In 2000, when Thomas L. Brown wrote STRETCH! – 21 Events That Will Rock The Next Century, he celebrated the millennium in an H. G. Wells way: by predicting events that would happen over the next 100 years. These faux news reports (on the imagined “FiveShadow News Network”) are designed to stimulate thinking by foreshadowing radical and revolutionary scenarios that could happen sometime in the next century. Such as…
- A PolluPlague epidemic?
- Marrying — without ever meeting?
- Madam President?
- Terrorists forming a unified army?
- Goodbye to the British pound?
- An “I Spy” scandal in Japan?
- Babies — in space?
Tom not only detailed the events he thought might happen, he also pinned each event with a projected date. Preserved here exactly as they were when first published at the dawn of the 21st century, all of his projections were written to stir interest. Think of it as science fiction for leaders.
Sure, it’s no sure thing that any of these events will ever happen; but what if they do? How will leaders respond? How should they respond?
Futurist Joel Barker says, “Clearly, Tom is not trying to be purely prophetic…. Take this e-book for what it really is — a catalyst to force you to think about the various ways things might be.”
The links to the left are PDF read-only files, but it includes the stimulating digital art by Dave Pierson.
Was Tom wrong about what would happen in 2003 — or just premature? And what about all his other predictions? If nothing else, the H. G. Wells tradition lives on in a new century.