Sunday, 8 July 2018


It was 2025 and the current international crisis was approaching its crescendo. Everyone was glued to the TV above the bar:

"This country stands ready to defend its rights..."

Not everyone. One guy sat further back, grinning, apparently amused by our excitement. Puzzled by his response, and because there was nowhere to sit at the bar, I moved back to near where he was sitting.

"It won't happen," he confidently informed me. I waited for him to enlighten me. At last, he vouchsafed:

"This crisis will not escalate all the way for another twenty years."

"How do you know?"

"I've been there."

That was all. He had been where? He had lived through such protracted conflicts before? All of us had done that. Then:

"I must make a call."

He stood up and walked toward the phone booth at the back of the room. There was a burst of excitement from the bar. I glanced that way, then looked down at the table where I noticed that the mysterious stranger had left a coin. It was dated 2026. I looked quickly at the phone booth. It was empty.

Twenty years.


  1. Kaor, Paul!

    And July 2025 is only seven years from now! And for a person to find a coin dated 2025 in AD 2005 would be rather alarming.

    MY hope is that in July 2025 people will be reading about or listening to news reports about the colony Elon Musk hopes to found on Mars. That, along with devising reusable rocket technology, is what he wants to do at SpaceX.


  2. Sean,
    Preferable to a nuclear confrontation.

  3. Kaor, Paul!

    MUCH more preferable! Unfortunately, given rogue regimes like N Korea and Iran, or an ambitious China, such nuclear confrontations are not impossible. Which makes me hope even more strongly that Elon Musk succeeds.


  4. Sean,
    I chose 2025 to coincide with "The Very First Draft Of A Science Fiction Story" on the Science Fiction blog. That proto-story possibly ends with an international brotherhood of telepaths opposing the war-mongering national governments.