List of stories set in a future now past

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This is a list of fictional stories that, when written, were set in the future, but the future they predicted has now passed. The list excludes works that were alternate histories, which were composed after the dates they depict. The list also excludes contemporary or near future works (e.g. set within a year or two), unless it deals with some notable futuristic event as with the 2012 phenomenon. It also excludes works where the future is passively mentioned and not really depicting anything notable about the society as with an epilogue that just focuses on the fate of the main characters.

Work Form Year of publication/
release
Year set Notes
1. April 2000 Film 1952 2000 Depicts Austria as still being closely watched over by the Allies, even 55 years after the defeat of the Axis Powers in World War II.
12 Monkeys Film 1995 1996 The film is set in 2035 with the protagonist sent back in time to 1990 and 1996.
1984 Novel 1949 1984 Refers to several dates throughout the latter 20th century. Adapted into several films including 1984 in 1956
1985 (Anthony Burgess novel) Novel 1978 1985
1985 (György Dalos novel) Novel 1983 1985
1990: The Bronx Warriors Film 1982 1990 The sequel Escape from the Bronx is set sometime after this, and was released in 1983.
2001: A Space Odyssey Film, novel 1968 2001 (and other eras) HAL 9000 is activated in 1992 (film) or 1997 (novelization). Predicted digital newspapers / the newspad.[1][2][3][4]
2009: Lost Memories Film 2002 2009
2010 Film 1984 2010 sequel to 2001: A Space Odyssey film
2010: Odyssey Two Novel 1982 2010 sequel to 2001: A Space Odyssey book
2012 Film 2009 2012 See also: 2012 phenomenon.
2012: Ice Age Film 2011 2012 See also: 2012 phenomenon
2012: Supernova Film 2009 2012 See also: 2012 phenomenon
20th Century Boys Manga 1999–2006 2014–2015 The second major part of the story occurs in 2014–15 where society has become a dystopia ruled by the Friend Democratic Party. The live-action film series sets some of its events in 2015.
The Abyss Film 1989 1994
Adrenalin: Fear the Rush Film 1996 2007
Aeon Flux Film 2005 2011 A pathological virus kills 99% of the human population in 2011.
Airport 1975 Film 1974 1975
Alien Nation Film 1988 1991 Set in a world where aliens have landed in 1990 and are being integrated into society.
Alien Nation TV Series 1989–1990 1995–1996 Based on film of the same name. Aliens arrive in 1991.
Alien Soldier Video game 1995 2015
Angel Cop Manga/OVA 1990 1990s Takes place at the end of the 20th century.
Americathon Film 1979 1998 [1]
The Apple Film 1979 1994
Assassin's Creed Video game 2007 2012 See also: 2012 phenomenon[5]
Assassin's Creed II Video game 2009 2012 See also: 2012 phenomenon. Assassin's Creed III was released in 2012.[5]
Astro Boy Manga 1952–1968 2003 Astro Boy's birthday is April 7, 2003[6]
Atomic Knight Comic 1960–1964 1992
Back to the Future Part II Film 1989 2015 [7][8] October 21, 2015, the "future" date arrived at in the film, was celebrated as "Back to the Future Day"
Barb Wire Film 1996 2017 Predicts a second American Civil War in 2017.[9]
Battlefield 3 Video game 2011 2014
Battle for the Planet of the Apes Film 1973 c. 2001 (and other eras) "Turn of the 21st century"
Battle in Outer Space Film 1959 1965
The Black Cloud Novel 1957 1964
Blues Brothers 2000 Film 1998 2000
Body Harvest Video game 1998 2016
The Broom of the System Novel 1987 1990
Buck Rogers in the 25th Century TV series, film 1979 1987 Spacecraft launched in May 1987 before Rogers was frozen, nuclear war in November 1987
Bullet Witch Video game 2006 2013
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare Video game series 2007–2011 2011–2017 Final mission for third installment takes place on January 21, 2017.
Carrie Novel 1974 1979 The prom takes place in May 1979. The story also includes excerpts from accounts published in 1980.
Cherry 2000 Film 1987 2017 [9]
Childhood's End Novel 1953 c. 2000 Late 20th century[10]
Child's Play 3 Film 1991 1998
Class of 1984 Film 1982 1984
Class of 1999 Film 1990 1999 The sequel, Class of 1999 II: The Substitute is also set in 1999.
