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 XI

by Monk Eastman, NYC, USA

I recognize Montoya Dred by his painfully chalky skin, visible from the other side of the market as he reclines by a tiny folding table, chipped little espresso cup balanced on his egg-shaped belly, coffee splashing all over his flower-print shirt. When I say chalky, let me be clear: Dred's skin is ashy, like a fine dust has settled on him. Dull as marble, undercut only by the Niagara of sweat crashing down his face and neck. Soaked up by thinning mud-colored hair, looking like he's spent the day hiking in a rainforest, followed by a perpetual funk of fermenting milk and orange peels. Facial tics, nail biting, constant palsy in his hands, insomnia, scratching until his skin is raw--Pilkner's Condition, they call it. Damage to his thyroid. Ongoing nervequakes. Developed back in LA, when he strung himself out on supamedrin and thurgoprexin to stay awake for weeks at a stretch.

This was when he was Kelvin Black's war chief, of course, lean muscle swabbed in camouflage and body armor. These days, it's kind of difficult to imagine this palsied, stuttering ghost as the man who forced submission from a professional baby-killer like General Li Shen (affectionately known as 'Genocide Li' to the survivors of Taipei). The same man whose tactics are studied at West Point, King's War College, the Robb Institute. Montoya Dred: holy terror of southwest Los Angeles, reduced to a spastic hobo, fallen and lame--although (perhaps thankfully) not under his real name. 'Montoya Dred' was something Kelvin Black cooked up in the aftermath of a khat-and-gangrape binge, most likely atop the ruins of Universal Studios. The man who turned back five armies at Laguna Beach was born Baruch Melman, originally of Royal Oaks, Michigan.

How do I know?

He was one of the first expats I interviewed for my project. Eighteen months back, in a musty motel room, wallpaper peeling, shouting over the boom of transports leaving orbit from nearby Newark Liberty. In between flights, he told me he was consulting with a few different people. 'Little things,' he said, which I suppose was a polite way to say 'training death squads'. Since that interview, Melman has popped up in Hanzhou, Naxalstan, Brunei, Wahabi Arabia, Juarez and Iowa, always just ahead of some noteworthy crime against the species--and now he's here, which does not auger well for the Republic of Northern California.

Sometimes it feels as though this project of mine has made tracking these creatures my primary function. Meticulous records of even their most casual antics are shared and updated by a network of people you could characterize as a cult, I suppose, who determined from Melman's travel patterns and spending habits that he is never paid more than travel costs and a hot meal, and never stays in one place more than a few weeks. The price of his life, it seems, is to be indentured servant to the world's quiet kingmakers and their backroom bureaucracies. No trials for Baruch Melman. Much too valuable an asset as he is.

Seeing him here, sipping coffee with Cecilio Goncz, curdles something in my stomach. There's a fundamental wrongness to them taking coffee in the middle of a crowded market, children chasing each other around their ankles, families shopping, lovers laughing, kissing, holding hands...

Realistically, Goncz and Melman would slaughter the whole market between sips of their coffee, if need dictated. Yet here they are, politely slurping Guatemalan Antigua like they're functional, healthy members of the human tribe, discussing the weather, current events, energy prices on the Chicago Wind and Fuel Exchange...

I reach the table, find Mr Goncz in his trademark sunglasses, shirtless, body a mosaic of living tattoos, grinding together across a scarred, brown body starting to show the sag of age. Starched, creased khakis, held high on his waist by black suspenders. Vintage canvas trainers on his feet. Jesus bleeds perpetually from the cross on his chest, crown of thorns dragging furrows into his brow every time he shakes his head. Some people add audio to their animated body art, little generic screams radiating from their tortured Jesuses as they pass you on the street. Mr Goncz has thankfully foregone this feature. As livetattoos go, his is almost tasteful.

"Funny running into you like this, huh?" Goncz chuckles. "You know my man, Monty, I think."

"Don't be calling me fucking 'Monty'," Melman grumbles, "I God-damn told you, already."

Goncz replies in a mash of maybe eight languages. Whatever he says, Melman rolls his eyes, throws the rest of his coffee back, and stares absently at his fingernails, which I see have been chewed to bloody nubs.

"Take a seat," Mr Goncz offers. "Have some coffee. It's excellent."

"Don't be listening to prickfuck, over here," Melman warns. "The coffee tastes like it was made by boiling a pack of rat terriers."

"You'll like it," Mr Goncz says smoothly, pouring me a cup from a dented metal pot. "Trust me."

Melman laughter sounds like a mule choking.

