The Year 2024 in Science Fiction: Here’s how science fiction novels and movies imagined the year 2024. Science fiction vs reality: what actually happened?

Beyond the Time Barrier [1960 American Science Fiction film]

A 1960s U.S. Air Force test pilot Major Bill Allison is testing a new rocket-powered aircraft (actually a Convair F-102 interceptor). He flies the experimental new jet fighter to sub-orbital spaceflight and incidentally propels it into the future: the year 2024, to be exact.

There, he discovers a world where a deadly plague has wiped out most of humanity and the survivors are forced to live in a domed city named Citadel to protect themselves from the contaminated outside world. Allison falls in love with a young woman from the future, and together they try to find a way to return him to his own time and prevent the disaster that led to the collapse of civilization.

According to the movie, Nuclear weapons testing damaged the Earth’s atmosphere, letting through dangerous cosmic rays in 1971, resulting in the cosmic plague.

The Year 2024 in Science Fiction: Beyond the Time Barrier, a 1960 American Science-Fiction film (trailer)

Despite the cliches, plot holes, and cardboard acting, Beyond the Time Barrier is a great little traditional Cold War era, science fiction, time-traveling flick that resembles The Twilight Zone TV series. Cheesy, but in an enjoyable way.

It is also notable for being a low-budget film that was shot in only ten days. The film has gained a cult following over the years and is considered a classic of 1960s science fiction.

  • Director: Edgar G. Ulmer
  • Writer: Arthur C. Pierce (original story and screenplay)
  • Stars: Robert Clarke, Darlene Tompkins, Arianne Ulmer
  • Genre: Classics, Drama, Science Fiction & Fantasy
  • Budget: $125,000

You can also watch the full movie!

Beyond the Time Barrier (1960): full movie

A Boy and His Dog [1975 American film]

A Boy and His Dog is a 1975 American black comedy science fiction film directed by actor L.Q. Jones (August 19, 1927 – July 9, 2022), from a screenplay by Jones based on the 1969 novella of the same title by fantasy author Harlan Ellison (May 27, 1934 – June 28, 2018).

It is a post-nuclear war America, the year 2024. An 18-year-old boy, Vic (Don Johnson), and his telepathic dog, Blood, work together as a team in order to survive in the dangerous post-apocalyptic wasteland of the Southwestern United States.

There’s also an underground city named “Topeka”, named after the ruins of the destroyed city that it lies beneath. It has an artificial biosphere and even forests. The city is ruled by a triumvirate known as the Committee.

Following a woman named Quilla June Holmes (Susanne Benton), despite Blood’s warnings, Vic accidentally enters Topeka. Blood remains on the surface at Downunder’s portal.

The Year 2024 in Science Fiction: A Boy and His Dog (1975) Trailer

The Topeka Committee has transformed the city into a strange parody of pre-nuclear war America, where the inhabitants wear whiteface and clothing reminiscent of rural America before World War II.

Those who refuse to cooperate with the Committee are dispatched to “the farm” and are never seen again, as they are violently eliminated. Vic is informed that he too will be sent to “the farm” after his semen has impregnated 35 women.

You can also watch the full movie!

A Boy and His Dog (1975) – Full movie

Highlander II: The Quickening [1991 Science Fiction film]

The second installment in the Highlander film series, Highlander II: The Quickening is a 1991 science fiction film directed by Russell Mulcahy and starring Christopher Lambert, Virginia Madsen, Michael Ironside, and Sean Connery.

The story takes place in 2024 and revolves around Connor MacLeod, who regains his youth and immortal abilities and must free Earth from the Shield, an artificial ozone layer that has fallen under the control of a corrupt corporation.

The Year 2024 in Science Fiction – Highlander II: The Quickening (1991) Theatrical Trailer

Parable of the Sower (1993 novel)

Parable of the Sower is a 1993 post-apocalyptic fiction novel by the American writer Octavia E. Butler (June 22, 1947 – February 24, 2006). It provides commentary on climate change and social inequality.

In 2024, the United States is plagued by a deteriorating social fabric brought about by climate change, deepening wealth inequality, and corporate greed. Parable of the Sower follows the diary of Lauren Oya Olamina, a young African American grappling with the effects of “hyper-empathy” or “sharing.” As a result of her mother’s drug use during pregnancy, Lauren is plagued with an uncontrollable ability to feel the sensations she witnesses in others, particularly the abundant pain in her world.

Past Tense [Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, 1995]

“Past Tense” is a two-part episode from the third season of the popular science fiction television series Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, the 57th and 58th episodes overall.

When Commander Sisko (portrayed by Avery Brooks), Dr. Bashir (portrayed by Alexander Siddig, Bashir is the Chief Medical Officer of space station Deep Space Nine and the USS Defiant), and Jadzia Dax (played by Terry Farrell, though she appears to be a young woman, Jadzia lives in symbiosis with a long-lived creature, known as a symbiont, named Dax) beam down to Earth from the Defiant, an accident occurs and they materialize in San Francisco in the year 2024.

Past Tense (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine): It’s 2024

The Thirteenth Floor [1999 Science Fiction film]

The Thirteenth Floor is a 1999 science-fiction neo-noir film written and directed by Josef Rusnak and is loosely based upon Simulacron-3 (1964), a novel by the American science-fiction writer Daniel F. Galouye (11 February 1920 – 7 September 1976), and a remake of the German TV-film World on a Wire (1973).

The film stars Craig Bierko, Gretchen Mol, Armin Mueller-Stahl, Vincent D’Onofrio, and Dennis Haysbert. In 2000, The Thirteenth Floor was nominated for the Saturn Award for Best Science Fiction Film but lost to The Matrix.

The Year 2024 in Science Fiction: The Thirteenth Floor (1999 Science Fiction film) trailer

In 1999 in Los Angeles, Hannon Fuller (played by Armin Mueller-Stahl) is a wealthy computer mogul who created a virtual reality simulation of 1937 Los Angeles. When he is murdered while testing the system, his protégé Douglas Hall (played by Craig Bierko) becomes the prime suspect and begins to doubt his own innocence.

As Hall tries to clear his name, he meets Jane Fuller (played by Gretchen Mol), Hannon’s estranged daughter, who is trying to shut down the VR system. The two develop a romantic relationship, but Hall is also being questioned by Detective Larry McBain (played by Dennis Haysbert).

As Hall investigates the murder and tries to track down a message left by Fuller inside the simulation, he discovers that his world of 1990s Los Angeles is itself a simulated reality and that there are many other simulated realities. Jane is actually from the “real world” and was only participating in the 1990s simulation to gain control of the company and shut down the simulated 1937 reality.

Hall also discovers that he himself is modeled after Jane’s real-world husband David, who has been using the simulation to commit murders. David becomes jealous of Hall’s relationship with Jane within the simulation and starts to control Hall’s body to commit the murders himself.

The plot takes several twists and turns as Hall and Jane try to escape the dangerous situation, and eventually, Hall’s consciousness is released into David’s body in the year 2024, where he disconnects the VR system and finds Jane and Hannon Fuller, who looks remarkably like the man he was accused of killing in the simulated reality.


M. Özgür Nevres

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