An (Admittedly Shaky) Version of the UK in 2050
Okay, so it’s the UK in 2050. And it has to be hot. You can’t talk about a future without assuming that global warming is going to continue. We are going to need a few of your standard sci-fi tropes; otherwise before we know it, we’re visiting Aunt Mavis after work and the only difference is that we’re wearing T-shirts. It’s so hot that humans are restricted to leaving the house between 6:00 and 9:30ish at the latest in the morning and then after 5:00 in the evening. The hours of 10:00-5:00 are out of bounds for most people unless you are very wealthy and can afford a solar suit. See what we did there? Boom, a standard sci-fi trope, the solar suits. And of course there is an aging population. The average age of retirement in the UK is now 80 with most of the older workers filling low-paid, service-sector jobs.
And we have personal hovercrafts too. Or at least those who can afford them have personal hovercrafts. So what else is different in this world of 2050? The reader at this point is probably thinking ‘where are the robots?’ We certainly would be. That’s the first thing we’d be thinking and we’d be feeling pretty short-changed without them. Surely there are lots of them, shiny and metal and doing things that we ourselves take for granted? Nope, there are some pretty cool techno gadgets and transport devices, but other than that we still brush our teeth using our hands and a small vibrating plastic brush, still do our own cleaning and still cook our own food. Okay this wasn’t the only reason. Since the banning of invisibility cloaks in 2041 (bank robberies soared by 250 % in their first year of public sale), there was a bit of a moratorium on the use of technology, social, medical and otherwise, especially when the online organ gambling craze of the late 20s started to put an almost intolerable strain on local hospitals.