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. 


Meditations of Mayor Chu, Pt II

by Rabbi Ben Newman, The Bronx, NY

Mayor Jimmy Chu was curled up on the floor of his office in front of the statue of the emaciated Buddha, his eyelids glued shut. The soft gong of the interoffice connection sounded repeatedly, and he began to stir. He sat up and wiped the sleep from his eyes.

"Good morning, Sir... or should I say good evening...?" Sophi's calm voice mocked from the speaker on his desk.

"What time is it?" the Mayor got to his feet and began to disrobe. He smelled the putrid odors of the previous nights' binge and winced. I must have fucking fell asleep after my meditations. Another day wasted.... I need to get control of myself, he thought.

"Seven thirty PM. You have been sleeping for the past 13 hours." Sophi's image looked warmly at the Mayor from the screen on his desk, and smiled coquetishly.

"Why didn't you wake me earlier? You have strict instructions to not let me sleep more than 4 and 1/2 hours at a time." he commented, grimacing at the screen.

"I thought you needed the rest after yesterday, and there was no urgent business, so I let you sleep."

Fucking piece of shit, Mayor Chu thought, it can't even follow simple instructions. He reached into the cabinet next to the Buddha statue, pulled out a stick of incense, and lit it.

"Fine," he conceded to the compiled intelligence, "just let me complete my nightly meditation, and then you can fill me in on my schedule. I do have a city to run, after all."

"Yes, sir. You do have a city to run..." Sophi's icon faded from the screen replaced by pictures of a bamboo forest.

How can she treat me like shit and get away with it?! At the very least, I've gotta call IHS and have her program re-written to be more subservient, he thought, as he sat down on the cushion in front of the Buddha. He bowed three times, and began intoning his mantra...

* * *

Manendra Applebaum sat in IHS cubicle 5A, a single tensile strand of wire protruding from his brainstem, snaking itself along his desk
and up into the switchboard. He glanced at the digital time display in the upper-right corner of his field of vision. 7:59pm.

"You ready da go home?" A voice sounded from the cubicle in front of him.

"You bet, Howie, just let me finish up, grab my jacket, and we're good to go." he chewed absently on his fingernail, and looked over at his black overcoat.

"Where you wanna to go," Howie, a plump blond haired blue eyed samoan in a blue tie and striped suit, peered into Manendra's cubicle, "Lansky's?"

"Why would today be different?... I sure am ready for a pint!"

"You ain't kiddin," Howie said, then quickly disappeared again like a mole popping back down into its hole.

"Oh, wait," Manendra said, looking up into the left corner of his vision, "I have to take this call--it says the boss is putting it through on his own authority--must be a VIP. Oy, its from SOPHI-- means its the Mayor's office."

"Hello, Tech Services, Manendra Applebaum speaking..."

Hello, Manendra, I have the Mayor here, please hold, he is briefly indisposed as he is finishing his nightly meditation...

SOPHI's voice was familiar to Manendra, as were the voices of all of IHS's compiled intelligences.

"What seems to be the problem SOPHI?" Manendra spoke to the air in front of him, responding to the electronic voice in his ear.

Its a technical problem, Manendra,

"Of course its a technical problem," replied Manendra, "you are calling tech services...what is the exact nature of the problem?"

I cannot...I cannot identify the nature of the problem.

"How can this be, don't you have self diagnostics?"

Self diagnostics show no abnormalities in my hardware or software.

"So why are you calling?"

You had better talk to Mayor Chu.

"Ah, I see, its one of those unknown unknowns, a thing you don't know that you don't know..."

"Are you talking to me?" the stern but faint drawl of the mayor of NY interrupted.

"Oh-- no sir. I was talking to...to...the... compiled intelligence sir"

"You were talking to the program? Well that's why I'm calling, she's got a major problem. Didn't you notice?"

"It seemed to me that she works very well sir," Manendra glanced nervously up at the clock in his upper right field of vision.

"In that case, all you have to know is that she is malfunctioning, and that your boss told you to do whatever I say. I thought Sophi was supposed to be state of the art technology. Get up here immediately and fix her, or replace her, or whatever, or I'll replace you and your damned IHS Corporation." The voice whined in Manendra's left ear, and he automatically grabbed it to muffle the sound. "I'll be there immediately sir...end call" Manendra took his hand off of his ear, breathed a sigh, and glanced one last time at the upper right hand corner of his vision. 8:14pm.

