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A setting in which societies with futuristic technology have reverted to patterns from earlier time periods (e.g., medieval Europe, feudal Japan, the American Wild West) while remaining at a futuristic technological level (e.g., starships, Humongous Mecha, Energy Weapons). This can be either the result of relating historical metaphors to a future society, or an excuse to do a period piece IN SPACE.

This may also be an attempt to market a fantasy story as Science Fiction during a period where the latter is considered more fashionable. Just add Applied Phlebotinum which would pretty much be magic if not for the Techno Babble explaining it away as advanced science or Psychic Powers.

There are many variations on this trope (mainly because it makes making the Fantasy Counterpart Cultures easier), but most can be broken down into just a few categories:

  1. Feudal Future: In the future, human society will resemble a cross between medieval and early modern Europe, possibly with elements of Imperial Rome, Imperial China, and feudal Japan. Expect The Empire, although it will likely have elements of The Good Kingdom. Humanity may be united, in which case the parallel is to the Roman or British Empire and you can expect the ruler of humanity to be titled appropriately, or it may have been united in the past and is now descending into barbarism, in which case the parallel is with medieval Europe. Aliens are unlikely, but if present they will probably be a Fantasy Counterpart Culture for the Mongol Horde. The Dune and Foundation Series novels are well-known examples.
  2. Space Samurai: Future society resembles feudal Japan. Found as the local equivalent of Feudal Future in Japanese-produced work, as well as making occasional guest appearances as a stock Fantasy Counterpart Culture in Feudal Future settings.
  3. Space Western: Society in the future will look like The Wild West of 19th-century America, with brave pioneers leaving a civilized homeland to settle a dangerous and lawless frontier. You should expect to see Bounty Hunters and gangs of Outlaws. If aliens are present, they will often be a Fantasy Counterpart Culture for Native American tribes. The anime Cowboy Bebop and the live-action television series Firefly are well-known examples of sci-fi with a setting inspired by the American Wild West.

Contrast Schizo Tech. See also Crystal Spires and Togas. Compare Future Imperfect and Ambiguous Time Period. Also compare with Space Romans, which is where an unrelated society (e.g., from a different planet, or in a different universe) is functionally equivalent to a historical human society, either as it actually was or with the addition of high technology.

For the sort of thing that appears on the Tales of Future Past website, see Zeerust.

Despite the title of this page, this trope has nothing to do with the 1967 Moody Blues album Days of Future Passed (the title of which refers to, well, the present, specifically the course of a single day in a person's life). Nor with the X-Men Time Travel story arc Days of Future Past (although in the original run of the X-Men story, some of the background details imply a degree of technological regression, such as horses pulling a bus, and that timeline had certainly regressed in terms of social equality into an extreme level of segregation and eugenics), or the film adaptation of said comic that bears the same name.


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Feudal Future

    Anime and Manga 
  • Code Geass has something of a mild example — a mid-21st-century style of technology with giant robots, matched with a Victorian-esque society, in Britannia. The other countries are behind them in both society and technology, and would not be an example.
  • Fantastic Children has this trope. The Greecians bodies are capable of assimilating technology, they can even locate the souls of dead Greecians and humans and beam them back into their respective bodies. What do they fight with? Swords. What do they wear? just about anything medieval. Also, the planet of Greecia is a monarchy. King's word is law, even if it leads to the main problems in the series and makes everybody suffer in the long run. Yep.
  • Gundam:
    • Works set later on in the Universal Century shows an Earth Sphere that's increasingly reminiscent of Japan's Sengoku period as European-style aristocracy makes a comeback. By Victory Gundam, the situation's reached the point where the Sides are independent nations in all but name, and the Earth Federation has to ally with a militia to fend off an invasion.
    • By Dust, which takes place after Victory, the parallels aren't even hidden anymore, as the period it's set in is literally called "The Age of Warring Space States", though that term is sometimes also used to refer to all post-Flash conflicts, which would include F91, Crossbone and the aforementioned Victory. But Dust fits best, as all of the sides are now officially independent and constantly warring with each other.
  • Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind: Set a thousand years after an apocalyptic war, the remnants of humanity live in refuge from toxic forests in rural holdouts modeled after European kingdoms from centuries past.
  • Voltron/ GoLion is a medieval fairy tale world IN SPACE!.

    Comic Books 
  • Nikolai Dante is set in the 27th century where Tsarist Russia has resurged and become a world empire. Duels, noble politics and revolutions occur side by side with aliens, cyborgs and superweapons.