A Clockwork Orange Novel 1962 1970 The adaptation was released in 1971.
Cloverfield Film series 2008 2009 Found footage of events in 2009[11]
Conduit, TheThe Conduit Video game 2007 2012
Conquest of the Planet of the Apes Film 1972 1991
Creepozoids Film 1987 1998
Crimes of the Future Film 1970 1997
Dan Dare (original stories) Comic 1950s The late 1990s
Death of a President Film 2006 2007 Story is about events following the assassination of U.S. President George W. Bush in October 2007.
Death Machine Film 1994 2003
Death Race 2000 Film 1975 2000 Predicts the collapse of the US economy in 1979.
Demolition Man Film 1993 1996 Main characters are cryogenically frozen from 1996 and wake up in 2032. Also predicted a Great Earthquake in 2010 that merged parts of Southern California.
Deterrence Film 1999 2008
Destroy All Monsters Film 1968 1999 Initially, "The close of the 20th century". 1999 in the subsequent English-dubbed versions.
Dino Crisis Video game 1999 2009
District 13 Film 2004 2010
District 13: Ultimatum Film 2009 2013
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? Novel 1968 1992 2021 in later editions. The inspiration for the film Blade Runner
Dr. Bloodmoney, or How We Got Along After the Bomb Novel 1964 1981 and 1988
Doctor Who Telemovie 1996 1999 The Doctor travels to December 30, 1999
The Door into Summer Novel 1957 1970 and 2000
Double Dragon Film 1994 After 2007
Duke Nukem 3D Video game 1996 2007 Set in the early 21st century. Calendars in-game suggest October–December 2007.[5]
Earth Abides Novel 1949 1971
Earthbound Video game 1995 199X A woman who lends a map to the protagonist, Ness, tells him to "Come back in the year 2001 to return it."[12]
Eon Novel 1985 2005
Escape from L.A. Film 1996 2013 The film predicts a massive earthquake that floods the San Fernando Valley in 2000, rendering Los Angeles an island.
Escape from New York Film 1981 1997 Predicts a 400% rise in crime rate in 1988
Escape from the Planet of the Apes Film 1971 1973
El Eternauta Comic 1957–1959 1963
Extermination Video game 2001 2005
Fahrenheit Video game 2005 2009
Fahrenheit 451 Novel 1953 After 1960 Early editions listed some time after 1960. Later editions showed after 1990 or 2022. footnote Also predicted earbud headphones.[2]
"Fear Her" (Doctor Who episode) TV episode 2006 2012 Takes place during the 2012 Summer Olympics
Firebird 2015 AD Film 1981 2015
First Spaceship on Venus Film 1960 1985 Gobi Desert is irrigated in 1985.[13]
Fist of the North Star Manga 1983–1988 199X
Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said Novel 1974 1988
The Forge of God Novel 1987 1996
Fortress Film 1992 2017 [9]
Frankenstein 1970 Film 1958 1970
Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare Film 1991 1999
Freejack Film 1992 2009
Futurama Exhibit 1939 1959
"Future-Drama"
(The Simpsons episode)
Television series episode 2005 2013
Futureworld Film 1976 1985 [14]
Genesis II Telemovie 1973 1979 The movie opens in 1979, with the main character entering suspended animation. The bulk of the film, and the subsequent series, should it have been picked up, takes place in 2133.[15]
Give Me Liberty Comic 1990 1995–2012
Gorath Film 1962 1976-1982
Grand Theft Auto 2 Video game 1999 2013
The Great Air Robbery Film 1911 1925 Depicts air pirates
The Great War in England in 1897 Novel 1894 1897
Half-Life Video game 1998 2000s
Hardline Video game 1996 1998
Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man Film 1991 1996
The Hidden II Film 1993 2002
Hong Kong 97 Film 1994 1997 Depicts the 1997 transfer of sovereignty over Hong Kong.
Hong Kong 97 Video game 1995 1997 Set during the 1997 transfer of sovereignty over Hong Kong.[16] The game predicted that Deng Xiaoping would die in 1997, which came true.
