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. 


Indigenous Resistance and the Western Socialist Uprising.

by Jeremiah Liebrecht, San Francisco, CA, USA

Little Big One?

Every time I hear what happened referred to as “The Little Big One”, my blood boils. I am a second generation San Franciscan. My grandparents had my mother there in 2007, stuck it out through the War and Second Depression. My parents lived there up until the pretremors, and moved up to the Sacramento Delta to join like minded socialist groups rallying at the Capital. We were always proud of our counter culture roots, when The City all but disappeared, I lost a lot of family and comrades, it was the biggest tragedy to hit the Revolutionary movement experienced since it was founded in 2035. I almost become violent with rage towards my comrades when I hear someone call the Quake that—it sounds like a joke, and it’s not cute.

Shortly after California’s seceded from the Union, my wife, two daughters and I joined my first cousin, Jorge’s family and a group of comrades to head towards Idaho. We were under-armed, and granted passage out of the state under the Objector’s Act. When we got to the Oregon border, we had to surrender all our weapons except a cleaning knife per adult male, and two Benelli R14 hunting rifles, with 12 rounds per gun. If we came across game, we had to be thrifty. We were also ordered to carry a white flag through Medford. We carefully fished along the random lakes and rivers as we headed to the Klamath Falls rendezvous point. Most fresh water fish were contaminated with mercury and had to be tested before consumption. Luckily, Jorge was a naturalist and his knowledge kept our little traveling clan safe. Our organization had made a trade/labor pact with the Indigenous Resistance Movement that had settled the northern Rockies. From, Boise in the west, to Laramie, Wyoming in the east, to Missoula, Montana and, Spokane in the north.

We knew the most fighting was going on along the southwest Colorado border, and Northwest, Spokane area, mostly from White Power groups. The Indigenous Resistance was born of the ancient American Indian Movement. Most of the Western Socialist Uprising, like my family, are mixed Mexican and Gringo, We had a lot of solidarity movements with the I.R.M. throughout the direct actions against the war, and the mass imprisonment of the non conformists.

What happened at the Klamath Falls train station was reminiscent of the European holocaust my Dad would tell me about. A freight train yard crowded with pacifist mixed-race socialists, being herded by U.S. National Guard for the 15 hour train ride to independent Boise. We were nervous boarding the train. I had the girls sit far forward of the freight car, huddled and hidden under a small Kevlar pancho. There had been a shaky cease fire between the U.S. and the I.R.M. for a few years, since the Union had been enveloped with the fighting along California, and Mexico. They had more or less left us to be victimized by the White Power Militias, who attacked the train relentlessly as we crossed state lines.


King of the Californias, Pt V

by Monk, New York City, NY, USA

As its guest book reads like a who's who of global atrocity-makers, disposal of dead bodies has become a premier feature at the Palma de Baía. Oakland's foremost hotel has an experienced staff of morticians, equipped with forensic-baffling equipment that would give the CIA a mile-long erection. That, and the hotel's love affair with municipal law enforcement, makes the three dead women on Cecilio Goncz's living room a nuisance instead of a felony. From the balcony, I watch the men in papery silver jumpsuits strip the corpses naked, and clumsily dump them into transparent bodybags filled with some sort of icy green fluid, vapor rising sickly. They throw the giant bladders onto gurneys, and trundle out of the room with all the gravity of errant bellhops.

Goncz's prisoner slumps over her crucifixion, long passed out from shock. Hands pinned to her thigh, she looks like a supplicant, bowed in prayer; though I can't imagine to what. Her breath is audibly ragged to even my cheap recorder's amplifier, some twenty feet away and separated by a pane of artificial diamond. Mr Goncz hasn't caught on that I recorded his initial encounter with the assassins, and as he is busy making calls from the bedroom, I have no plan on stopping. I see him in the distance, hands flailing wildly, livetattoos above his eyes dancing through a dozen languages, always the same message: Only God Can Judge Me. When he gets like this, his tone takes an undulating quality: loud one word, quiet the next. It's impossible for my little recorder to make any sense of it.

I observed the first such call upon my arrival in NoCal. I waited at Pivens Aerospace Center for five hours, bleary-eyed from intra-orbital flight, assured by Mr Goncz's assistant that a driver would be there for me shortly. When one finally did, it was the assistant himself, in a rental car. I was told in hushed, cautious tones that the driver, Silvio, had been picked up that morning by agents of the Carter Center. By that afternoon, he'd been tried for war crimes in Los Angeles, and by that evening, publicly sentenced at West Hollywood's Sunset Plaza. Shipped off to Angel Island for some time with the Big Chair: fifty years of sensory deprivation compressed into ten minutes, courtesy of a hack directly into the parietal lobe. Survivors tend to wear diapers, and have trouble producing complete sentences. Mr Goncz spent the bulk of that day screaming at the phantoms on the other end of his communicator, at his assistant, and finally at me: the Piece-of-Shit-Reporter-From-Chicago.

Three days later, Goncz's assistant disappeared.

