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. 


Bloodlines, Pt I

by Dominick Brady, Atlanta, GA, USA

Statesboro, Georgia

The room was warmer than I thought it would be. Stiff steel chairs made the wait more uncomfortable. The interview table, a makeshift serving table with some grunt's raspberry jelly and cheese-egg stain clinging to the far leg closest to the slate-gray cement wall rattled under Trevor's nervous paradiddles. A column of ants descended the wall, spiraling the near table leg snaking along dutifully, orderly. Glancing at my watch, the irony of their military-like precision drew me deeper into misgivings about his impending interview with Lieutenant Brandt. Decisions were to be made. Today either a scapegoat would be chosen or I would become that scapegoat. As I ran my fingers over my Sergeant’s chevrons I began to wonder if I would be able to keep them. It wasn't fair. But since was life in Uncle Sam's Army fair?

The massacre began early on August 23rd- the day before the start of classes at nearby Georgia Southern University. Chow-hall talk had been consumed with cheeky braggadocio on the prospects of plump young co-eds, which condiments went best with their long, tan legs. Eager company had just come off day shift patrol responsibilities and despite the longer hours, many of the men looked forward to returning the Night Shift. With the night shift came cooler temperatures and extended patrols where a soldier had autonomy away from the ever watchful surveillance of O.C. It also meant that off-duty time back on base could be spent on campus taking in the local talent.

Regulations didn't permit contraband on night patrol, but the lieutenant often looked the other way, as he should. Night patrol is a shit detail and troop morale ain't found in the field manual. Temperatures in Da ‘Boro could reach near 85 degrees Fahrenheit at night. Couple the heat with the nightly stench from nearby Paper mills in Brunswick, Ethanol mills in Metter and Guano processing plants just outside of Hinesville and the orchestra of foul smells playing double time on olfactory senses was hellish. Night runners were aware of this advantage. Temperature regulating exo-suits and embedded personal area networks made the long nights more tolerable as we would often download contraband movies off hacked satellite feeds. The Net is a blister foot’s best friend.

The 4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team had been stationed in Statesboro for a little over a year now. Interstate 16, highways 80, 24 and 301 made Statesboro a critical junction the Pentagon did not want over-run with indigents. Cities of import such as Atlanta, Macon, Charleston and Savannah could be accessed by these highways. Fuel resources have brought the Greater Statesboro area a gold rush of sorts.

Universal Build Out laws dropped like flies over the years, and none of us noticed until the Digital Divide widened further into an unbridgeable gulf of desperation. Urban and Rural communities were hit hardest. With UBO standards abandoned, many inner cities and rural tracts quickly became ghetto war zones. What no one expected was for gangs and labor interests to mobilize into a two headed political and paramilitary thorn in the side of the federal government.

On the rural front cotton and corn farms engulfed by Corporate Agri-biz and eminent domain became the front lines of domestic terrorism and illegal migration wars.

Eager company’s order were to hold the line.

“I say fuck ‘em all, man. Geechies runnin, Guerillas runnin’— fuck it. I don’t give a fuck anymore. Tired of the shit, Trevor. View finder on my helmet’s had it. And I don’t see why we gotta lug ‘round these MOLLE’s on patrol, “ Tank griped. “Tank, Gator y’all just make sure y’all keep your eyes on that line. 2nd Squad caught a barker and lost two drivers last week. I don’t need that headache,” I replied. “You right, boss.”

Tank had a point. No one really wanted to be here any more in the South Georgia night engulfed in humidity, mosquitoes and cricket calls. Guerillas routinely mixed in with night runners attempting to flee the low country. It was getting harder and harder to determine enemy combatants from civilian illegals. Unattended ground sensors and satellite feeds warned of any incoming activity, but without knowing whether to go hot with live ammo, or to load rubbers good soldiers have gotten hurt. The men were on edge, the safety buttons were off.

At first the steady beep of the UGS didn’t catch my attention. A herd of deer was known to travel feed at the edge of these cotton fields at night. The beeping persisted. And with it came Brandt’s orders.

I shook my head in disbelief. Squinting down the column of parked Infantry Carrier Vehicles, I observed a chorus of shrugs, scowls and sneers echoing down the line. Was Lieutenant Brandt serious? “Here we are on the brink of civil war, and he wanna go and command some bullshit like this? Fucked up in the game, aint it,” I said, turning to Gator. He shook his head and stared off into the high cotton. Gator didn’t say much these days. It wasn’t in him anymore. Some of these Night Runners were kin to him. I’m surprised his Geechie draftee ass ain’t gone A.W.O.L. already. I suspect he will any day now. That’s why I sleep with my Corner shot at a right angle. Just in case. You can’t trust much of anyone these days outside of the major cities. Everybody’s got an agenda. Labor, Agro-Activists, Radicals the shit is an unending list of the kind of scum you don’t mind cleaning off your boot after you’ve stomped on it a little, make it bleed. We’d been on patrol for just over an hour and Brandt is telling us to dismount already.

I didn’t like it. It didn’t feel right. Ain’t no telling what them Geechies and cousin fuckers had in store for us. We had to hold the line.

…to be continued.