Hunter Hunted Video game 1996 2015
I Am Legend Novel 1954 1976; 1979
I Am Legend Film 2007 2012 2009 predicted an outbreak of a re-engineered measles virus that kills 94% of the populace and mutates 5% into Darkseekers. Also predicted a Batman vs. Superman film. [17]
Infinite Jest Novel 1996 c.2002–2010 Starting sometime after 2001, each year is given a different sponsor name in a timeline called Subsidized Time, of which one of the years involves the year 2007. The story discusses about this going into the ninth year of this format.[18][19][20]
In the Days of the Comet Novel 1906 After 1906 A comet lands in 1906, spreading a green fog. Starting in Book II, the narrator wakes up to find a more peaceful and rational 20th century society.
In the Presence of Mine Enemies Novel 2003 2010–2011
Invasion! comic series 1977–1978 1990–1999 The sequel series Savage, published from 2004 to the present, treats the events as alternate history.
The Invasion of 1910 Novel 1906 1910
It! The Terror from Beyond Space Film 1958 1973
The Jagged Orbit Novel 1969 2014
Just Imagine Film 1930 1980
Kamikaze 1989 Film 1982 1989
Knight Rider 2000 Telemovie 1991 2000
Land of the Giants TV series 1968 1983
Last and First Men Novel 1930 Before 2018 The Anglo-French War occurs within a century of World War I.
The Last Man on Earth Film 1924 1960
The Last Man on Earth Film 1964 1968 An adaptation of I Am Legend
The Lathe of Heaven Novel 1971 1998–2002
"Letters of Transit" (from Fringe) Television series episode 2012 2015 Although most of the episode takes place in 2036, there is mention of a 2015 when the Observers took over the planet and initiated a purge of the populace.
Lifeforce Film 1985 1986 The film depicts an alien invasion timed to the 1986 return of Halley's Comet.
"Lisa's Wedding" (from The Simpsons) Television series episode 1995 2010 The episode depicts Big Ben as a digital clock that hasn't yet been properly set (i.e. it still shows 12:00).
Looking Backward Novel 1888 2000–1887 Predicted debit cards / credit cards and shopping malls.[2][3]
The Long Watch short story 1949 1999
Lost In Space Television series 1965–1968 1997 Jupiter 2, the main ship of the series, was launched on October 16, 1997.
Macross Zero Anime series 2002–2004 2008
Make Room! Make Room! Novel 1966 1999 The inspiration for the film Soylent Green
Malevil Novel 1974 The late 20th century Was made into a film in 1981
Manhunter: New York Video game 1988 2004
The Man Who Sold The Moon Novel 1951 1978
The Martian Chronicles Short stories 1947–1950 1999–2026 A 1997 edition of the book advances all the dates by 31 years; thus running from 2030 to 2057
Mega Man 2 Video game 1988 200X [12][5]
Memory Run Film 1995 2015
Men into Space Television series 1959–1960 c. 1975 The series was not set in a specific era, but clues throughout the scripts indicated that it took place in the mid-1970s to mid-1980s, with the first moon landing somewhere around 1975.
Men Must Fight Film 1933 1940 Predicts a Second World War between the United States and "Eurasia"
Mercenaries 2: World in Flames Video game 2008 2010
Metal Gear Video game 1987 19XX 19XX is later identified as 1995.[12][21]
Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake Video game 1990 1999 [22][23]
Metal Gear Solid Video game 1998 2005
Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty Video game 2001 2007–2009 The introduction mission is set in 2007, but the rest of the game is set in 2009.[22][21][5]
Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots Video game 2008 2014 Set nine years after the events of the original Metal Gear Solid[24] and five years after Sons of Liberty.[25]
Neon Genesis Evangelion Anime series 1995 2015 Followed by a clip show film, Neon Genesis Evangelion: Death & Rebirth, and a direct film sequel, The End of Evangelion.
The Ninja Warriors Video game 1987 1993
The Noah's Ark Principle Film 1984 1997
The Old Grey Hare (from Looney Tunes) Cartoon short 1944 2000 The Voice of God (Mel Blanc) transports Elmer Fudd through time to the (then) far-off future year of 2000, where both he and Bugs Bunny have advanced in age. The short also flashes back to Bugs and Elmer's babyhood.
Omega Cop Film 1990 1999
Omega Man, TheThe Omega Man Film 1971 1977 An adaptation of I Am Legend
Omega Race Video game 1981 2003
On the Beach Novel 1957 1963 The related 1959 film is set in 1964, and the related 2000 film is set in 2007.
