by PD Martin
I’ve always loved the research that goes along with being an author, particularly a crime fiction author. I’ve posted here on some of my different research subjects, such as cults (part 1 & 2), handwriting, Kung Fu and Dim-Mak, real-life vampires and being a hitman (or woman).
I’ve also mentioned that I’m currently working in another new genre, writing a young adult (YA) novel. But this little YA novel has been giving me grief. Like, quite a lot of grief. But it’s not the writing process (which has actually been pretty easy), it’s the research. And what makes it hard, is that the book is a pre-apocalyptic novel set in the year 2030. So, it’s the near future. And I guess I’m pretty hopeless at speculating what the world will be like in 17 years’ time.
A little background…the book is set in the US and much of the action takes place in the environment of the Secret Service. In some ways, I figure the near future setting means perhaps I’ve got a bit of leeway. If I don’t get a specific Secret Service procedure right, maybe it’s just that things changed from how it’s done now to how it would be done in 17 years in the future. Right?
But there are so many little facts and questions that are bugging me. Here are just a few:
- Will a new power source have been discovered by then or are we still talking the current methods, including nuclear power?
- Can my main character raise her SIG 9mm to take a shot? Surely guns will still be around and SIG SAUER will still make them. Or will they?
- Will the US election system still be the same?
- Will the President still fly on ‘Air Force One’ and ‘Marine One’? And presumably planes and choppers will still be our primary method of fast transport. Won’t they?
- Will countries have merged to make new countries or super powers?
- What will the world look like in terms of water shortage and greenhouse gases? Surely 17 years wouldn’t have much effect…or will it?
- Will people be reaching for their phones and tablets or something entirely different?
- What will the internet look like in 17 years’ time?
It seems this particular area of my imagination is pretty pathetic! Problem is, when dealing with the near future I think you tread a fine line between what’s plausible and what’s short-sighted.
Have you thought much about the near future and what it might look like? If you’ve got any insights into any of the above, go for it! Help me!!!! God knows I need it.