VIRTUAL FUTURES: Wordviews of Alternative Tomorrows (1996) by Lane Jennings


Virtual Futures Coverjpeg


          Into the deep, machines

          All systems dancing on a needle’s point

          Make voyage.  Where crystal spheres once sang

          Now swarm the frequencies antennas ring to [….]

                  from Omar Khayyam and the Voyager Probes

                                        in VIRTUAL FUTURES

This is a book of dreams, and doubts, and possibilities.  The contents are not offered as predictions, promises, or early warnings. Rather, these brief glimpses into possible tomorrows in the form of poems (or “wordviews” if you prefer) aspire to quickly set the scene without lulling readers into a state of suspended disbelief.  Instead of a future populated by superheroes and crises to match, we invite you to visualize yourself exactly as you are today immersed in a world of different opportunities and dangers.

Comments and questions appended to each poem are intended to help guide readers beyond the limits of words on a page to an exploration of their own future concerns and priorities.  First published 20 years ago, Virtual Futures breaks the future down into four distinct “eras”:

Preparations (1970 to 1999) is largely of interest for the differences between what appeared probable in the years
leading up to the end of the 20th century and what we now know actually occurred;

Prospects (1999-2025) the “extended present” we exist in, and for which the major changes taking place have already begun;

Evolutions (2025-2150) the “near future” we can expect our children and our grandchildren to see; and

Speculations (2150 and Beyond) “the far future” about which we can only guess and hope with little or no certainty.

If ”virtual reality” is defined asan interactive experience that incorporates a sense of being somewhere”* Virtual Futures is a book that puts you, the reader, into novel situations and invites you to decide what happens next based on your personal goals and values.  A unique reading experience.

*Ben Delaney, publisher of CyberEdge Journal

Publisher: OtherWorlds Press

Pages: 96

Price: Signed Limited Edition Trade Paperback  (300 copies) $29.95


Sample Pages (see below)