Operation Flashpoint: Red River Video game 2011 2013
Outcast Video game 1999 2007
Paris in the Twentieth Century Novel 1863 1960 Published 1994
Patlabor OVA 1988–1989 1998–2002
The Peace Keepers Video game 1993 2015
The Phantom Planet Film 1961 1980
Perry Rhodan, "The Third Power" story arc Novel series 1961–1962 1971–1975
Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Video game 2001 2016
Pirates of 1920 Film 1911 1920 Depicts air pirates
The Postman Film 1997 2013
Predator 2 Film 1990 1997
"Preview of the War We Do Not Want" Novella 1951 1952–1954
Prince of Darkness Film 1987 1999 Characters in the present (1987) share a recurring dream which is a transmission from the future (1999).
Privilege Film 1967 1970s
Project Moonbase Film 1953 1970
Prophecies of Nostradamus Film 1974 1999
The Puma Blues Comic series 1986–1989 2000 Predicted a nuclear detonation in 1995. Time skip in issue #21 to 2002.
Psychic Force Video game 1995 2010
Psychic Force 2012 Video game 1998 2012
The Puppet Masters Novel 1951 2007 and later
Quantum Leap TV series 1989–1993 1995–1999 Sam Beckett is in 1995 when he starts leaping. Other events in the TV series bring the present time to 1999.
Rebuild of Evangelion Film series 2007–2012 2015 Reboot of Neon Genesis Evangelion. Installments 1.0, 2.0, and 3.0 were released from 2007–12. A fourth installment will be released but it will have taken place after 2015.
Red Dawn Film 1984 1989
Revolution X Video game 1994 1996 An alien cult kidnaps the rock band Aerosmith in 1996.
Ring Raiders Cartoon series 1989 1998
"Robbie" Short story 1939 1996 The story states the birth year of Susan Calvin as 1982.
RobotWar Video game 1981 2002
Rollerball Film 2002 2005 [26]
Running Man, TheThe Running Man Film 1987 2017 Predicts an economic collapse and totalitarian takeover of the US in 2017. The film itself takes place in 2019. [27][26] Refers to the "Great Quake of 97".
R. U. R. (Rossum's Universal Robots) Play 1921 c. 1955 The synthetic protoplasm that makes robots a possibility is discovered in 1932. The play itself takes place some decades after that.
Shank Film 2010 2015
The Shape of Things to Come Novel 1933 1933–2106 Contains several books covering future periods including an extensive Second World War, a dictatorship, and other dystopian ideas.
Shattered Union Video game 2005 2008–2014 [28]
6th Day, TheThe 6th Day Film 2000 2015
A Scanner Darkly Novel 1977 1994
Smash TV Video game 1990 1999 [12][29][23][5]
Snow Crash Novel 1992 2000s
Soldiers of Anarchy Video game 2002 2015
Space: 1999 Television series 1975–1977 1999–2006
Stand, TheThe Stand Novel 1978 1980 The 1980 paperback edition was set in 1985. The 1990 expanded Complete & Uncut edition was set in 1990, and included historical events from the 1980s.
Stand on Zanzibar Novel 1968 2010 Predicted the decline of Detroit, electric cars, overpopulation, the European Union, inflight entertainment, Viagra, terrorism, TiVo, reality television, and a president named Obomi.[2][30][31][4]
"Space Seed" (from Star Trek: The Original Series) Television series episode 1967 1993–1997 period of the Eugenics Wars, before which interplanetary ships and suspended animation had been perfected
Strange Days Film 1995 1999 events occur near the end of the 20th century
Street Fighter 2010 Video game 1990 2010 [12][5]
Strike Commander Video game 1993 2011
The Super Dimension Fortress Macross Anime series 1982 2009–2012 Episode 1 describes events from 1999–2009 when Macross first landed. Most of the story takes place starting in 2009. The final episode takes place in January 2012. A feature film, Macross: Do You Remember Love?, was made in 1984 covering the same events. An OVA epilogue subtitled Flash Back 2012 was produced in 1987, and takes place in September 2012. Was adapted into an English language version called Robotech that aired in syndication around 1985.
Super Glove Ball Video game 1990 2005
The Terminator: Future Shock Video game 1995 2015
Terminator 2: Judgment Day Film 1991 1995 The film predicts a future AI takeover and nuclear war in 1997
Terminator Genisys Film 2015 2017 First part of the film takes place in 2027, but a later part of the film is set in 2017, when the Terminator from the 1980s has aged.[9]
The Guns of the South Novel 1992 2014 The plot involves a gang of white supremacists who travel back in time from 2014.
