As we prepare to bid farewell to 2009, it's only natural to wonder what 2010 will hold. Will we see amazing technologies? Discover evidence of alien life? Or begin a slide into dystopia? We look at scifi's predictions for 2010.
Alien life will be discovered in our solar system (2010: Odyssey Two by Arthur C. Clarke): In 2010, the spaceship Leonov travels to Jupiter to learn the fate of the Discovery One. But perhaps more significant in the course of history is the ascended David Bowman's discovery of primitive life beneath the ice of Europa and on Jupiter — and the appearance of those alien monoliths signaling the next step in a species' development.
Advanced alien medical technology will render most of humanity sterile (Stargate SG-1 "2010"): In an unrealized future, the SG-1 team has made contact with the Aschen, an alien race with the technological capabilities to repel the Goa'uld. Unfortunately, the miraculous medicines they bring are part of a sinister plot. The Aschen are secretly sterilizing humanity so that we'll eventually die off.
A virus will have wiped out half of the world's population (Absolon): The events of this particular post-apocalyptic movie were set in motion prior to 2010. But by 2010, the remainder of humanity will have to take a special drug to fend off the effects of the deadly plague. And, to make matters worse, only one company controls the drug.
Parisian authorities will wall off their most crime-ridden slum (District 13): In order to deal with rampant violence and crime in one of its poorest districts, the government goes all Escape from New York, walling off the district and depriving its population of basic services. The wall goes up in 2010, and the operation goes precisely as well as you would expect.
The spaceship above Johannesburg will finally depart (District 9): Ah yes, that pesky flying saucer that's been hovering over South Africa since 1982? That will take off in 2010, presumably to return to its home planet. But most of the aliens won't go home with them, and will instead be relocated from District 9 to District 10.
People infected with an AIDS-like virus will live in quarantine camps (The Immortals by Tracy Hickman): Medical science thinks it has hit on a cure for AIDS, only to end up with V-CIDS, a far deadlier and more contagious diseases. By 2010, the US government, panicked at trying to prevent the spread of V-CIDS, has placed infected (and sometimes uninfected) citizens in "quarantine" camps — though the people running the camps may be doing something far more drastic to contain the infection.
A human being will transfer her consciousness into a car (Knight Rider 2010):
Video games that can read your mind are all well and good, but Hannah Tyree, a game developer at the Chrysalis Corporation, has accidentally discovered a way to download her memories and personality into her computer's memory. In 2010, Hannah's body is killed, and the only copy of her personality is in her computer. Naturally, her friend and coworker has the memory installed in his car so they can avenge her death.
A group of Londoners will travel through a wormhole (Doctor Who "Planet of the Dead"): Aliens are always invading London, so turnabout is fairplay. Of course, the Brits traveling that bus don't mean to travel through the wormhole, and the alien planet they accidentally invade is filled with giant stingrays that are probably planning to invade Earth.
The world's population will pass seven billion (Stand on Zanzibar by John Brunner): In 2010, the world's population has swelled to unmanageable proportions. The overcrowded and media oversaturated population have to contend with eugenics laws, rampant drugs, and the fear that their fellow sardines will snap at any moment.
Ecoterrorists will plan to save the Earth by destroying humanity (The Last Albatross by Ian Irvine): As the Earth verges on ecological disaster, an engineer develops a mad plan to end humanity's impact on the world by taking the entire race out with a fistful of stolen plutonium. Of course, the world is already built on death, what with suicide game shows, a death lottery, and rival companies poisoning each others' crops.
Tony Blair will be put on trial for war crimes (The Trial of Tony Blair): This drama was a bit late on Tony Blair's resignation — placing it just before the 2010 election. But it also predicts that the International Criminal Court will bring war crime charges charges against Blair and the US leaders for their involvement in the Iraq War. It does not, however, predict the outcome of his trial.