IKE MALVO said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
IKE MALVO said...

you keep leavin us hangin, fam! all the detailed buildup, the distopian possibilities, and then a cliff-hanger! get that next installment ready.

FireBrand said...

I like suspense, Ike. What can I say?

IKE MALVO said...

i do too, but as a means, not an end. i know you'll follow through tho, so i ain't really trippin.

FireBrand said...

You right. I'm new at this ficition writing thing, tho.

This is like my 5th story ever (the other two were part of OKP thingys). So I'm learning how to write as I go along. I have trouble closing 'em out...but this is part of a bigger story so this time it's on purpose.

IKE MALVO said...

like i said, cuz, i ain't trippin. you ain't disappointed yet. plus, we in the same boat. i'm a beginning fiction writer too.

FireBrand said...

say word

You carry it so well. I thought you'd been doing it for years.

FireBrand said...

say word

You carry it so well. I thought you'd been doing it for years.

Brian Dunbar said...

4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team

The Army is using fifty year old vehicles?

FireBrand said...

Where did Navy SEALs originate? How about Rangers? Do they still use the same equipment they used 50 years ago?

Do we still use tanks even though they are much different than the first versions?

Do you anticpate that in 50 years even with explosions in technology that we'll be using x-wing fighters for urban war-fare?

What do you think the defense budget will be like 50yfn if America continues in the direction it is economically?

Is the country's economic posture strong in this shared world?

Brian Dunbar said...

Firebrand I have to confess I have no idea what your questions mean.

I'll assume you're trying to tell me that the name '4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team' refers not to the 2000 version of Stryker IFV but to some future version.

It seemed like an odd name, is all.

FireBrand said...

IF the US army Rangers name could last for over 50 years with their skill sets and gear changing along the way, why couldn't the stryker with their urban combat infantry carriver vehicle model still be valid?

I don't get it.

There would certainly be updated gear as noted in the story, but it won't be THAT far advanced.

The trend has been in the military to stay in the same vein of gear with technology updates every 10 to 20 years.

The stryker vehicle, the Land Warrior concept was created specifically for urban warfare that the story describes. I don't think it to be a stretch at all.

Words from Monk. said...




Because it's not like after a century in the field, we're still using old technology like the uhm...combustion engine or primer-based slugthrowers or bombsniffing dogs.

The saddest thing about Brian's comments (which also float on his blog, in greater detail and vitriol) is that thet show almost no insight into human nature: we went to the moon four decades ago, and haven't been back. Just because technology exists doesn't mean it reaches general or even elite consumers. Technology also isn't predicated on the advancement of the human psyche or societal conditions, so even if everyone's got access to talking dogs, rocket cars and laserwangs, it's not going to stop them from being narrow-ninded, or petty, or territorial, or stupid.

The internet didn't uninvent the asshole, and I doubt flying through space would, either.

Ask Lisa Nowak.

Brian Dunbar said...

IF the US army Rangers name could last for over 50 years with their skill sets and gear changing along the way, why couldn't the stryker with their urban combat infantry carriver vehicle model still be valid?

I don't get it.

The model (wheeled IFV and Land Warrior) would be. That they are using the same exact vehicle as we are right now is what I'm saying is far fetched. Even _with_ upgrades and so forth.

The kind of abuse armored vehicles take is pretty intense - they're going to wear out. Spare parts but at some point you're going to have to haul the vehicle in for Class IV rebuild or SLEP. Essentially building a new vehicle every few years.

You implied a reduced defense budget, reduced economic prospects for the country. Keeping a manufacturing and support infrastructure running for a fifty year-old vehicle ain't going to be cheap. Where does the money come from? Come to that does the United States in 2057 have the money for a few brigades of high speed low drag brigades like this?

Brian Dunbar said...

Because it's not like after a century in the field, we're still using old technology like the uhm...combustion engine or primer-based slugthrowers or bombsniffing dogs.

I'm not arguing for that. I'm wondering where the money comes from to support fifty year-old vehicles. Or a fleet of brand new vehicles and high-speed Land Warrior gear. That stuff ain't cheap and it's going to get more expensive.

America is falling to bits in 2057. Where is the money going to come from to field a brigade of IFVs and troops wearing computer networks and sporting high tech gear?

FireBrand said...

Not certain why they would need to be 50 years old, Brian.

We still use tanks. Don't we update models every few years?

I don't understand why they wouldn't update an infantry carrier vehicle.

Not certain why Land warrior wouldn't still be a the template for what the modern soldier will be with modifications.

I'm still not following you.

Brian Dunbar said...

I don't understand why they wouldn't update an infantry carrier vehicle.

* You could - you'd need to.

* I don't think they'd still be called 'Styker' in 50 years but that's a minor point. However it could also be a source of confusion for the reader.

* Where does the money come from to fund research and development for the upgraded vehicles and the land warrior gear the grunts carry around? What about the xx million cost per vehicle, parts and maintenance?

My point is that if America is falling to bits it is hard to see where the funds come from for all of this.

Anonymous said...

guns v. butter

In a Things Fall Apart scenario, Brian, it would make plenty more sense that the American government dump its resources into arms than into infrastructure/civil development.

See: 1960s thru Now.