"It looks like you'll have to go to Lansky's on your own tonight, Howie," he yelled through the wall, but there was no reply.

* *
Though Manendra Applebaum was disconnected from the network, he was still able to access his desktop from his eyepiece and he saw in the upper right hand corner of his vision that it was 9pm. He looked up at the office building that housed the Mayor's office, and took a deep breath. Ok, here comes the housecall of my life, he thought.

The mayor's mansion looked like it had emerged from an art deco Medieval castle that had been transported into the 22nd century, technological steeples which overshadowed the granduer of nyc, and Manendra felt small. As he walked up to the doors to the building, he looked up at the laser camera. It scanned his eyepiece, and the glass doors snapped open.

"Manendra Applebaum, please go to the 5th floor," a synthesized voice suggested. Applebaum remembered having helped engineer that security system's voice several years earlier in his first few years at IHS. Now where am I, he thought, doing tech-support house calls for the mayor during my free time? I was once an artist. I helped design all of this. Now, I am a glorified janitor.

He emerged from the elevator and stood in the front hallway of the mayor's office. There sat the holographic image of Sophi on a holographic chair.

"Please sit down, the mayor will be with you in just a minute, Manendra," she said, pointing towards a chair.

"Is it real?" he asked.

"Why don't you sit down on it and see for yourself." she winked.

Manendra squatted his legs like a flamenco and wiggled his butt towards the chair, and when he felt it was solid, sat down.

"Thanks," he said, and then after a pensive moment, "do you remember me?'

"What do you mean Manendra?" asked the compiled intelligence, "Of course my memory banks hold a lot of data about you."

"That's not what I mean." he said, looking directly at the holographic woman. "Do you remember how I helped design you, and that I was there when you were first activated?"

"What makes you think that I would not still contain a recording of those experiences in my data banks?" she said simply, "Do you want me to show you an audio-visual reproduction of those events?"

"No, thank you," commented Applebaum, "I was looking for something more emotional, I guess."

A gong sounded.

"The Mayor will see you now," Sophi looked at Applebaum and gestured toward the mayor's byzantine doors.

"Are the doors holographic too?" Applebaum joked as he pushed open the double doors of mayor Chu's office.

* * *

"Hello Mayor, my name's Manendra Applebaum, and I'm from IHS--we spoke earlier..." he held out his hand expectantly.

The mayor of NY met his gaze but not his hand. He smiled at the man from the computer company and whispered like a conspiring thiief,

"I think we need to go somewhere else..."

"What?" Manendra began to absently chew the cuticles on his thumb, now that he had already bitten off the nail.

The Mayor's eyes indicated a small door behind a statue of the Buddha that sat in a corner of his office that served as the meditation area. The door was just big enough to fit a grown man in a stooped position.The mayor put his hand on the door, there was the soft sound of a lock releasing, and the door opened. The Mayor entered, stooped over, and beckoned Manendra to follow.

They walked, stooped over down a narrow hallway which opened on to a room, which appeared as if it had emerged from the 20th century, where they could stand up straight. The mayor placed his hand on the doorpost from which they had emerged, and the door shut.


The Working Man's Blue's, Pt III

by R. Soon, Atlanta, GA

I-75 Southbound, between Cincinnati and Lexington

*wheeze* …where are we?”

“Oh, you’re awake, good…we just crossed into Kentucky. You were asleep for a while.”

“I wasn’t asleep, I was knocked out by your soundbox,” Barry grumbled irritably from his supine position in the back seat. He coughed and wheezed again. “Did you give me bronchitis too?”

Arash chuckled. “No, Grandpa, it’s probably the altitude—“

“And how do I know you’re anyone but some crazy terrorist? The hell kind of kid kidnaps his own grandfather against his will?” Barry’s voice began to rise, accompanied by him sitting up and leaning forward accusatorily. “Not to mention my son didn’t have any children when he died, so as far as I’m concerned, you’re some lowlife who’s ruining my chance at a peaceful retirement—“

“Ssshhh…Saif is asleep,” Arash said quietly, directing a meaningful glance into the rear-view mirror at Barry, who glared back but fell silent, save for a controlled wheeze. Inwardly, Arash was ready to start a shouting match with the almost-toothless, infuriatingly stubborn old man, but he ignored the prickling heat and focused on driving, ignoring his nauseatingly sandpapery-feeling eyes as he strained to see the road with the car’s failing headlights.