  • The Instrumentality of Mankind sequence by Cordwainer Smith is an interesting subversion, as the humans of the far future are, after living some centuries in a nondistinct, cultureless utopia, actively trying to resurrect the cultures of the past.
  • The Queendom of Sol in Wil Mc Carthy's "Collapsium" and its sequels.
  • In L. Neil Smith's Henry Martyn, Bretta Martyn and their Web Comic sequel, Phoebus Krumm the Monopolity of Hanover is based on Tudor England while its rival, the Jendyne Empery-Cirot is based on Spain of the same period.
  • The Tripods trilogy is a prime example of this. It takes place about 100 years in the future, but society is largely medieval style due to the effect of the Caps on their wearers—curtailing curiosity and causing them to reject technology.
  • A Canticle for Leibowitz, which is about a future Earth set in the aftermath of a nuclear war. In the first third of the book, set 600 years after the apocalypse, the world resembles Dark Age-Europe, being divided between petty kingdoms and warlords with only an order of monks preserving pre-apocalypse knowledge. The next part, taking place 600 years later, has humanity partially recovering to an Early Modern level of civilization.
  • The City of No End series by Nathan Karnes takes place millions of years into the future, in an urban sprawl that was once scientifically advanced but has collapsed into ruins. The known remnants of civilized humanity huddle into a small section of the city governed by feudal lords under an Elective Monarchy, and uses a mixture of futuristic, modern, and primitive Schizo Tech.
  • The Dinosaur Lords, while set in world that looks like Medieval-esque Europe (albeit less prudish and more agnostic one) with dinosaurs, strongly implies that it's in fact the future, with "magic" being Clarke's Third Law-abiding tech and Paradise being a colony that regressed technologically. There are even nations such as Spaña, Irysh, Anglysh, Slavia etc.
  • The Dragonriders of Pern series by Anne McCaffrey. Pern was settled in Earth's future, but reverted to a technologically inferior mostly feudal society, partly due to the intent of the colonists, and partly due to the scourge of Thread. Most people live in natural and man-made cave systems carved out of cliffsnote  called Holds. The Lord Holders are in charge of protecting and caring for the people under them, and the position is hereditary. Skilled workers live separately, in Crafthalls, similar to Guilds. The eponymous Dragonriders also live apart from Holders, and have their own system of governing themselves.
  • The Dune series by Frank Herbert. The neo-medieval nature of the human interstellar Imperium was explained in detail in the novels, but handwaved in the various film adaptations and TV miniseries. The main historical parallel to the Imperium is the Holy Roman Empire of the European Middle Ages, though elements from various other historical empires, nations and societies are all over the place...
    • Sort of. It is somewhat understood that the cause for the establishment of the system is due to The Machine War in the distant past, resulting in a ban on all technology that would replace humans.
  • The Foundation Series by Isaac Asimov is set in a declining Galactic Empire (similar to the declining Roman Empire) that is predicted by a mathematician (who studies the fictional field of psychohistory) to collapse.
  • Queen of the Tearling takes place in a society with medieval-level technology but with knowledge of genetics and other advanced concepts. This is because the people arrived in this land from a dystopian future America, and lost a lot of advanced technology in the process (but retained some of the knowledge and history). Despite beginning their new society with egalitarian ideals, over the centuries it has fallen apart into several monarchies, leaving the majority of the people illiterate and at the mercy of a selfish, short-sighted noble class.
  • Safehold series has the last humans settle on the eponymous planet without memories of their history and no space technology. Nine hundred years later world is close parallel of 15th-16th century world, with dominative Church of The God Awaiting (medieval catholicism IN SPACE!). Charis takes place of Great Britain, Emerald is Ireland, Siddarmark is the young United States, Raven Lands are Germanies, Harchong mixes China with some Russian details and Desnair is Poland. Later it begins to emulate 30 Years War IN SPACE!, although in more 18th — early 19th century setting.
  • Several societies in S. M. Stirling's Emberverse fulfill this trope although it also has a foot in Fantasy Counterpart Culture as supernatural elements creep in during the second trilogy. The Clan MacKenzie is based on a New Age interpretation (much against the liking of its founder) of a Celtic clan, while the Portland Protective Association was deliberately created by an SCA member as a copy of a medieval feudal society with trappings of Mordor. The oddest example are the Dúnedain Rangers founded by a mildly insane Tolkien fangirl who has a quasi-religious reverence for his books. There are also several "Indian" tribes many of whose members have, at best, only nominal amounts of First Nations ancestry and Norrheim, a Viking style nation founded by Asatru. The Republic of Boise claims to be the successor to the original United States but its setup is much more like the Roman Republic, especially its military. Meanwhile over in England "Mad King Charlie" tried to turn what remained of his nation into something of a vast Renaissance Faire, although his subjects drew the line at Morris dancing.
    • Much of the interior of North America in the Emberverse, and by implication many areas elsewhere, have types of spontaneous neofeudalism; they just don't have the self-consciously archaic vocabulary of the PPA. Instead of "barons" and "knights" they have "sheriffs" and "farmers/Ranchers"; instead of "serfs" or "peasants" they have "refugees" or "evacuees". And they have "emergency governors" or "Presidents pro-tem" (popularly known as "bossmen") instead of Lords Protector or Kings.
  • Trinity Blood is a Renaissance Future, with Vatican States = Italy, Methuselah Empire = Ottoman Empire, and Albion = England.
  • In the backstory of the Vorkosigan Saga, the planet Barrayar was cut off from the rest of the galaxy because of a disturbance in the spatial feature that allows interstellar travel. During that time, technology was lost, and the inhabitants reverted to feudalism and manorialism. The efforts to catch up with the rest of the galaxy are a major theme in the books.