Another cycle was wasted on Goncz's rant, blasted to his peers across the globe in every medium available. He was unsure if Glen had just run off, been killed by one of his long-standing enemies, or defected to Los Angeles in exchange for leniency. Goncz's greatest fear is still the Simone J. Carter Center for Peace and Justice. Based out of the Watts Refuge, its agents span the globe, wrangling expats back to the Republic of Los Angeles, where their trials have a circus atmosphere: defendants paraded about in bright orange jumpsuits, barefoot, shaven, starved, ball-gagged and drugged; the proceedings little more than a high-verbal horsewhipping before the inevitable sentence, always the same: the Big Chair at Angel Island. The prospect of which sends Goncz into nervous fits, making hour-long calls to anonymous power-brokers, demanding midnight assurances that his position is secure, and the vulture-beaked specter of retribution is well at bay. As he has pointed out, his once-vast wealth is heavily invested in the Northern Republic of California's reconstruction. His belief is that he is insulated from his enemies.

That assessment may have undergone a dramatic turn with today's events.

Assurances aside, it seems to me that Cecilio Goncz's life has become defined by a series of concentric circles, himself at the center. As each surrounding ring is worn down, his response becomes more frantic. I'm concerned that this has yet to translate as violence towards me. My host has a long, documented history of ending interviews at knife-point. Since my arrival, two of his closest companions have disappeared, and now, these assassins. By my own reckoning, I'm bad luck, writ large in neon. What Mr Goncz is thinking is beyond me.

But as he comes from the bedroom, pistol in hand, it is of rising priority that I find out.


Meditations of Jimmy Chu, Pt I

by Rabbi Benjamin Newman, the Bronx, NY, USA

Reeking of expensive nameless liquor, hashish, and perfumed boys, the Mayor of New York City stumbled into his dim office just as dawn crept across Manhattan's delicate crystalline skyline. At this hour, his office was lit only by tea candles scattered haphazardly on the desks and ledges. Brushing cocaine from his lapel, he collapsed in front of his statue of the emaciated Buddha and lit a stick of jasmine incense. The statue of Shakyamuni seated in meditation was originally from the Sikri Stupa, bought from the Lahore Museum for a hefty price. Rather than the well-known fat Buddha, this representation was almost skeletal, the Enlightened One's reduced to a frame of bones, skin tautly stretched over it, veins and sinew exposed like a spiderweb. It showed the ascetic extremes the Enlightened One went to before discovering the Middle Path of moderation. As a creature of extremes, Jimmy Chu appreciated the statue, but the suffering prince's trials toward enlightenment taunted him.

"Temptation cannot touch the man who is awake, strong and humble,"he muttered, "who masters himself and minds the law." Chu had long ago decided Self was the problem. 'Eliminate the Self, eliminate the suffering. Eliminate desire, eliminate the Self...' This was one of his favorite mantras. He knelt in front of the statue and repeated the words for his third and last time of the day, until the gong of his interoffice connection sounded, interrupting his reverie. Although he was proud that he was among the few people without a bio-implant, his office was consequently littered with vintage tech.

"What is it, Sophi?" the mayor snarped at his secretary.

Sophi, or Sophisticated Operating Program of Heuristic Intelligence, was a prototype next-generation compiled intelligence he had received as an inaugural gift from Integrated Heuristic Systems, one of his major corporate donors. Their offices spotted downtown NYC, flagship factory and corporate headquarters centered on 9/11/01 St., site of the old World Trade Center. He brought them state money, they brought him fine rewards, including but not limited to Sophi. That's how it worked for Mayor Chu. What was governance without a little pork?

He put out the incense, and gazed toward the screen housing Sophi's child-like icon.

"How easily the wind overturns a frail tree, " Sophi said tonelessly. "Seek happiness in the senses, indulge in food and sleep, and you too will be uprooted. The wind cannot overturn a mountain. Temptation cannot touch the man who is awake, strong and humble, who masters himself and minds the law. If a man's thoughts are muddy, if he is reckless and full of deceit, how can he wear the yellow robe? Only whoever is master of his own nature, bright, clear, and true, can merit to wear the yellow robe." The computer's soprano floated out of the speaker on his desk.

Chu couldn't muster much more than a few faltered curses under his breath. Is she mocking me, or reproving me? he thought. His resentment lingered, in that he realized he'd started quoting her of late upon return from his late night binges.

"Was your evening satisfying?" Sophi asked.

Chu bit his lip. How do you combat that? She's impervious to sarcasm, and I can't just smack her in the mouth. I can have political activists imprisoned without bail or legal representation for days at a stretch and have Union leaders' legs broken. Why can't I just order this stupid machine to shut the fuck up?

"Your heartrate is recognizably spiking," she said. "Perhaps from pharmocological modification you indulged this evening. Equally as likely is personal agitation. Am I bothering you, Mayor Chu?"

'Just tell her to shut up, Jimmy,' he thought. It's easy. 'SHUT UP, YOU STUPID DAMNED TOY! SHUT UP BEFORE I HAVE YOU DECOMPILED!'

"An excellent way to reduce your heartrate is breath control, Mayor. Steady, even breathing. In through your nose, held for a bit in your abdomen, then released through your mouth."

'For the love of God, man, just SAY it! Tell her to shut up! Reduce her to binary numbers! Something!'