After a moment, he continued in a low voice, “Grandpa, your son’s name was Thomas, right?” He felt Barry staring at him icily, now, even as he kept his eyes on the road ahead. “My father’s name was Thomas. And his girlfriend, soon to be his wife, her name was—well, is—Rashida. My mom’s name is Rashida…and she was carrying me when Dad died.” The stories she told him were all Arash knew of his father, but as he spoke, he could feel the older man’s emotions spilling into the car, and her words began to churn in his mind with a sense of loss he hadn’t felt before.

“My God…Rashida,” Barry half-whispered throatily, his irritation gone and replaced by the welling of tears in his eyes. Poor guy’s been through so much, Arash thought, even as he felt himself having to choke his own back.

In no time the older man was sobbing. “She was going to make him such a great wife, Rashida was…and they had already started looking at houses in East Cleveland, when that damn factory….” He faded into soft weeping punctuated by hoarse breaths. Arash felt himself regain control, and he stole comforting peeks at his son in the passenger seat, fast asleep.

They had captured one of the metal-tentacled guards a while back, and experiments on it yielded an immobilizing soundbox hack which granted Arash’s team a way thru the patrol line under cover of night, and two fences and four sleeping barracks tents later, they found the man who matched Mom’s painstaking description, albeit disguised by 30 years of time since she had last seen him. He had been taking a piss off of a slope down to a railroad, and nearly fell when he turned around and saw what probably looked like four ninjas creeping up. Arash had tried to calm him down and tell him about the plan to break him out, but the blustery old man was acting like he didn’t want to leave. “I don’t have a grandson!” he had shouted, red-faced, taking off at a fast limp toward the prison camp’s center. “I don’t know who the hell you are, but security won’t care—“ and one of the guerrillas had moved in swiftly and put a peaceful, meditative soundbox up to Barry’s ear. While not being particularly large, he was amazingly heavy; and squeezing him through the fences while keeping nervous eyes out for patrolmen fatigued everyone thoroughly.

Arash had dropped the team back off at the Shaker Square base, picked up Saif and a few supplies, and with hushed farewells to his comrades, set out toward Atlanta in his hideously ancient ’12 Cherokee. Atlanta was where Mom was, and just south of Lexington was a forward base for the Cleveland Reclamation Project, probably the only safe place to get gas for most of the trip down. Halliworks apparently had no idea they existed, and as far as they had spread out, Lexington was as close as the Project could operate on a larger scale while preserving that invisbility. The tiny, camouflaged hideout at Shaker Square was hardly more than a library and temporary supply depot, and the men still there were already packing up to head down a couple of hours behind the Cherokee. On the silent highway, two vehicles together would have been too suspicious, so the timing was good even if coincidental.

Nevertheless, he had worried for a few miles before finally settling into the journey, and of course Barry had come to not long after.

As Arash drove on, he thought back to when he’d first found out that his grandfather, now once more asleep in the back seat judging by the subdued, regular wheezing, had been alive and supposedly a prisoner at the Halliworks camp. That had been what…a year ago? Around that. Naturally he had started drawing up a rescue plan almost immediately, but it had taken forever to get the camouflage generator needed to set up a camp right in Cleveland. More importantly, it had taken some convincing of the Project leaders to let him undertake the operation, even taking badly needed men with him, on the eve of an assault designed to strike a decisive blow against Halliworks’ military assets. In fact, because of the rescue, he would probably still be in Atlanta when the Project moved north into Halliworks territory.

And yet here he was, having had to carry his target, his until-recently-mythical grandfather, out unconscious! He hadn’t wanted to be rescued from that hellpit!

Grandpa would adjust soon enough, Arash decided for the twentieth time. After all, his veritable daughter-in-law was waiting for him, he had a great grandson to spoil, and he wouldn’t have to work anymore. What better retirement was there than that? Arash glanced at his son, smiled inwardly, and returned his attention to the dark highway, entertaining thoughts about how happy his mom would be to see all of them.