    Tabletop Games 
  • BattleTech: The Star League is the Roman Empire, while the Successor States are Medieval Europe.
    • Though the return to feudalism is explained in some of Michael A. Stackpole's earliest BattleTech novels. The rise of independent barons and feudal-esque land titles was a pragmatic response to the difficulties of managing the economies and lives of trillions of citizens across hundreds of light-years. Except during the Star League-era, communication and especially travel between star systems is vastly time consuming and expensive (compared to real 21st Century standards), therefore downloading authority for the governing and management of a system to a local governor or baronet is far more expedient than having everything done at a central bureaucracy many light years away.
  • Fading Suns: Medieval Europe.
  • Mutant Chronicles has some of its Mega Corps having feudal themes. Bauhaus is based off of several Renaissance-through-19th-Century European countries, Imperial is based off a mix of Elizabethan and Victorian Imperial British, Mishima is Edo-era Japan with a few other East-Asian (mostly Chinese) elements.
  • Traveller: Imperial Rome.
    • Traveller in many ways looks more like The British Empire what with the British noble titles, the nautically derived traditions the exploration and colonization, and the wild frontier regions. Also the relation of the Imperium to its member worlds seems more British then Roman. Traveller also has a Feudal Future and the nobles have real power.
  • Warhammer 40,000: Post-Constantine Rome. Its better days are behind it, technological advancement has slowed to a crawl, and the Imperium is facing threats inside and out but perhaps Roboute Guilliman's return may help. For more specific examples, feudal worlds or μ-class planets, as they are dependent on local agriculture and the most advance tech are black powder guns and cannons. These worlds make for little use or need but some are used to find new recruits for Space Marines from the nobles and warriors and may also be a Knight World, having warrior-noble houses pilot Knights to defend their countries and fight for the Imperium of Man.

    Video Games 
  • NieR, which takes place 1,400 years after the ending in Drakengard in which Caim and Angelus end up in Shinjuku, takes place in a dying world where humanity is on the brink of extinction and society has since devolved mostly into a pseudo-medieval hellhole, though Lost Technology abounds.
  • The Glitch in Starbound were part of a mass of robotic humanoids made to simulate cultural growth over a long period of years, and while most of these experiments eventually wiped themselves out when they hit a certain point of advancement, one group, due to a Glitch (which is where their name came from), wound up never moving past the Medieval period and believe that, through another glitch, any who advance technology are evil magicians to be slain. Players are one such self-aware glitch.

    Western Animation 
  • Adventure Time is set in a mostly-Feudal Future, divided into various monarchies run by what would seem to be the descendants of those who survived, mutated by The Great Mushroom War.
  • Futurama: The episode The Late Philip J. Fry includes a Feudal Future with giraffes as feudal rulers over humans, along with Futurama relying heavily on the Days of Future Past trope in the whole series. In the pilot episode, while Fry is frozen and there's a montage of progress outside the window, there's a gag where buildings gradually build up and become more futuristic, then flying saucers fly by and destroy everything, then a castle starts to be built (only to be destroyed by flying saucers again).
  • The planet Prysmos in Visionaries, also falls into this category. The opening scenes of the first episode show how all machines on the planet failed when its Three Suns aligned, though the precise reason this happened is never made clear. Within a few years, the once technologically advanced Prysmosians were living in a medieval-style society, though remnants of the Age of Technology can still be seen.

