Thursday, April 14, 2011

Focus on the Future: Across the Universe

So today, we're focusing on the future! Yay!

When I wrote ACROSS THE UNIVERSE, I have to admit: I wasn't really thinking about the future. I was kind of lucky in that the setting is an enclosed area--a spaceship that's lost communication with Earth--so I didn't have to envision what the future Earth was like...just what I thought would happen in a small, contained area.

That said, I have given a lot of thought to what I hope the future will bring. So below, here's what I hope to one day see in the future (and what I think I actually WILL see in my own lifetime)....and if you tell me in the comments what YOU hope to see, you can win a copy of ACROSS THE UNIVERSE!

Cheap, Commercial Outerspace Travel

I've blogged about this want before, and I do believe that Virgin Galactic will be a forerunner of this, but I think it would AMAZING if, one day, going for a cruise around Earth in orbit was as economically viable as, say, going on a cruise to the Bahamas. 

And don't get me started on my wish for a vacation home on the moon.

High Speed Travel on Earth

I am envious of Japan's bullet trains. Currently, we do have high-speed travel on Earth--in the form of airplanes. But they cost a lot, and, frankly, I'm sick of the TSA requirements. 

But what if we had an underground bullet train that travelled as efficiently as the NYC Subway--except it went all across America? How cool would it be if I could get on a train in my little town and get to the other side of the country in a couple of hours, max--all while on a super-smooth, super-efficient, super-safe train? We could cut so many emissions, build so many jobs, and travel so much easier...

Underwater Hotels

Okay, so, technically this exists. Sort of. But seriously? I want more. And I want them to be as easy to visit as, say, the Hilton. 

Honestly? I just spent a good half hour clicking on their website. I WANT TO GO THERE NOW PLEASE. For those of you thinking about jumping ship with me: the price tag is a mere $15,000/person. 

Who's with me?


Yeah. But that's why I want this thing in the future. The ocean is VAST and largely unexplored--it's the world's last frontier. But in my ideal future, this sort of thing is common. 

...looking back, I realize that all my future wants involve travel. I guess you can see where my priorities lay! 

Meanwhile, leave me a comment here telling me what YOU want to see in the future, and you'll be entered for a drawing of a signed copy of ACROSS THE UNIVERSE! If you blog and/or tweet (use #PPF hashtag--past, present, future) about it, too, just leave the links here with your comment!

And don't forget: You can enter here for a chance to win all THREE of our books signed! 

That's two chances to win--one for a grandprize of all three books, one for a signed copy of ACROSS THE UNIVERSE!


Anonymous said...

Something that I really want to see in the near future is the ability to either a) travel to different planets quicker or b) travel to different countries quicker.
I think it would just be so amazing to be able to explore all different places without all the traveling time. :)

Thnaks for hosting this contest. And i tweeted about it here:!/Bookluver1208

Christine said...

I want a car that runs on garbage. I mean, if Doc from Back to the Future can do it, I don't see why scientists today can't. It would solve so many problems.

Anthony L. Isom said...

This is really cool stuff! The images are quite captivating!

Andye said...

I'm torn because one part of me loves progress, and the other wants a return to the less stressful more organic life. I just read AWAKEN and it strangely made me crave both of these worlds! Justin had some really freaking cool invented machinery that I would LOVE to test out. But the book also made you think about how disconnected we are getting from IRL people.

Great question!

19yearslater said...

I'm a little claustrophobic, so the underwater hotel thing is not my cup of tea (it's also why reading ATU was so awesomely creepy!) but the bullet train would be SO awesome. I could go to LeakyCon, spend the weekend visiting a few states, meet online friends, the possibilities are endless.

Anonymous said...

How about teleportation? just appearing somewhere else with a snap of your fingers, I really love to travel, but thinking of the whole process of getting on a bus and being in there for over 8 hours (in Ecuador is the cheapest way) kills the mood for the trip.

Other thing? Completely wrinkle free clothes, that don't need any washing, I hate to do the laundry, and then ironing the stuff, that's such a waste of precious time and there are clothes that, no matter how much you iron them never, NEVER, lose the wrinkles!

