No one knows for sure what the next decade, century, or millennium will look like.
But many writers have imagined the future in their work, inviting us to travel through time.
We asked Lynn Lobash, manager of the New York Public Library’s Reader Services department, to recommend the books about the future that everyone should read.
Here are 11, and you can see more recommendations at the NYPL’s site.
“Children of the New World: Stories” by Alexander Weinstein
This novel features 13 short stories that imagine what the future could look like.
Much like the Netflix series “Black Mirror,” the narratives are a bit unnerving, and include social media implants, memory manufacturers, immersive virtual reality games, and human-like robots.
“The Handmaid’s Tale” by Margaret Atwood
“The Handmaid’s Tale” is set in a dystopian future where an oppressive and religious organization takes over the US government. Young women are kidnapped, removed of their identities, and forced to bear children who are taken from them.
The story, published in 1985, touches on modern themes, like feminism, moral relativism, sexuality, and the manipulation of power. It was also recently adapted into a popular Hulu show.
“The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History” by Elizabeth Kolbert
Combining science and history, Kolbert highlights humans’ impact on the environment in this Pulitzer Prize-winning book published in 2014.
By burning fossil fuels, we are impacting the atmosphere, oceans, and climate, forcing millions of species into extinction, she says. Kolbert combines vivid descriptions of natural wonders, like the Great Barrier Reef, and wild experiences, like venturing into a bat cave, to explain Earth’s present and possible future.