Space Samurai

    Anime and Manga 
  • Afro Samurai has a culture of honour combat and sword fighting, in what looks like feudal Japan. With guns, mobile phones and robots thrown in.
  • The manga series Manga/Basara takes place in what at first appears to be a fantasy world inspired by feudal Japan. As it's later revealed, it's actually Japan in a post-apocalyptic future.
  • Planet Oedo from EDENS ZERO, right down to its name just being Tokyo's medieval name. The planet itself hardly deviates from real-life Edo one bit; it's just that the rest of the known cosmos has already entered the space age, and thus the planet is seen as "primitive" by comparison.
  • The manga Grenadier reveals over time that this is the case, in an After the End sense, particularly with the appearance of The Dragon's Electronic Eyes, and the usage of a solar Wave-Motion Gun by the Big Bad as his ultimate weapon during the final battle.
  • Samurai 7 combined the feudal era elements of the Kurosawa movie it was based on with Humongous Mecha. Think peasants farming rice by hand being raided by massive cyborgs aloft with anti-grav.

  • The social order established by Orion Assante in Grendel incorporates a lot of feudal Japanese motifs and elements.
  • Space Usagi anyone?

  • Star Wars, to a degree (the Jedi code of the warrior and Darth Vader having a part-stahlhelm part-samurai helmet).
    • The Jedi robes in general were based on traditional Japanese clothing, to emphasize this.
    • The Force is also loosely based on Taoist teachings.

  • A planet mentioned in Armor by John Steakley has a feudal society with samurai trappings, deliberately founded by some guy with an enormous pile of money and a big ego. The Emperor is accompanied everywhere by a bodyguard whose duties, apart from the obvious, include beheading anybody who doesn't appear suitably impressed by the Emperor's magnificence. (Fortunately, the current Emperor is genuinely pretty darn impressive.)

  • The cover artwork for the Blue Öyster Cult LP Club Ninja shows an imaginatively rendered Space Samurai in predominantly red armour. Several songs on the LP perpetuate the Ninja association, ie Shadow Warrior.

    Tabletop Games 
  • The major exceptions to the above in BattleTech are the Draconis Combine and Capellan Confederation, which are Japan and China, respectively.
  • In Mutant Chronicles the Mishima MegaCorp is based of Feudal Japan with Samurais who strictly follow the Bushido code.
  • The Three Galaxies setting of Rifts has the Oni race, space-faring aliens based off a mixture of ancient and modern Japan. They have Samurai-inspired Cyborgs called Cyberai, their economy is almost entirely based off corporations called zaibatsu, and their empire is known as the Bushi Federation.
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • Fans often accuse the Tau of being space Japanese, and, thus, anyone who plays them are called Weeaboos. This is perhaps because the costumes and vehicles of the Tau are inspired by East Asian clothing and architecture.
    • Arguably, the Craftworld Eldar have more of a Japanese ninja inspiration, much with their extensively trained and swift swordsmen.

    Video Games 
  • The Kusari in Freelancer have reverted back to feudal Japan, complete with lords and a shogun, although no samurai battles or ceremonial swords are shown.
  • While Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance takes place in a near future Earth that mostly matches modern politics and society, the characters and themes and especially the weapons and technology evoke the feeling of feudal Japan, complete with sword-wielding samurai cyborgs and characters who evoke the imagery of Buddhist and Hindu deities. There's even a section of one level where Raiden fights through a gratuitously-traditional Japanese village built in the middle of a corporate skyscraper in downtown Denver, Colorado.
  • In Utawarerumono, the setting is far future Japan, which has reverted to a feudal system that seems to combine the Yamato and Ainu people's traditions. The rest of the world might be different, but we never see it.


Space Western

    Anime and Manga 
  • Most of Leiji Matsumoto's works have elements of this. The most notable elements are Captain Harlock's Cosmo Dragoon (whose looks are heavily based on the Colt Dragoon), and the recurring world Heavy Meldar (whose main city, hosting the space train station, is modeled on the stereotypical western town).
  • Cowboy Bebop, as its name implies. The pioneering spirit is somewhat involuntary, being mostly due to the destruction of Earth's moon, scattering all those able to get away across the frontier of the solar system. If there is any "civilized homeland" left, it is on Mars, not Earth.
    • However, this may be due to idiomatic translation. None of the main characters are cowboys in the Western sense. In fact, the DVD extras clarify that "cowboy" in Japanese may be more like "bounty hunter" in English. Which makes sense as ALL of the protagonists are bounty hunters (or want to be). But the Old West themes are still laid on pretty thick.
  • GUN×SWORD also takes place in a western-style planet with Humongous Mecha. It's more a spaghetti Western than other space-western anime.
  • Outlaw Star may fall more on the sci-fi side of things (with some Daoism and sufficiently advanced shenanigans thrown in) than the above examples, but the gun-slinging is plentiful, and there're enough bounty hunters and duels at binary sunset to give its narrative the Western vibe its title does.
  • Trigun, much like Firefly, has a Wild West society with advanced technology, but here it's explained as humanity doing what it has to in order to survive on the desert world it's stuck on.