I swish around the nicked cup. The coffee's thick as horse spit. I let it cool on the table, and casually ask Mr Melman what brings him to NoCal.

"Eh," he mutters, left cheek twitching like a butterfly with a pin through it. "You know. Little things. Consulting. The usual."

I think of last night's bombardment of the Far East End, and something tightens in my throat. How would I tag this story? What would it net me to air this pair out to the press? Allied Info would pay me a panda's weight in gold to publicize two of the century's greatest atrocity-makers in Oakland, operating in plain sight of the authorities. Goncz would gut me like a trout, of course, but I'd die a rich man, having done my civic duty outing him and his cohort. Because given the less than jovial basis of their relationship, I'd venture their coffee klatsch has nothing to do with catching up on old times. There are plans in the ether for NoCal.

And I genuinely wonder if any of us will survive them.


In Search Of..., Pt VIII

By Chris Beckett, Hampden, ME, USA

Karen landed on the branch below, air lurching from her chest as her head cracked against its surface, stars cascading before her eyes. Her laptop dropped onto her chest, held tight with one hand as the other searched for purchase, anything that might halt her descent.

Hitting another branch, she slipped around its circumference as bark grated skin, ripping away the outer layers. Shivers ran up her arm as her fingers clenched onto the rough bark. Nerve endings screamed as the nails of her left hand bent back, torn from the skin. Pain seared through her fingers, and for a moment the knot growing at the base of her skull was forgotten. The skid slowed as Karen’s body fell open to the world, dangling from her tree house.

Karen’s ankle felt like it was being held in a vise. A gnarled grunt fell through the leaves and her anxiety escalated.

She kicked and shook, trying to dislodge her attacker, unmindful of the consequences. The grunt turned to a laugh, and the grip on her leg was released. Karen toppled over the edge of the branch, pinwheeling around its fulcrum. Her eyes opened wide as she fell through the lower branches, the ground rising to meet her.

Lungs collapsed once more as pressure wrapped around Karen’s skull shooting fireworks across her vision.

She struggled to push off the ground, arms pulsing with pain as they gave out dropping her back into the earth, soil and grass caking her teeth. Lifting her head, Karen spit hard and scanned the ground. She eyed her computer, which had fallen to one side, and dragged herself forward, her knees digging ruts in the soft earth.

Karen’s attacker dropped from the tree onto her leg, snapping the bone just above the ankle. She writhed, screaming in pain. Curled into a ball, she reached for her ankle, trying to hold it together as bolts of agony rippled across her body. Nausea washed over Karen as she struggled not to pass out, dropping her head back to the ground.

“Din’t no one tell you, ya gotta pay a tax to sleep here?” The voice was deep and harsh.

“So where’s payment?” Tears came to Karen’s eyes, slid down her cheek. She looked to her laptop. It had a taser app in its skin, but the short distance seemed like miles. Karen couldn’t speak, had no money even if she could bargain. Her body went limp, and she gave up.

“Hey, fucker!” Another voice, almost as deep, just above her.

The first voice countered as words jumbled together, an aural crossword that made no sense to Karen. She tried to decipher words, but her body pulled away, hearing muddied as if she were being submerged in water.

And then Karen remembered nothing.


hey. wake up.” Karen’s mind rose from consciousness. For a minute she was unsure where she was, but the pain throbbing across her leg brought everything back into sharp focus. She moaned reflexively and tried to talk but nothing came out.

“Hold still. I got friends comin’. You can crash with us. It ain’t much, but you’ll be able to rest.” Karen recognized the second voice from earlier, but it was softer now. Its baritone reverberated through her fingers, soothing her just a bit.

“Why,” Karen whispered.

His voice became animated. “Someone got ta take care of our city. Ain’t no one else steppin’ up.

“Now be quiet, rest.” He sounded almost ministerial and Karen smiled despite the pain. She opened her eyes to look at him, but they were beneath the oak’s wide canopy and his face was painted with shadow.

“What about – ah!” Karen sat up quickly and pain railed across the left side of her body. Her head swam as she clutched her ankle, panting with the exertion.

“It’s here. I din’t unlock it.” His voice was stern, frustration creeping around the edges. “Now lie down or we can’t help you.”

Karen did as she was told. She fell back into his hands and gave in to the pain, allowing her eyes roll up into her head.

“There ya go. Just rest easy.” Karen felt he must have given her something for the pain. Images swam before her eyes – some familiar, others lacking context.

And she latched on to one, forcing a final gasp. “Do you know Cedric Kaczmerak? Can you help me find him?”

But her voice trailed off and she slept before a response was forthcoming.

To be continued . . .