Let’s talk about setting: 1000 years in the future

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A while since the last post so going to be a few more posts on setting over the next few weeks. Last time round I did an overview of some of my aims with the setting for the September series and this time I will focus on one aspect of that, why I’ve set it so far in the future.

I need to point out here that the September series is not meant to be hard sci-fi (it’s got FTL travel and terraforming as part of the setting!) but I don’t want it to feel too divorced from reality. So wanting a galaxy full of populated planets the immediate future, the next few centuries, was ruled out.

Even five hundred years felt too short. I know in other settings like Star Trek there are huge nations spanning massive chunks of the galaxy in that kind of time frame, but those are based on very different assumptions and with very different technology in them. No, five hundred years just does not seem feasible for that kind of expansion for our species.

But a thousand years in the future? Now that seems more likely. That feels like a period of time where we would stretch our legs on a galactic scale.

That period of time in the future also appealed for a few other reasons. It is not too far off in the grand scheme of things, we have been around for a couple hundred thousand years now, so there would still be strong links to the present day. But it is still distant enough to have diverged a lot from how things are now, to allow for different societies and for a setting that can feel unique on it’s own.

It also allows for a lot of history to happen, events and ideas that will shape the story to come.