The Tenth Planet (from Doctor Who) TV series 1966 1986 The 1985 Doctor Who serial Attack of the Cybermen also references these events
Things to Come Film 1936 1940–2036 Film adaptation of The Shape of Things to Come.
Thirst Film 2012 2017
Thunderbirds Film 2004 2010 Loosely based on the television series of the same name
Timecop Film 1994 2004
The Time Machine Film 1960 1966 Briefly sets down in 1966, when it depicts a nuclear war
Time Out of Joint Novel 1959 c. 1998
TimeSplitters Video game 2000 2005* (and other eras)
The Time Tunnel TV series 1966 1968
Titan Novel 1997 Early 21st century
Titanic II Film 2010 2012 set 100 years after the sinking of the RMS Titanic
Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Video game series 2001 2008 starts in 2008, sequels continue on timeline[32]
Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Video game series 1998 1999 sequels are set 1–2 years ahead of the release date
Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Video game series 2002 2004 sequels are set 1–2 years ahead of the release date
Total War: 2006 Novel 1999 2006 sequels are set 1–2 years ahead of the release date
The Transformers: The Movie Animated film 1986 2005
The True Meaning of Smekday Children's book 2007 2012–2013 Later adapted into the 2015 DreamWorks animated film Home
The Tunnel Film 1935 After 1940 About the building of a transatlantic tunnel. The Channel Tunnel was noted to have been built in 1940.
The Turner Diaries Novel 1978 1983 1991 in later editions
"The Truth" (from The X-Files) Television series episode 2002 2012 Final date set for alien colonisation. See also: 2012 phenomenon
Twisted Metal 3 Video game 1998 2008 The game predicted that Hollywood would be leveled by a great earthquake in 2007.[5]
Ubik Novel 1969 1992
Undersea Super Train: Marine Express Anime film 1979 2002
UFO Television series 1970 1980
Until the End of the World Film 1991 1999 [1]
Uplink Video game 2001 2010
Urban Strike Video game 1994 2001 Predicts a terrorist attack on the World Trade Center Towers in 2001.[33]
V for Vendetta Comic 1982–1985 1997–1998
The War in Space Film 1977 1988
The War of the Worlds Novel 1898 Early in the 20th century
Way...Way Out Film 1966 1989
Westworld Film 1973 1983 [14]
The White Plague Novel 1982 1996
Wicked City OVA 1987 End of the 20th century
The World Jones Made Novel 1956 2002
The World Next Door Novel 1990 1997
Wurm: Journey to the Center of the Earth Video game 1991 1999
X a.k.a. X/1999 Manga 1992 1999
Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders Video game 1988 1997
Zombie Nation Video game 1990 1999
Zombie Strippers Film 2008 2016 The film takes place in the fourth Presidential term of George W. Bush. The film was released in February 2008, before Bush left office.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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  2. ^ a b c d Thorpe, JR. "10 Times Science Fiction Predicted The Future, From Credit Cards To Earbuds". bustle.com. Retrieved April 15, 2017. 
  3. ^ a b "These 7 Books Predicted The Future With Eerie, Almost Unbelievable Accuracy". October 18, 2013. Retrieved April 15, 2017 – via Huff Post. 
  4. ^ a b "These 15 sci-fi books actually predicted the future". businessinsider.com. Retrieved April 15, 2017. 
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  8. ^ Wagstaff, Keith. "'Back to the Future Part II' writer Bob Gale talks 2015 predictions". today.com. Retrieved April 21, 2017. 
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  10. ^ Tribune, Scott D. Pierce The Salt Lake. "Classic sci-fi 'Childhood's End' comes to life". sltrib.com. Retrieved March 21, 2017. 
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  13. ^ http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/thedailymirror/2010/06/from-the-vaults-first-spaceship-on-venus-1960.html
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  16. ^ http://kotaku.com/5936454/racism-violence--madness-make-this-awful-hong-kong-game-one-to-remember
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  28. ^ "Is A Video Game From 2005 Predicting The Future Of The USA? [VIDEO]". kissfm969.com. Retrieved April 15, 2017. 
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  31. ^ "The Weird 1969 New Wave Sci-Fi Novel that Correctly Predicted the Current Day - The Millions". themillions.com. March 25, 2013. Retrieved April 15, 2017. 
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  33. ^ http://www.sega-16.com/2006/10/history-of-strike-series/