And how about some kind of helmet that does your hair automatically?... Please don't get me started... lol

Loving your contests, especially that we people from around the globe get to play too!

I tweeted this:!/MilyHopeEc/status/58382511448924160

Thanks for the giveaways!


BLHmistress said...

I would so love to stay in that hotel it looks so cool and someday I would love to ride on the bullet train. My son loves Japan so I know he would love to travel by that means too.

Anonymous said...

I, too, want to go to that underwater hotel! What I really want is my very own TARDIS. I think we've talked about this on Twitter, but I'd have a hard time deciding where and when to go. I guess if I had a TARDIS, I wouldn't have to decide. I could see far off worlds and see what Earth will look like long after I'm gone. Oh, and I also want to be able to teleport. Can you imagine? Work in Japan, lunch in Italy, out to the movies in New York, finish off the day with a sunset in Santorini. *sigh* Can the future be now? Please?


Liza said...

I would like to see underground cities, along with interconnected sky high buildings-->the cityscapes from the Fifth Element and Star Wars (The City Planet of Coruscant)were influential. Of course, that would mean we'd need anti-gravity/hover cars, which would be fun too :)

I tweeted:!/LizaKane/status/58386183180390400

thanks for hosting this contest!

melannie (: said...

Ever since well, ever
I've been OBSESSED with universe,
(guess why I looooved AtU sooo much? besides its brilliant writting and awesome characters, it's because of the universe)
so I would LOVELOVELOVELOVE to travel to space,
that's my number one hope and the current destination of my money savings,

so yeah apart from that I don't know what I want,
oh, I know! one of those hoverboards from Back to the Future would be super cool,
and maybe those little packets of food that you put in the microwave and they turn
into BIG pizzas. (Yes, I do watch Back to the Future a lot, I happen to be obssesed with time/Marty McFly too)

Liza said...

Oops, this is the tweet that has the hashtag in it!!/LizaKane/status/58387149401239553

Kari Olson said...

I'd actually kind of like to see our airspace being used more. I always sit there stuck in the highway thinking of how nice it would be if I could just fly low over everyone. A roadway on top of our roadway, I guess. Those 5 lanes become 10. WIN.

I also tweeted:!/flamingo1325/statuses/58388792272359424

Megan said...

I want Teleporting. Like on star trek. I HATE spending an entire day in travel. I want to get there and back FAST! :)


AmethystDaydreams at zoho dot com

Lea McKee said...

I want to float in a dingy over Marianna's Trench (and write a book about something having to do with it, very interesting stuff surrounding that massive cavity in the earth)
I want to make the trek up to Machu Picchu in Peru, behold the pyramids of Giza, stand in the center of Stonehenge and ride a wild elephant in Africa. Among other things, oh, and I also hope someone invents a book format that I can take to read in the bath or shower without being electrocuted or destroying said book :)


Marthapao said...

What I would love for the future is a way for us to live on green, renewable energy and stop using petrol and other things that are killing our Earth. Sadly, I don't think this will happen any time soon.

Juan Villagrana said...

This is going to sound really dumb, but I'd really love to see time travel in the future.
I've always been weirdly intrigued by the concept of time travel, and I would definitely love to visit the past, stupid as it may sound. Something about it just seems beautful. Dangerous, yet beautiful.

Here's the Twitterly goodness:!/juanvillagrana_/status/58392250375352320

Valia Lind said...

Does getting my book published count as something i want to see in the future? Cuz that's all i got right now! lol

Unknown said...

I would love to see transportation that runs on garbage. Then we could solve two problems @ once!

Nicole Zoltack said...

Teleportation, definitely. The ability to instantly be where you want to be? How cool would that be!

Vivien said...

I just signed a new lease today, so I'm very excited for that. It will be a lovely new change in life. Also, I have excellent tickets to see A Perfect Circle so that's something I dearly look forward to.

deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com

Erin said...

I hope this is in the not-so-distant future, but I imagine a world where education has become completely immersed in technology. I imagine a classroom where students would have desks that were essentially a large touch screen surface that they could use different types of tools. Students would be able to 'log in' via fingerprint scan at any computer and it would access their own personal work and information. They would have access to information at their reading levels when learning in science and social studies and it would be incredibly interactive! I think around the time we take classrooms to this level of learning is when we'll create students that will be doing amazing things like inventing flying cars :-)

Also, I had just written a blog post about this topic in my 4th graders' student blog so I added a comment with a link to this one!

