Science Fiction That Has (Supposedly) Already Happened

The thing about science-fiction is that many of the classics were written a long time ago with a vision of the future that was very different than the one we ended up with  (where’s my hoverboard?!)

Many of their timelines run right into the present day meaning we should already be seeing:


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Capcom’s classic video game series is set in 200X which limits the possibilities to 2000-2009. While the later games are much farther flung into 21XX, it’s clear that the Super Fighting Robot should be here by now.

What We’re Missing

Sentient Three Laws Compliant robots, semi-magical elemental weapons, and – oh yeah – a massive machine apocalypse and total totalitarian 1984 government.

I, Robot

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In a similar vein, Isaac Asimov’s 1950 short story collection about a future after the development and implementation of thinking machines. The stories are only loosely related but are set in the years 1996-2064 which means a lot should already be in motion.

What We’re Missing

We haven’t quite reached the giant computers that control the world, and Asimov’s vision excluded things like the internet and cell phones while machines ran on actual punched paper. But the positronic brain should have been invented in time to be traumatized by The Hunchback of Notre Dame and here in 2018, we should have space colonies on even the most distant, hospitable planets.


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This strange anime-and-video-game series came out of the early 2000’s fueled by the afterburn of Y2K paranoia. While the originals were oddly set only a few years after their release dates, starting around 2006, the more recent works stretch into 2030.

What We’re Missing

In this fictional 2005, a massive virus hacks absolutely every computer in the world, bringing modern society to its knees. Afterwards, everyone uses only one OS with only one multiplayer game, the most massive of MMO’s in history. Having only one game to play must’ve gotten old very fast.

Nineteen Eighty-Four

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This one’s pretty obvious, the year is right there in the title. This novel about an omnipresent government and perpetual surveilance gave rise to cool terms like “doublethink” and “Big Brother is Watching You.”

What We’re Missing

This one is especially eerie because in an age of Cambridge Analytica, Happiness Indexes, and cell phones that probably spy on us, we seem to be moving towards this and fast. Just, y’know, three decades or so late. We may not quite have an Oceania yet and there’s not yet one single Party (as far as we’re aware) but things seem to be zooming along towards something… Orwellian.


Oh, and let’s not forget the end of Back to the Future where they go to the actual future… now!

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Which is your favorite on this list?
Anything I missed?
Let me know in the comments!