  • Star Wars, Mos Eisley has the theme of a typical western town.
  • Outland, which is basically High Noon IN SPACE!
  • As with Firefly, the setting of Serenity is basically just cowboys in space. With zombies.

  • In Ian McDonald's Desolation Road and Ares Express the non-urban areas of Mars are very much like the Old West.
  • Zack Hughes' For Texas and Zed.
  • Much of the third book of John Birmingham's Disappearance trilogy takes place in the western half of the United States which has once again become the Wild West only with truck convoys instead of wagon trains and the cavalry riding Humvees and helicopters. Also no Native Americans since they died along with everyone else. Plenty of Indians from India though as imported workers.

    Live Action TV 
  • If one considers the plight of the Colonial fleet as analogous to the Mormon migration to Utah (in keeping with the strong Mormon themes throughout the show), then the original Battlestar Galactica also qualifies.
  • Firefly; there are reasons for the Wild West/Australian Outback: After the Alliance won the Unification War, the planets that supported the Browncoats were "punished" for their rebellion by being deprived of many of the essentials that they once enjoyed. New colonists sent out by the Alliance are, according to Mal, dropped on a planet's surface with little more than basic tools and some livestock. Many of the outer planets' workers are forced into effective slavery by corrupt corporations and landowners, and the recently-terraformed nature of many of the worlds leaves them in a constant state of sparse, Western-style scrubland.
    • The episode "Heart of Gold" handles it particularly well, with a local ruler forcing everyone to live out his own personal fantasy of ruling an old west town.
    • As with most 19th-century based westerns, a recent civil war between a federal government and break-away "states" frames the story.note  Incidentally, this makes the two "Browncoats" on the Serenity analogous to former Confederates.
  • Max Headroom. Lots of retro items still around (or recreated?) 20 Minutes into the Future.
  • The original Star Trek was described by its creator as being a space western. The show uses western-style fighting and is generally paced and acted as a western.
    • Most of the primary cast had performed in westerns in the past (DeForest Kelley in particular was well-known as a Bad Guy character actor before becoming Dr. McCoy) and westerns were the most popular shows on television during that period, so it's not surprising that Star Trek would follow that pattern.
  • An episode of Star Trek: Enterprise involved the crew stumbling across an Old West town on a planet light years from Earth. It turned out that the inhabitants were the descendants of humans abducted as slave labour by aliens sometime in the 19th century. Though that didn't explain why they hadn't made any cultural, sartorial or scientific advances in the intervening 300 years, despite having alien technology to work with. This start of affairs is notably averted in a similar-themed Voyager episode "The 37s", where the rebelled Transplanted Humans did indeed progress to a post-21st century society since 1937.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Deadlands being a Wild West game, its sequels Hell on Earth and especially Lost Colony have a good deal of the Western about them. While Hell on Earth is set on Earth, but after the advent of space travel, Lost Colony is literally in space, complete with the Native American analog aliens, the Anouk.

    Video Games 
  • Borderlands presents this theme through a desert planet inhabited by bandits and many guns, of which Jakobs brand guns fit the aesthetic. Borderlands 2 even presents a Western-themed area with a vigilante sheriff, trains running through and even a showdown.
  • StarCraft : The Terrans are modeled after The Wild West, being (inadvertent) pioneers on a new frontier constantly expanding to new worlds, complete with southern drawls, crooked leaders, and a government called the Confederacy.
    • Raynor and Tychus used to rob trains. Raynor eventually became a Marshal and rallied up a posse to deal with the Zerg.
    • Arcturus Mengsk even wears ceremonial uniforms not unlike those from the time of the The American Civil War. He's basically clad as a fusion of Robert E. Lee and a Union officer.
    • The Terrans are basically "The Wild West meets (the book version of) Starship Troopers"
  • Wild Guns. Cowboys and robots!

