Welcome to your future.

Spaceships. Jet packs. Laser guns. 


Fifty years from now, the future will still be shaped by the mundane, the stupid, and the petty, living side by side with the Big Ideas. Dirty, shining, poor, glorious, filthy, and wonderful. 50.YFN is where we tell our future's story, hangover and all.

In its short life,
50.YFN has already become a very sharply defined setting, with unique language and history. Because of the ongoing storylines and broad geographical setting, we strongly recommend using the archives and category tags before throwing yourself in the deep end. Read the guidelines, take a look around. There's a truly talented pool of creators breathing life into our world Fifty Years From Now.

You are welcome to be a part of it.

And remember:

This is not a land-grab. There's no turf.  If you're a new writer, you have the same access to Brooklyn as I do, and as much an opportunity to leave your imprint on it. Don't be intimidated. Leave your brand on the future alongside everyone else. It's your world too. 


The Man who woke the Panther—Mason Dickson

by David W Parrish, Jr., Ft. Worth, TX, USA

The organ rose and signaled for everyone to get quiet. David Parrish, III, his son David Parrish, IV and his grandson, David Parrish, V rose for the tribute to Senator Mason Dickson, the first African-American to serve as Mayor of Fort Worth, TX and the former junior Senator from Texas, again the first African-American to hold the position. It was at that moment the cybercast emanated from the big screen in the sky.

"Senator Dickson was arguably the most important Politcal Figure in the State of Texas in the 21st Century. Dickson was a former church pastor who took the Texas political scene by storm by coming from out of nowhere to win the Mayor's race in 2015. A task he accomplished by harnessing the power of the Web…which had been freed from the grip of Big Cable and The former Bells by Former President Obama.

Mason Dickson won his first election by knocking on the door of each and every resident of Fort Worth and explaining to them what his goals were. He talked about the years of Fort Worth and Tarrant County sleeping in the shadow of Big D, Dallas. He talked about how the Cowboys and the Rangers were already in Tarrant County. He talked about how most of Tarrant County's newest residents were former Dallas County residents. He reminded them how much positive press had come from a wildly successful hosting of Super Bowl XLV. His daily podcasts were entertaining, his position papers on how to move Fort Worth into the forefront of not just the Metroplex but the entire Southwest.

Once in office, Mason realized how powerless the people really were. He took the oath of office on a Monday and by Thursday he was awash in proposals from the big money establishment interests trying to build on the success of Tarrant County's tourism and natural gas proceeds to elevate the national profile of Fort Worth. While in the past, such objectives would result in ruthless gentrification, Mayor Dickson utilized the vocal nature of his constituency to hedge his bets. While detractors would say that he was in the pocket of big business, the reality is that after an entire history of neglect, never had a Fort Worth mayor even attempted to cash in the favors he garnered from even the side deals he brokered with developers and use that money to elevate things like mass transit. Fort Worth went from having one of the worst mass transit systems in the country to one of the best, despite having insufficient topography for underground transit. It was the risky move of utilizing the Solar Hybrid Bus, a technology that leaked out of a newly opened Cuba that Mayor Dickson embraced fully and without compromise. He arranged for a spinoff of Bell Helicopter to build the buses in the city of Fort Worth by exchanging tax breaks for a high school program that trained workers in high school and transitioned them right into college in exchange for a 4 year commitment from the company to work the assembly line. From there the development flowed fast and furious all over the county.

From there, the legend of Mayor Dickson lingered under the radar. In a national media still transfixed by scandal and celebrity, Mason Dickson stayed about the business of wielding the Sword of capitalism for as much good as possible. Aside from the Obama administration, the federal government had been on a non-stop descent into oligarchy, where the Dow stayed on the incline at all costs and no job was safe from outsourcing. The earnings divide between the rich and the poor went from a gulf to a canyon. Those in the underclass who could get their Evel Knevel on and jump the canyon did so by any means necessary. The middle class existed by sheer force of will. You had those in the middle class who scraped by just well enough to be included in the American dream, and you had those who were treading water, but had no hope of retirement.

Mayor Mason Dickson transferred his popularity with the big money interests and the people to a romp in the US Senate Race of 2028. Even on the National Stage, Senator Dickson kept Fort Worth Close to his heart, orchestrating similar exchanges to benefit both ends of the economic spectrum. Senator Dickson took the opportunity of the national stage to voice the importance of bringing Southern California back from the brink of complete anarchy. Mason Dickson was never an ideologue, which drove members of both parties crazy. He was a darling of the Independents, who never did get organized enough to start a third party, choosing instead to straddle the fence in either party as it suited them. While over the course of the 21st Century, politics grew to be more and more like bloodsport for public consumption, in reality, certain figures navigated the vast territory between the two extremes to provide enough leadership to accomplish enough basic reform to stave off the long rumored decline and fall of the United States empire. Very little was made of his race, despite the fact that race relations remain a flashpoint for much of society. Fort Worth and then Texas came to view Mason Dickson as a GOOD Black man, to be trusted, as long as nothing bad happened. That left Mason Dickson the unenviable task of navigating THAT divide as well, the divide between Blacks and Whites and others and the internal Divide between Blacks who had achieved and Blacks who hadn't.

While it should be noted that the United States on many levels has devolved into a hodgepodge of Hyper-materialism and strife between neighbors, The nation still stands tall as an ideal of democracy even as we approach our nation's tricentennial.

It is therefore on this the 22nd day of July, 2057 that we honor The Honorable Mason Dickson, Mayor of Fort Worth, and United States Senator from the State of Texas for his contributions over the past 50 years."

At that precise moment, a laser billboard lit up the sky in his memory….scrolling his accomplishments across the Fort Worth skyline.


JamesPeach said...

I had a hard time reading this because of the Obama mention. I just couldn't get it out of my mind that this entry could possibly go from "speculative flash fiction" to "alternative history" in less than a year.


It was just distracting, was all.

Words from Monk. said...

Thing is, though...it doesn't mention WHEN Obama got elected, or even the details that separated his administration for others. Or even how long it lasted. So for now, it can float. If people start frothing over it, we can discuss retconning.

JamesPeach said...

See, that's how it started with my homey Brian B.

"we can discuss retconning."

Next thing you know, the Captain America that was on that rocket in WWII was a Skrull, and everything falls apart.


Words from Monk. said...

That doesn't make me want Bendis to catch mouth herpes any less, James.

FireBrand said...

I thought that speculative fiction INCLUDES alternative history.

haven't read the story, yet. I look forward to it.