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Jun 5th 2020 at 12:04:03 AM •••

I think the lead paragraph should be rewritten to better explain the trope, distinguish it from Zeerust, de-emphasize the "prediction" theme (works using this trope usually are more interested in commenting on current society than predicting the future) and shorten the long list of ways in which decade X imagined the future, which might be misleading. Here's an attempt, if anyone would care to offer feedback.

"The Future, but not so far into it that you'd notice except for the abundance of Applied Phlebotinum. Works set 20 Minutes into the Future add futuristic technology and limited social change to what is otherwise The Present Day. Said social change is usually a linear extrapolation of existing crises, and rarely more radical than that; thus, for example, American works from The '70s making use of this setting often have endlessly skyrocketing crime and inner urban decay, while those of The '80s feature Mega Corps and the notion that Japan would rule the world.

This tends to result in some form of Zeerust, but the two tropes are distinct. While works affected by the latter reflect the time they were made in, those taking place 20 Minutes into the Future necessarily resemble their time in non-trivial ways. Exactly when the depicted society is too different to fall here is not well-defined, but an important clue that you have this trope is when cultural details such as fashion and architecture are practically identical to those that were in vogue when the work was created. Another is when there are points in the story where the setting could easily be mistaken for The Present Day."

Edited by SomeRandomBastard
Aug 13th 2019 at 9:36:08 AM •••

A Scanner Darkly (the 2006 film) shoud be added, it starts with a line saying that the movie is set "7 Years from Now"

Jun 4th 2020 at 11:16:16 PM •••

The idea is that this is a counterpart to this site's definition of Urban Fantasy in that the latter is (simplifying) "the present day but with magic" and this is (also simplifying) "the present day but with advanced technology". Both are Like Reality Unless Noted.

Edited by SomeRandomBastard
Aug 3rd 2016 at 6:58:33 PM •••

The example for Stargate SG-1's episode "2010" is inaccurate—someone seems to think "2010" actually aired in 2010. It aired in 2001, so making predictions about nine years later is just the trope played straight.

Jan 3rd 2014 at 1:55:39 AM •••

I have a serious problem with the page quote article and the general tone of this.

What almost everyone seems to forget is that virtually every work of art makes ASSUMPTIONS. Whenever a writer writes about the future, they make certain assumptions not only about the future, but also about the path the society takes towards that future. The collapse of the Soviet empire was not foreseen by any of the authors, and it is possible that if the Soviet empire didn't collapse, the arms race and space race and other effects would force USA to invest more heavily into the space program, A.I. etc., thus making a lot of the things predicted for the future closer today.

At the same time, a lot of the progress in the area of mobile communications etc. were clearly the result of serendipity or improbable chance - What exactly were the chances of the Google founders meeting and founding Google? What were the chances they would reject being purchased by Microsoft and subsequently their ideas butchered by corporate bulldozers?

Steve Jobs got a rare, treatable form of cancer; if it was any other, he'd be dead before iPhone ever hit the shelves. Star Craft I might have been a horrible disaster if one of the coders in the company wasn't brave enough to say "Look, the current version sucks, give me 3 months and I'll remake the engine into something much better". Consequently, South Korea would never become an e-Sport superpower, pumping craploads of money into the computer games business, Blizzard would not have enough money for World of Warcraft and who knows, maybe Kinect would not exist today.

And so on and so on. Therefore, whoever mocks old (or very old) movies for missing the mark when predicting future comes across as extremely arrogant to me.

Sorry for the rant, and thank you for reading.

Aug 30th 2012 at 11:33:04 AM •••

This needs some cleanup; a lot of the examples are Next Sunday A.D.. The description could also use a rewrite, it's a bit confusing as it is and doesn't explain the trope very well.

Edited by Flagfish
Apr 24th 2012 at 12:48:53 AM •••

Would "The Future of Us" by Jay Asher and Carolyn Macker be an example of this? To those who don't know, it takes place in 1996 and is about two teenagers who get hold of an AOL demo CD that somehow allows them to access their Facebook profiles from fifteen years in the future.

Oct 16th 2010 at 4:17:52 AM •••

And it seems all of this is only because the author wants the story to become real life.

Jul 24th 2010 at 4:45:21 AM •••

Concerning Harry Potter: I seem to recall reading an interview with Rowling where she states most of the events of the books take place during the 1990s. This would make the epilogue of the final book actually the only scene taking place more or less during the time of publishing.

Mar 26th 2010 at 7:40:02 AM •••

DN 3 D wasn't released in 1997. It was actually released in early 96.

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Jun 11th 2020 at 3:31:09 PM •••

I think that this trope should be more accurately defined as a depiction of a future setting that is both: 1. Not too distant from the creator's Present Day (probably a maximum of 100-150 years) 2. Not too different from the creator's Present Day (either in culture or in technology)

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