    Western Animation 


    Anime and Manga 
  • Although ARIA takes place on Mars in the distant future, the city of Neo-Venezia was built explicitly as a recreation of classical Venice. Other recreations of Earth include a Japanese temple on a nearby island.
  • In Avenger, the civilization on Mars seems an awful lot like the city-states of ancient Greece.
  • Coming back to Cowboy Bebop again, the cities on Mars almost look indistinguishable from current terrestrial ones. They borrow from many examples such as New York and Hong Kong.
  • While technologically advanced as you'd expect for the 5000s CE, the society and culture of Gankutsuou resembles the 19th-century France of Dumas' original novel — just with space ships instead of carriages, and nobles' country retreats on other planets. The anime begins with a fancy noble ball on the moon.
  • Some locales in the different Gundam universes evoke the past 100 years to a certain extent. This is more blatant in Gundam Wing, and even more obvious in ∀ Gundam, where clothing non-Lost Technology are only getting back to where they were long, long ago.
  • Gungrave, though actually set in the far future on a different planet, captures the 1980s "Greed Is Good" Drug-Lords-of-America-aesthetique rather well.
  • The Galactic Empire in Legend of the Galactic Heroes has a strong 19th century Prussian aesthetic.
  • In a milder example, Martian Successor Nadesico's Show Within a Show, Gekiganger 3, despite being almost identical to the 1970s Super Robot anime it parodies, is said to have premiered in the year 2096.

  • CrossGen's Myth Arc spanned many series and worlds, some futuristic and some seemingly archaic, but all with humans. Meanwhile, back on Earth in Crux, Geromi explains that humanity spread through the universe and colonized a lot of worlds. Which means that every other world we see, from steampunk-Victorian Ruse to medieval-fantasy Sojourn to feudal-Japanese The Path to Roaring-Twenties Mystic (to the ones that actually are sci-fi-ish), is actually in the distant future and was once colonized by spacefaring humans.

  • Star Wars
    • Star Wars counts as all three. The western influence comes in location. Young Luke lives in the middle of a desert on a farmnote , later meeting up with gunslinger Han Solo in a saloon-style cantina. The designs of the Jedi and Sith are heavily-samurai based, clothes resembling kimono and swords like katana. However, their behavior is medieval-basednote  having a monastic lifestyle and parallels to wizards, especially in Palpatine and Obi-Wan Kenobi. The Jedi Code is a combination of both Bushido and Chivalry, both being similar to each other.
      • The space dogfights were explicitly based on the real thing from WWI, the Death Star could arguably be compared to things like the impossibly big tank projects Germany had running during both world wars (the K-wagen during the first, the Maus, Ratte and Monster during the second) or the atom bomb or both.
  • Dark City, Brazil, and Gattaca all show a particular kind of this trope, focusing on a '20s and '30s Film Noir look, inspired by German Expressionism.
  • Guardians of the Galaxy (2014), which creates what is, overall, a mid-'70s to very-early-'80s atmosphere through its choice of music tracks and its aesthetic cues for sci-fi.