Instead, he bowed before the Buddha, repeated his mantra, and very slowly began breathing in through his nose, and out through his mouth.



by Nichole Perkins, Los Angeles, CA, USA

Blissful wanted to become invisible. Her parents were fighting, but they were being quiet because she was in the backseat. If they couldn’t see her, they’d talk, and she would know where they were going and why.

They’d been fighting since last week. Usually, after an argument, her mother would stay in the kitchen, cooking and shaking her head until her father came in and stood really close. Then they’d kiss and dinner would be really good that night.

The last few nights, Blissful’s dad only went into the kitchen when her mother wasn’t there, and her mom only cooked stuff her dad didn’t like. Blissful wished they’d tell her what was going on. She was ten years old; she wasn’t a baby any more. She pulled out her tablet and called up the journal. Ma’Marie had told her to write her thoughts down, but to use a password, so no one could take her thoughts from her.

In the passenger seat, her mother ran a hand over her belly, and her father reached out to her.

“Do you need me to pull over,” Ramón asked.

“No,” Sumayyah answered, testing the answer for truth. “No,” she repeated more confidently. She touched his questioning hand, and he linked their fingers. With the contact as a bridge, Ramón gained confidence.

“Sumayyah, I really don’t think this is a good idea,” he began in a tense whisper.

Hearing the hushed tones, Blissful perked up.

“She’s not a baby any more, Ramón.” Blissful sat even straighter, surprised at hearing her mother echo her earlier thoughts. “She needs to know about this.” Sumayyah readjusted her position in the seat. Blissful wondered if her little brother was kicking.

Ramón sighed but didn’t let go of his wife’s hand.

“I know she’s not a baby, but all that stuff happened a lifetime ago…”

“Yes,” she cut through his weak argument. “Her lifetime ago. If Marie hadn’t saved me, none of us would be here. You’ve seen Blissful with Marie. You’ve seen how close they are. I want her to know. ”

Blissful shifted curious eyes between her parents, her stomach rising against a wave of nerves. Was Ma’Marie in trouble? She wanted to move forward but was afraid to bring attention to herself. She looked out of the window as her father turned onto Wilshire. He hadn’t responded to her mother yet, and the waves in Blissful’s belly began to burn. She opened her mouth, maybe to be sick, maybe to ask a question, but her father finally spoke.

“Okay. Okay. I…I didn’t want it in her head. I wanted to keep her safe from all of that.”

Sumayyah turned to him.

“Protecting her doesn’t mean leaving her ignorant.”

He raised their joined hands to his lips.

Blissful had been too busy trying to follow the conversation and failed to notice the museum until the car came to a stop. A line of people covered the block’s length. She’d never seen so many queued up at the museum before. While her father waited for the light to change, Blissful watched a small crowd of men with signs, yelling at the people waiting in line. One sign said, “WOMEN AND HISTORY LIE.”

Her mother turned to her and the smile she gave was sad, like the one she gives when she’s about to give an accountability task. The fiery waves in Blissful’s belly rose again.

“Are you and Daddy through fighting?” she blurted the question, knowing that wasn’t the one she wanted answered.

Sumayyah’s smile relaxed and she shot a quick glance at Ramón, who let his own small smile smooth away some of his worry.

“Yes, BiBi. I think we’re finished.” She turned more fully and her face shifted into serious lines. “I guess you’ve figured out that we’re going to the museum today.” Blissful’s eyes began to eat away at her face, and Sumayyah tried to think of a way to lessen her anxiety. “There’s a new exhibit we think it’s important you see.”

By this time, Ramón had parked the car and was opening Blissful’s door. He walked her around to her mother who’d placed her feet on the ground but had remained seated. Sumayyah took Blissful’s hands and pulled her close.

“Does it have something to do with Ma’Marie?” Blissful asked, keeping her eyes on her mother’s fingers.

Sumayyah lightly shook their hands until Blissful looked up at her.

“Yes and no. In the exhibit, you will see something that Ma’Marie was a part of, something that she saved me from. There might even be a picture or two of her. The pictures… The exhibit will show some of the… the things she doesn’t like to talk about.” Sumayyah glanced up at Ramón who had turned his tight features away and watched teenage boys power by on their bikes.

“Ma’Marie won’t be the only person in the exhibit. There’ll be a lot of other women telling their stories about a part of our history here. I don’t want to tell you too much about it ‘cause you’re a smart girl and can figure out stuff on your own, but some of it will be very sad, and some of it won’t. I do want you to make me a promise, though, okay?”

Blissful nodded her head. Her stomach had calmed down, but it still felt shaky. The museum was going to tell her something bad, and she wasn’t sure she wanted to know it.

“I need you to promise that you won’t ask Ma’Marie about any of this stuff until she brings it up, okay?”

Blissful looked up at her dad, and even though his reassuring smile was missing its dimples, she took it as a good sign.

“I promise not to mention anything to Ma’Marie unless she says it first.”

“That’s my girl,” Sumayyah beamed at her daughter. She eased from the car and reached back for Blissful’s hand.

“Come on, Bibi. Let’s go see why Ma’Marie gave you your name.”