overall, I think that this is a good idea, but it could use some improvement, and expansion. :)

Keep writing and being amazing!


User avatar
191 Reviews

Points: 7136
Reviews: 191

Fri Oct 18, 2013 10:48 am
Nargles wrote a review...


So, when I first started reading this I thought it would be a novel, as sci-fi novel that is basically about a person who time travelled. As I continued reading the genre and type of writing become unclear. Is it a short story? Is it a novel? Is it an essay? What is it?

It wasn't terrible, a bit generic and predictable but still good.

You have a very casual writing style, as do I when I decide I'm going to try and write a story rather than just poetry. This is fine, but you have made this messy because you are too casual and relaxed.
You don't need to explain everything, for example ' (I apologize for using past tense. I’m just confusing people, I know. But from my perspective, I went to the future then came back and wrote this, so technically, I went to the future in the past.)' I don't care about this, no reader is going to care. Besides the future is always talked about like that, so don't bother including that. You don't need it and it just ruins the flow and pace of the story.

I think the main thing is making it clear what it is. It could be a journal. So start with a date entry etc. or it could be story, so make it less formal and use more narrative techniques.

It was good and with some improvement I feel as if you could have a good story.
You do have some interesting ideas on what the future might be like.

All the best and keep writing!
Nargles xxx

Teach a man to fish, he eats for a day. Don't teach a man to fish, you eat for a day. He's a grown man. Fishing's not that hard.
— Ron Swanson (Parks and Rec)