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. 


King of the Californias Pt III

by Monk, New York City, NY, USA

Midnight at the Palma de Baía is surreal and alarming. Atop a fifty-story spire shaped a bit like a melted candle, you can still hear the artillery in East Oakland's flatlands as the Northern Republic of California continues its purge of the Deep East Side. Guandong, another breakaway republic across the Pacific, has long subsidized arms sales to NoCal in return for preferential shipping rights, and with all this money floating around, the Pacific Arms race is at full steam. Combat drones made in the factory hives of Guanzhou screech overhead like pterodactyls, dropping decompiler bombs on ghostly suburbia. NoCal's Army uses Guandong-made bioweapons and nerve bombs to 'pacify' great swaths of urban NoCal, against almost every recognized convention of human rights. And while the old men in Beijing stomp their feet in impotent rage, their dreams of Chinese hegemony stalled when the wealthy provinces quit the country. They, like their counterparts in Washington, have learned some hard lessons in modern politics the past few years. None could teach these old dogs new tricks better than Prime Minister Benny Pivens, whose Golden Bear Party made its bones reclaiming vast stretches of the country and putting them back on the grid. Yet as the country's largest city, Oakland has proven particularly difficult to tame, especially given meager police resources. While NoCal's constitution gives Pivens sweeping power to maintain order, using the Army to clear the Deep East Side seems excessive to my tender Yankee sensibilities.

Cecilio Goncz fancies himself a scholar of the human condition, and I haven't the backbone to dispute him. He thinks my outrage is cute. Amusing, even. His own human rights record consists of petabytes of footage that might convince Dante to re-write his portrayal of Hell. Goncz's former territories were among the most savagely oppressed in Los Angeles' history. He justifies this often by remarking on how his was one of the few enclaves on the island with electricity and clean, running water. People ate regularly. There was rudimentary net access. Running local newsfeeds. Hospitals. Relatively low murder rate. Lowest infant mortality rate in Los Angeles. But all that was alongside death camps and narcofactories. A burgeoning slave trade and vigorous gladiator culture, arguably unparalleled since the days of ancient Rome. To this day, the provisional government has found his the least manageable of all its cantonments. Cecilio Goncz's throne was built of human bones. In his mind, Benny Pivens is an amateur. He says so.

"If he was smart," my host says, picking at his sharpened teeth, "he'd arm a counterinsurgency. Get one of the other gangs to do his work, absorb the survivors into the police or army. It's win/win. Blooded vets loyal to the state, and you've cleared the streets of dissent."

I have nothing to say to that. Our silence is interrupted by a distant explosion that rains combat drone over Jack London Square. Rumors place U.S. military advisers in East and West Oakland, arming guerillas. Pivens' public rhetoric has heated up over the past weeks. I quietly wonder if North America can take another war.

He lights a little black cigarette and answers my unspoken question. "People can take anything, kid. Human rights bastards wring their fucking hands all day, but people are resilient. I mean, shit, we didn't always have electricity, the net, cars, mortgages, and a Bill of Rights. We lived a long time before that stuff. Loving, hating, fucking, killing, making babies, losing babies—the whole thing. I mean, shit, homes: you think the first caveman complained about human rights when the next guy tried to step on his neck? Hell, no. He picked up a rock and beat the guy to death, or rolled over and showed his belly. That's what it boils down to when you strip away all the fatty tissue. That's people, homey. Get yours or get got. You'd be surprised how quickly people get used to that, no matter how civilized they been brought up. They adapt to adversity. It's what makes us what we are. Our dreams are only as deep as our nightmares, yeah?"

The livetattoos in place of his eyebrows have translated into animated Japanese, kanji characters tracking across his brow: 'Only God Can Judge Me.' I ask if he's saying humanity is only as good as the evil it does. He smiles.

"Look at us, esé," he motions to the penthouse balcony overlooking the Bay. "We're sitting on top of a building that was grown out of the fucking shattered Earth, yeah? Brasilian engineers come up the coast, seeded the ground with nanocrap, and five weeks later, I have a private suite with spigots that pour any drink I want. Furniture that grows out the damned floor and changes color when I clap. That's pretty amazing, right? But flip it around. That same nanocrap goes into decompiler bombs and man-eater bullets. Side by side, homey. That's the human condition. One foot in the gutter, one on the curb."

My follow-up question is interrupted by a crashing sound from inside the penthouse. Shapes move on the other side of the balcony's crystal doors.

Goncz's alligator smile widens, livetattoos morphing to red lightning bolts above his eyes. He passes me his cigarette. "Hold this, and don't smoke it," he growls. "Pendejos found me. Only a matter of time, I suppose. Stay out here. This shouldn't take too long." He pulls a long narrow strip from his belt buckle, quiet buzz as the softknife goes rigid with electric current. A tiny pistol has materialized in his other hand.

I had no idea my host was armed with blade and gun.

Or that I would witness him use them.


IKE MALVO said...

Goncz is my hero. He's a big ole huggable gator-toothed tough-love humanist cholo. Write a treatment and get him on celluloid.

Anonymous said...

Amazing. Goncz deserves his own book. This character is just so rich...I can hardly wait for your next installment. Keep it coming.

FireBrand said...

lol This guy is too much