Here’s how science fiction novels and movies imagined the year 2022. Science fiction vs reality: what actually happened?
Soylent Green (1973 science fiction movie)
Soylent Green is a grim depiction of the year 2022: the 1973 movie draws the picture of a world struggling with the effects of global warming (a wise foresight for the year 1973), depleted resources, and pollution, doesn’t seem too far-fetched at all.
Admittedly, things are not quite as dire as Soylent Green predicted, and its infamous denouement still seems fanciful, but many of the issues it grappled with have become increasingly urgent in the ensuing decades.
Some of the film’s backdrop elements, such as casual (and mostly unnecessary) police brutality, corrupt big corporations wielding massive influence over government, ever-widening social inequality, and even euthanasia clinics are nowhere near as unlikely today as they seemed in the early 1970s.
Related: The Year 2023 in Science Fiction
Fahrenheit 451 (1953 novel)
One of the most famous examples of the science-fiction genre, Fahrenheit 451 is a 1953 dystopian novel by the American writer Ray Bradbury (August 22, 1920 – June 5, 2012).
The novel is set in some time after the year 1960. Later editions are set in after 1990 or 2022. But, in fact, it is set in an unspecified city at an unspecified time.
The novel presents a future American society where books are outlawed and “firemen” no longer control and put out fires and respond to emergencies involving life, property, or the environment, but instead burn any books that are found, usually with the building itself.
The book’s tagline, Fahrenheit 451 (232.778 degree Celsius) explains the title as “the temperature at which book paper catches fire, and burns”.
Fahrenheit 451 is widely regarded as one of Bradbury’s best works.
Alien Intruder (1993 science fiction film)
Alien Intruder is a 1993 science fiction film. It was set in 2022, several convicts sentenced to life in prison are led on a mission into uncharted deep space by Commander Skyler (Billy Dee Williams) to salvage a lost ship. Should they survive their mission, their lifetime sentence will be commuted.
The convicts are allowed into a series of virtual reality worlds where they could live with any woman they choose. However, a mysterious woman who is not part of the virtual reality programs (Ariel, played by Tracy Scoggins) appears, kills each virtual woman and seduces each convict. When Ariel also begins to appear outside the program, she manipulates the men quickly turn on each other.
Starring Maxwell Caulfield, Tracy Scoggins, Billy Dee Williams, Gary Roberts, Richard Cody, and Stephen Davies, Alien Intruder was directed by Ricardo Jacques Gale and written by Nick Stone.
Interestingly, the film successfully depicts the space junk problem, which can possibly end space exploration, and destroy our modern way of life in the future.
Related: The Year 2021 in Science Fiction
Time Runner (1993 film)
Partly set in 2022, Time Runner (also known as In Exile) is a 1993 science fiction film directed by Michael Mazo and starring Mark Hamill.
In October 2022, an alien force attacks Earth. Humanity’s last hope lies with fighter pilot Michael Raynor aboard a military space station, mourning the loss of his wife.
Raynor escapes before the aliens destroy the space station, and through a wormhole, goes back to the year 1992. Relentlessly hounded by a ruthless agent belonging to a super-secret government organization, Raynor learns he can affect the future and, with the help of scientist Karen McDonald, attempts to alert authorities to the future alien threat.
The Dark Side of the Moon (1990 film)
In the year 2022, a maintenance spacecraft is orbiting the Earth on a mission to repair nuclear-armed satellites. Suddenly, the crew experiences a mysterious, inexplicable power failure that cannot be accounted for.
As the ship grows colder, they find themselves drifting toward the dark side of the Moon (actually there’s no dark side of the moon, far-side is the accurate term). An old NASA spacecraft, the Space Shuttle Discovery, drifts toward them, although NASA has not been operating for 30 years.
Starring Robert Sampson, Will Bledsoe, Joe Turkel, Camilla More, John Diehl, Wendy MacDonald, and Alan Blumenfeld, “The Dark Side of the Moon” was directed by D. J. Webster from the screenplay by brothers Chad and Carey Hayes.
The film successfully predicts the retirement of the space shuttle, but just misestimates Discovery’s actual retirement day. Despite being the first operational shuttle to be retired, Space Shuttle Discovery was actually active until March 9, 2011.
The Tomorrow War (2021 science fiction film)
Directed by Chris McKay and starring Chris Pratt, Yvonne Strahovski, J. K. Simmons, Betty Gilpin, Sam Richardson, and Edwin Hodge, the 2021 American military science fiction action film The Tomorrow War is partly set in 2022.
In December 2022, during the broadcast of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, soldiers from the year 2051 arrive. They warn that, in their time, humanity is on the brink of extinction due to a war with alien invaders.
The invaders are referred to as the “Whitespikes”. They suddenly appeared in northern Russia in November 2048 and proceeded to kill the majority of the humans within three years.
To counter the invasion, the world’s present-day militaries are sent into the future via a wormhole device called the “Jumplink,” but fewer than 30% survive their seven-day deployment.
No Escape (1994 film)
Directed by Martin Campbell and starring Ray Liotta, Lance Henriksen, Stuart Wilson, Kevin Dillon, and Kevin J. O’Connor, the 1994 American science fiction action film No Escape is also known as Escape from Absolom and Absolom 2022. It was based on the 1987 novel The Penal Colony by Richard Herley.
In a dystopian 2022, when the penal system is run by corporations and prisoners are seen as assets, a former Reconnaissance Marine serves life imprisonment on an island inhabited by savage and cannibalistic prisoners.
Blade Runner Black Out 2022 (2017 cyberpunk anime short film)
Directed by Shinichiro Watanabe and animated by Cygames Pictures, Blade Runner Black Out 2022 is one of three short films that serve as prequels to the live-action film Blade Runner 2049, the others being 2036: Nexus Dawn and 2048: Nowhere to Run.
In 2022, three years after the events of Blade Runner, an EMP (Electromagnetic pulse) detonation caused a global blackout that has massive, destructive implications all over the world.
The Tyrell Corporation has developed the new Nexus-8 line of replicants, who now possess natural, open-ended lifespans equivalent to that of a regular human.
You can watch it from the video above.
George Jetson from “The Jetsons” was born in 2022
2022 is also the year The Jetsons’ lead character George Jetson was born.
The American animated sitcom The Jetsons was first aired from September 23, 1962, to March 17, 1963. It was set 100 years in the future, in the year 2062. The show’s lead character and the patriarch of the Jetson family, George Jetson was born in 2022.
In an episode that aired in December 1962, George was told by a doctor that he should live to be 150. George replies that he has 110 good years ahead of him, which makes his birth year 2022.
- “The Future Is Now (And It Ain’t Pretty): What Sci-Fi Forecast For The 2020s” By Coilin O’Connor on the Radio Free Europe – Radio Liberty website
- Fahrenheit 451 on Wikipedia
- Fahrenheit 451 on Good Reads
- Soylent Green on Wikipedia
- Alien Intruder on Wikipedia
- Time Runner on Wikipedia
- The Dark Side of the Moon (1990 film) on Wikipedia
- The Tomorrow War on Wikipedia
- Blade Runner Black Out 2022 on Wikipedia
- List of stories set in the future now past on Wikipedia