In the Year 2014…

January 9, 2014


Like anyone, I start each New Year’s Day by using a book knife to hand-cut open each page of the newest volume of the Farmer’s Almanac. Like Lincoln before me, I set my calendar based around the weather forecasts for the next 364 days, adjusting where necessary. (I actually did this as a preteen, arranging on which day I should plan my October birthday party. No shame.)

In addition, I go through each piece of fiction set in the New Year to see what I can expect. Of those I could find in the first three minutes of research, only THE JAGGED ORBIT rings a bell.

Written in 1969, John Brunner’s Nebula Award winning science-fiction nove2623214l takes place in the USA of 2014, when “interracial tensions have passed the breaking point.” One of the main characters is a “spoolpidgeon”: a gossip columnist/political analyst who fabricates fake news stories to embarrass and blackmail celebrities and political figures.

It doesn’t seem that far-fetched, or at least not as strange a speculation as his “pythoness” characters. They consume psychedelic drugs in order to see the future. If only Brunner knew that the Farmers Almanac would still be around for that same purpose!

It is worth checking out the book’s first two chapters below if you need a reminder that there are no actual rules in fiction.














AlmanacfrontAre you left wondering what I would pick as my all-time favorite Book From The Future? No question: Grays Sports Almanac (1950-2000).

In my next post, I’ll teach you how to give deckled edges to every page of your entire library.

By Andrew Wetzel


At The Masters Review, our mission is to support emerging writers. We only accept submissions from writers who can benefit from a larger platform: typically, writers without published novels or story collections or with low circulation. We publish fiction and nonfiction online year-round and put out an annual anthology of the ten best emerging writers in the country, judged by an expert in the field. We publish craft essays, interviews and book reviews and hold workshops that connect emerging and established writers.

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