  • The culture of Norstrilia, from the Cordwainer Smith novel of the same name, takes its name, language and many of its customs from the North Australia of the 19th and early 20th Centuries.
  • In Charles Stross' Singularity Sky the planet it takes place on is very similar to Tsarist Russia including a smoldering revolutionary movement.
  • Queztalia in James Morrow's Wine of Violence is an idealized take on the Meso-American Toltec civilization.
  • All The Things I've Done by Gabrielle Zevin takes place in Manhattan in the late 21st century, but has more elements of The Roaring '20s only without the "roaring" part. However, instead of alcohol being prohibited, it's chocolate and coffee that are prohibited (the main character's family runs a chocolate factory). In fact several offhand comments made by older characters suggest that the world is, in fact, stagnant.
  • Most books written by french far right author Guillaume Faye advocate for the building of a Days Of Future Past Society. Faye dubs his plan "Archeofuturism" (Antique/Ancient Future) Right wing sites like Counter Currents frequently compare Faye's plans to Dune.
  • The mixing of the historical and the futuristic is a reoccurring motif in Aeon Legion: Labyrinth. Saturn City, a city state founded by time travelers, has a culture that is a mix of Arabic, Latin, and Greek influences. The Aeon Legion who act as Time Police use swords with Deflector Shields and even take on squires. Even the setting itself, called the Edge of Time, is a place where all time blends together.
  • This trope isn't too heavily used in Honor Harrington, but several of the societies described have specific historical parallels. The People's Republic of Haven takes on some of the characteristics of revolutionary and Napoleonic France, while the Star Kingdom of Manticore's society and military parallels the United Kingdom during the same era. There's also the emperor of an overwhelmingly ethnic Chinese interstellar polity who nonetheless modeled his empire after Prussia and the German Empire. Before the time period of the novels, Grayson was a moderately-backwards colony akin to feudal Japan, changing to pseudo-Meiji Japan during their first appearance. Other "neobarb" colonies that have lost contact with the outside world and regressed technologically are also shown. And, of course, the space technology of the novels, at least in early books, is set up precisely to allow classic Age of Sail battles in space.
  • The urban areas of the Mars of Ian McDonald's Desolation Road and Ares Express have a very Jazz Age feel to them, including the planet's most popular musician being Glenn Miller, who is inexplicably alive in the 28th century and the music of the revolution being swing jazz, salsa and samba.
  • Julian Comstock by Robert Charles Wilson presents an America that has regressed both technologically and socially to a mid-19th-century level due to the exhaustion of the world's oil supply.
  • Neal Stephenson's The Diamond Age takes place on a future earth where people have segregated themselves into several large "phyles," unified not by geography but by shared culture and beliefs. One of these phyles, New Atlantis, has based its laws and cultural practices on those of the American and English Victorian period, with the addition of zeppelins. The underlying idea is that nanotechnology has given everyone the tools to live more or less as they please, and broken the control of territorial governments over their citizens. So people wind up forming factions based on whatever culture they choose to live in. The neo-Victorians just happen to be the ones who adopt the main viewpoint character.
  • Piers Anthony's Literature/Cluster series had, as a rule of space colonization, that civilizations would regress in proportion to their distance from the original home planet. It Makes Sense in Context, up to a point, except that they regressed exactly back into the history books; X light years away, you had atomic-age planets; further away than that, you had industrial revolution planets; further away than that, you had medieval planets; all the way out to the edge, where you have caveman planets.
  • The Space Captain Smith series by Toby Frost is about a hero of the British Space Empire. On the covers he's shown in a red uniform, circa 1880, carrying a rifle that looks like a 19th century weapon with a futuristic scope attached.
  • Timothy Zahn's Quadrail Series is a take on the Golden Age of Railroad, only the railroad is built and maintained by mysterious aliens and stretches between star systems.
  • Tom Kratman's Caliphate is set during the 2100s where Western Europe is governed by a totalitarian Islamic regime whose government and social structure emulate 7th-Century values promoted by leaders who wish to emulate a purer time during the birth of Islam. The Caliphate does access to some advanced technology like military aircraft and cyborgs, but none of it is produced by them and is imported from abroad. On a whole, they are considered to be backwards to literally everyone else in the setting, as the Caliphate is still reliant on manual slave labor while the USA has self-driving cars and China has developed clones and artificial humans.
  • Victoria, set in the 2030s, has strong tendencies toward this. There is a general monarchist revival, with Russia, Germany and Japan (among other nations) restoring their old imperial systems of absolute monarchy; various archaic political systems, from Nazism and Communism to theocracy, enjoying their own resurgences; and, as modern society collapses, old ways of living seeing a renaissance. The setting even has an actual nation of Amazons! The Northern Confederation, the "hero" faction of the book, implement an Articles of Confederation-style, bare-bones libertarian republic based on yeoman farming, steam-powered rail and cold-fusion-powered airships that looks like a positively Arcadian vision of small-town America in the Fifties... if you ignore how they treat women, non-white people and anyone who isn't their sort of people.
  • Christopher Stasheff Warlock of Gramarye series uses three, on different planets:
    • Wolmar echoes the American Old West of fiction, with forts and traveling peddlers and an on-going war between the settlers and the natives.
    • Otranto is a destination-vacation planet based on Victorian "Gothic" fiction, both romance and horror. Lampshaded in that The Castle of Otranto was a major work in the genre.
    • Gramarye is a planet originally settled by members of the Society For Creative Anachronism; it was deliberately set up to follow the structure of medieval Europe.

    Live Action TV 
  • Caprica followed Gattaca in making its futuristic society look like 1950s or early '60s USA in terms of fashion and product design. Officially, this was Cultural Translation combined with Direct Line to the Author: Battlestar Galactica had used 2000s USA fashions and Caprica was set a few decades before, so the design choices were supposed to put us in the mindset of an earlier era.
  • On Star Trek, the Enterprise visited a few worlds that paralleled Earth's history. Strangely, each time they found a different explanation for that world's existence. In "Bread and Circuses" they encountered a world that mirrored a 20th Century Roman Empire with Christianity beginning to emerge (Kirk mentioned a theory of "parallel evolution"). "A Piece of The Action" had a planet re-enacting The Roaring '20s (previous Federation visitors left a book about Chicago mobs behind, and the locals made that their bible). "Patterns of Force" had a world modeled after Nazi Germany (a historian tried to restore the world's collapsing society, hoping to avoid the evils of the Nazis, which went about as well as can be expected).
    • Interestingly, the latter example has the Space!Nazis picking the inhabitants of a neighboring planet as their "subhuman" enemy. The planet's name? Zeon ("Zion" is a synonym for Jerusalem).