Katharina Gerlach said...

Did you consider that Underwater Hotels will primarily be built where the ocean has "a view"? That means even more destruction of the already endangered coral reefs, cliffs and atolls.

I love the idea of fast underground trains, but I'd prefer them to be individual cabins. That way, you wouldn't need a single train stopping at every town. You enter your own cabin, pay the travel price and it only stops at your destination. Of course, there would have to be big cabins for group travel too.

One thing I would love to see in the near future is more tolerance upon humans. With the Internet, it is possible to reach soooo many people. Why then is it so difficult to accept that others are just different - not dangerous?
I hope and pray for tolerance, and I teach my kids to be tolerant (you don't have to agree but you can't forbid someone to think differently), but I'm afraid global tolerance will stay a dream for as long as some people enjoy suppressing others.

Van Pham said...

Underground transportation/trains? The traffic on the freeway is just ridiculous these days (california), would be more beneficial, since the gas prices are increasing.


Unknown said...

I see a world where everything seems easier. When all the fighting comes to an end and our lifestyles as humans are simplified.

Cass said...

That underwater hotel thing looks amazing! In the future, I'd like the ability to teleport from place to place instantly, as well as back and forth in time.

Thanks for this *I don't know what to call it* - it was fun living in the past, present and future, and this was a novel idea. :)

Amber at The Musings of ALMYBNENR said...

I never really thought of the bullet train in that way, but you make a really good point. That would be SO convenient!

Wha? Oh, sorry! I just spent ten minutes looking at this underwater hotel...for real?!

Also, I agree with Christine. I LOVE the Back to the Future movies and I'm always saying to my family: when is someone going to create a car that can run on trash instead of gas? It would fix two problems: buying expensive gas and no more landfills!

I tweeted!

Unknown said...

I agree with many below, the ability to travel quicker would be awesome. I don't know how many times I've wished I had a teleporter on my long drives to visit my family.

Similarly with many others who posted, I sometimes wish things were less industrialized and less technological. When I watch fantasy movies, or historical fiction or read books like that I wish I could travel by horseback and camp out in the wilderness as I traveled the world.

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jessica E. Subject said...

I'd love to visit that underwater hotel, but I think I'd have to pee all the time.

In the near future, I'd love to see all forms of transportation get away from those with nasty emissions and become much more environmentally friendly. We have the ability and the resources, but the governments of our countries need to step up.

In the distant future, I want to see space travel become more common, as in for common people. Hopefully while I'm still around. I'd like to be around too when life is discovered on another planet whether it is like us or simply a single-celled organism.

Thanks for the contest!

I tweeted:!/jsubject/status/58481402999603200

Amy @ bookgoonie said...

When I first saw this book, I thought it had something to do with the Beatles musical. But since then, I cant wait to get my hands on it. But sadly haven't yet... ;( mostly what I would like to see in the future is realated to humanity. I wish that the world (US big time) would quit treating everything as a zero-sum game. We don't get ahead at the expense of others. If others destroy the planet, we shouldn't continue because they may have an edge. We need to be true global citizens and find our moral compass again.
Bookgoonie at yahoo

Alex said...

I'd like, in the future, for something essentially simple: I want the written word to live on. I would like to think that the descendants of our world will be able to pick up a new book, visit indie book stores and smell the fragrance of books: that woody, inky deliciousness.

I'd also like that every published work- from best selling novels, to local paper short stories- to coexist in a huge library for all to read.

Also, less seriously, resurrection would be neat. I'd like to see what the future's like with my own eyes and experience it with my own senses.

Anonymous said...

Ooh, fun! Since I'm an absolute Star Wars nerd (hehehe), I'd love to see some space ships.

And I do like the idea of underground cities as well (or maybe floating ones would be pretty cool).

rebekahg22 (at)

Now, I'm off to visit Saundra's blog!

jpetroroy said...

