What’s 10 Futures About?

The best way to prepare for the future is to imagine it. In our imaginations we can anticipate where we’re going, where our lives might be, the shape of the world to come.Shiny!

10 Futures is a very different book for me, a real departure from the wonderful Steampunk worlds of ‘The Laws of Magic’ and ‘The Extraordinaires’. I needed to abandon the gloriously formal and extended language of the Edwardian era and use language that is more clipped and direct. And 10 Futures doesn’t have much humour, which was a real wrench for me, but different contexts and different milieus require different approaches to writing.

10 Futures isn’t just random speculating. Each story segment has been carefully researched, and this is one area that was consistent with my last ten years of writing. The only difference was that instead of researching history, I was researching current trends and then trying to find good, evidence-based extrapolation. I looked at societal and cultural trends as well as scientific developments and asked the classic question: ‘What happens if this goes on?’

As well as this exploration of trends and wondering about the direction of humanity over the next hundred years, I was also considering the nature of ethical issues and moral dilemmas. Do morals change over time, or are some situations eternal? What affects our judgement of right and wrong? How could this change in response to a changing world? Should it change in response to a changing world?

Stories can make us think, and they can make us feel. They can put us in other shoes and wonder what we would do, how we would react, how we would cope.

When we immerse in stories, our empathy grows.


Teacher’s Notes for 10 Futures are available at the Random House teacher website. Click on the ‘Secondary’ button and then on ‘10 Futures’.

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