    Video Games 
  • The generation ship in Analogue: A Hate Story regresses from a generally egalitarian society to one resembling the oppressive Joseon era, even to the extent of reverting from from Hangul to Chinese characters.
  • It can be assumed that the pre-Armageddon American society was something like this in the Fallout series of games. While much of the technology was pretty advanced by today's standards (laser guns and robots), the computer monitors were all monochrome CRTs and everything had a very retro 1950s feel to it. It's revealed that at least part of this was caused by the transistor not being invented until the 21st century, leaving industrial society to build on inefficient and bulky vacuum tubes as a technology foundation, causing a Post-Peak Oil-crisis by the 2050's that escalated into World War III. Society itself also never progressed much beyond the post-War period, with fashion, art, architecture and social mores frozen in the Red Scare-era.
    • Caesar's Legion (pronounced Kai-sar by the legionnaires) is a huge slaver nation with the style of dress based on military uniforms of Ancient Rome. The ranks are also borrowed from Rome: legionnaires and centurions.
    • Fallout: New Vegas also has Space/Future Western themes.
  • The setting of the Iron Grip games is a mostly feudal Steampunk Low Fantasy world, but it's generally hard to pigeon-hole one or even two single historical eras it resembles the most. In broad terms, it has a blend of culture, architecture, tech and overall atmosphere that wouldn't look out of place in eras as varied as The Middle Ages, The Renaissance, the Thirty Years' War, The Napoleonic Wars, Victorian Britain, Tsarist Russia, World War I, World War II, the decades between them... Not only Culture Chop Suey, but full-blown Era Chop Suey as well...
  • Mother 3: It takes place in a future in which society has been taken back (or forward?) because humans have all gathered on a single island that survived the end of the world and erased their memories. They are fascinated when machines are brought to them via time travel, and they start off not using money.
  • The New Order Last Days Of Europe: Kemerovo under Rurik II/Nikolai Krylov is a highly unusual populist constitutional monarchy that incorporates Kievan and Muscovite aesthetics and customs, while maintaining Soviet-like trade unionism and a modern army and industrial base in The '60s. It can potentially beat out all the other warlord states to unite all of Russia to form the Kingdom of Rus.

  • Arthur, King of Time and Space transplants the cast of the Arthurian mythos into a futuristic Space Opera (among other things). This gives us a setting where medieval kings hold court on their starships, and knights joust with fighter craft, and fight space pirates. Then things get really weird when Merlin, a time traveler, reveals the entirety of Earth's history has been space-opera-fied as well; the earliest history anyone in the setting knows is the Eden Colony formed after the destruction of the theoretical origin planet, and Arthur gets to go back and visit Space Hercules on Planet Greece, plus Space Jesus, Space Noah, and many more.
  • String Theory (2009) takes place in the United States, where it's scientifically the 2050s but morally/socially the 1950s. Per Word of God:
    Unfortunately, in the world this comic’s set in (the 1950s of the future!), people aren’t very accepting or understanding of different sexual orientations. Actually, folks aren’t very accepting in general. It's a distrust of foreign cultures and ideas, mostly, mixed with good old fashioned repressed victorian standards and ideals.
  • Zombie Ranch shows a world where, in the wake of a Zombie Apocalypse, the reaches of the Southwestern U.S. seem to have reverted to an Old West/frontier model of society. Even the Safe Zones seem to have adopted variations on old-time fashion and accessories alongside more modern ones.

    Web Originals 
  • Nonpachyderm is exclusively set here, with a society that has split into two groups, one mostly with high technology but no capacity for food production, the other able to farm and manage agriculture. This leads to a trading culture with technology and its benefits traded for the basics required for life

    Western Animation 
  • Samurai Jack is set in a Bad Future where robot Vikings exist side-by-side with hidden Spartan villages, futuristic versions of 1930's Chicago, and Southern Belle Bounty Hunters.
  • The Super Friends has several episodes set on alien planets based on periods of Earth history. Texacana is a wild west planet, Camelon is a medieval planet, and Zagdad is an Arabian Nights planet.