I'd love a teleportation device of some sort. No commute? Yes, please!

jpetroroy at gmail dot com

Marie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Marie said...

I'd love to see a future where we can take "vacations" in space (safely, of course). :) For example, taking a ride through the thick clouds of Jupiter and watching its crazy storms whip lightning all over the place--but feeling none of the crushing pressure, freezing cold or burning heat, in the comfort of an air-conditioned glass ball. Awesome. Probably not very realistic, though. :)

More seriously, I'd like to see us find better ways to integrate our lifestyles with nature. A huge extension of current bio-walls set up in New Orleans and other cities, where lush plants cover the sides and roofs of buildings. Hopefully in the future this will become more reasonably priced to do, and we'll have (literally) green cities!

*pines for signed copy*

Bish Denham said...

I'd like to see is cheap alternative renewable energy and no...plastic.

I'd also like to see people becoming more responsible/enlightened.

Lisa said...

That underwater hotel looks awesome! I'm not really sure what I am most looking forward to in the future because who knows what will actually be invented. I know that I'd hope any of the amazing things mention here would be available to everyone though...$15,000 is way to much for a hotel room, no matter how awesome!!/jlhsperry624/status/58547632422924288

Jill said...

What a great contest Beth! In the future I hope to see teachers getting paid more for their hard work and abilities! :) can you tell I'm a teacher? hee hee

Melody said...

I want teleporation. As in, "Scotty, beam me up," and I'm fifteen/thirty/120 minutes away just like that, "bing!" No car trips, haha, no cars! Eliminates travel time completely.

Granted, I'd probably miss seeing a lot of the world...

Tristan said...

I want to see a permanent and replenishable substitute for fossil fuel, i want the earth to be cleaner and be better taken care of!
Thanx for the contest!!

Ana Lucía said...

I would like to see flying cars lol. Maybe the air traffic would be less painful.
I also would like Teleporting, man that could so useful.
I hope I win this book, I've been after a signed copy for ages but never win!!

I also tweeted:!/luarroyave/status/58557093078241281


Ana Lucía said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Oooo, I love the Underwater Hotel. I'd love to see an underwater city. Does anyone remember Ocean Girl? Now I'm getting all nostalgic, LOL. Great contest :-)

I tweeted about it:!/safaripoet/status/58560066026078208

Unknown said...

What I would lvoe to have in the future would be teletransportation. That'd rock. :)

kah_cherub at hotmail dot com

Anonymous said...

Forgot the hash in my first tweet :-)!/safaripoet/status/58563468390969344

Unknown said...

I tweeted! almost forgot! :)!/vollkopf/status/58563791239122945

Scoot said...

I would LOVE for someone to finally invent the transporter like they have in Star Trek. I am all for cutting out my daily commute to work. Just think you could live ANYWHERE and work ANYWHERE. I would love it. Beam me up Scotty!!

I re-tweeted!!/MyraMcEntire/status/58549547923808257


Jessy said...

I think I totally agree with you. I'd like to see high-speed travel, to be able to go anywhere in the world in just a few hours would be awesome!


M Cris said...

I like that idea from theCharlie's chocolate factory movie, the chocolate coming out of the TV. If we could sample everything they advertise on tv would be awesome! LOL

I tweeted:!/mcrism1/status/58566486213656576

cris_mv at hotmail dot com

Ashley G. said...

I love the idea of being able to travel more quickly. I also think it would be cool to go to other planets and of course to have an alternate fuel source.
Thanks for the contest!

Julia @ That Hapa Chick said...

Wow that travel quickly idea would be AWESOME. I think it would be cool if it could travel under the ocean to to take you to different continents. :)


Vy said...

I want to see better school food in the future. I'm not talking 50 years future I'm talking like in a few months or week future. This counts right?

Thanks for the opportunity!

Miss Bookiverse said...

I'm looking forward to anything that has to do with reading. Wouldn't it be cool if smells and sounds could be included in books? In real ones, I mean. I'm not a big fan of ebooks. Maybe you would go into some kind of interactive cave in which you read your book and also experience what you're reading. That would be awesome.


Pedro Pablo said...

I think I would like travel more quickly like with teleporting or something like that.


magan bagan said...

