Reading the Future: Books That Surprisingly Envisioned Our World Today

Ready to feel some chills this October? Check out this list of books that have predicted the future!

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A clear crystal ball on top of a purple velvet cloth

You might have seen compilations where T.V. shows and movies have somehow predicted the future years in advance. Have you ever heard of people talking about books that have done the same? Fahrenheit 451 is notorious for some famous predictions, but let’s take a look at some other novels that have mysteriously done the same.

The Machine Stops by E. M. Forster

The cover of The Machine Stops; with a sort of hole carved into a rock wall

What’s interesting about this book’s prediction is that we’re currently living in it right now. Forster writes about a future where people only interact with others through electronics, which is quite a reality today. What’s unfortunate is that the people in this book became complete hermits where they didn’t want to leave their rooms at all and solely communicated with their relationships electronically. This was huge back in 2020 during Covid, when most of us couldn’t even leave our houses and had to do school and work online. It’s not much of a big thing now since things have died down, but many people still go to school and do work remotely.

The Wreck of the Titan by Morgan Robertson

The book cover of The Wreck of the Titan featuring a painting of a giant ship with an iceberg overlay

Probably the creepiest on this list is The Wreck of the Titan. This was originally published in 1898 and tells the story of a giant ship made of luxury crashing into an iceberg and sinking. This ship’s name was the Titan. Now, does this story sound similar to you; maybe the ship’s name and the way it was sunk rings any bells? What is absolutely shocking is again, this book was released in 1898 whereas the Titanic sank in 1912. What are these chances that Robertson wrote about the sinking of a ship with almost the exact name that met the same tragic end fourteen years later?

The Foundation Trilogy by Isaac Asimov

The book cover of The Foundation Trilogy featuring a drawing of a galaxy as a man looks into the sky

The Foundation Trilogy focuses on being able to tell the future based on current happenings in the world. Essentially, this means that there would be a power of statistics. We are always seeing different graphs and tables on a variety of topics that help us understand the increase or downfall of said topic. Being a part of statistics and other surveys is important to show the data throughout a range of years to show if we are going in the right direction we want to be going.

The World Set Free by H. G. Wells

The World Set Free book cover featuring a graphic design of a bomb with the title set inside it

This book also is quite uncanny, knowing how popular the movie Oppenheimer was when it first came out. As you might notice from the cover of the book, it looks like the title is set in some sort of bomb. This is because Wells predicted the invention of the atomic bomb, even suggesting the damage that could be done by splitting an atom. The book was published in 1914 with the first testing by Oppenheimer being in 1945.

The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket by Edgar Allan Poe

The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket book cover featuring a paining of a ship sailing with a giant iceberg behind it

In another creepy tale at sea, Poe writes about a man named Richard Parker who is on a journey when a storm comes in and causes trouble for the sailors. With the sailors beyond starvation, they decide they will draw who gets to be killed and eaten by everyone else. You may have guessed it, but Richard Parker received a sad fate. The weird thing is, half a century later a similar tragedy happened to a man also named Richard Parker. His ship was hit by a storm and the sailors decided to eat them.

These are some books to really give you the goosebumps! With that, I welcome you to go into a rabbit hole as there are plenty of other novels that make predictions, and it’s fun to look them up. If it compels you, you can even try to write your own short story to make a prediction of what might happen in the future.

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