I'm looking forward to holographs (either for the television, communication, bot, etc.). That'd be such a great way to view things and communicate with each other.

Anonymous said...

Hi, Beth!
That hotel looks mighty tempting, but I don't think my wallet would appreciate it. haha.
As far as the future goes, I'm really excited about the advancement in technology. Just seeing the way technology has changed within the past ten years gives me immense hope that it'll be a billion times cooler in the future. Like maybe a REAL 3D tv, where everything is a hologram and you can walk around the set.
For now, I just have to deal with the technology we have now. *sigh*
Unless the Doctor comes with his TARDIS...

IdentitySeeker said...

Hi Beth:)

Thanks for the great giveaway. I hope to see a more environmentally-conscious population leading less fast-paced lifestyles and taking the time to lay back and enjoy life. I'd certainly want to be able to travel to different countries faster to fulfill my liofe's dream of travelling the worls- every country out there!

+1 Tweeted:!/SweetNSensible/status/58666229623296000


-petit said...

A hotel under the sea? I would feel like Mermaid Princess if I go in one! XDD
In the future I would like to have a machine which cooks for me. If someone depends of my cooking, i'm sorry to say, but it's going to starve to death XDDD

I tweeted! :)!/petit_sayumi/status/58676542850613248

Anonymous said...

I would LOVE seeing everything more environmentally friendly. :) Like we wouldn't use fossil fuels. Run on the sun, the wind, the earth, the water, whatever. Get fast transportation. Travel in bubbles (like Meet the Robinsons)!

Yeah, that would be awesome.

Here's my tweet:!/MostImportantL/status/58686246221910016

Thanks for the giveaway!
Linda @ Most Important Letter

Gabi said...

Okay, I would actually want to see a greater appreciation for our natural surroundings. I want to see buffalo on the plains, not houses and super malls. Yeah. I'm old fashioned like that.

Andre W. said...

I'd like to see some form of teleportation. It'd be fun to just POOF and be where you need to be. Either that or we could jump through portals. Almost like when Steve and Blue jump through BOOKS in Blues Clues! "Blue skiddo, we can too!"

andre said...

I'd like to see some form of teleportation. It'd be fun to just POOF and be where you need to be. Either that or we could jump through portals. Almost like when Steve and Blue jump through BOOKS in Blues Clues! "Blue skiddo, we can too!"

Melissa/welachild said...

I'd love to see cars flying and light sabers. If people could be beamed from place to place that would be cool too! Basically, anything from Star Trek or Star Wars would be great! Thanks for doing a giveaway. I tweeted about it:!/Welachild/status/58894650878066688

Unknown said...

I just want to say that underwater hotel = my worst fears realized.

I'm going to have to go with teleporting. Basically...Star Trek? I want to go to there.

Luciana said...

I want you book signed, I hope I win this one and I will more than happy.
I think something I would like to see in the future is an advance medicine.


Jenny said...

Like many others commenting here, I would love for travel to be easier and faster in the future. Like on Star Trek - beam me to where I want to go, please! Somewhat conversely, I would love to see the environment cared for better, too. Hopefully we are already headed in that direction.

I would love to win a signed copy of your book. I really enjoyed reading it, and look forward to the next one!

TheBookAddictedGirl said...

A car that runs on water vapour, and instead of giving out bad fumes from the exhaust, water comes out, which is then reused, etc.
Medicine that can cure cancer, neurological problems, and things like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.
Oh, and a spacesuit-thing that can turn into any kind of clothes at a single thought. (:
I know the competition's over, but it's such a cool question.
Meg @ The Book Addicted Girl

Christina Farley said...

My son is actually a pretty good artist for a 7 year old. But he has already decided he's giong to invent an affordable sub with windows and be the architect for a hotel in the ocean. And that's just the beginning of the things he's got plans for.

Grace Parker said...

On the way up, many stocks leveraged the metals 3, or 4, or 5:1. But contrary to popular belief, not all the people suffered very horribly during that dry economic state. And yet in part I felt like Rip van Winkel, waking up after the cataclysmic political changes that have rocked the African continent since my departure so many years ago. He has a whole trilogy of them!