As I said in my earlier article, Tom Atlee pointed out that there were indeed other science fiction books that posit a positive future for humanity. He said:
“Miki [Kashtan] and others I’ve noted are positive future novels that acknowledge the complexity of the forces at large, but they don’t do what you’re attempting – a specific vision THROUGH the worst of those difficulties.
I would suggest that the challenge you are actually presenting is actually more complex than the challenge you articulate in that paragraph…”
That’s it. What I meant to say is that there are few (if any) stories of how to get from NOW (our present realities) to NEXT (an inclusive future). There are many stories that assume we work out our environmental, economic, social, political and spiritual crises – without telling us HOW we work them out. Or, there are stories about how a particular group gets to transcend the problems… generally by going to another planet (and transporting the consciousness that killed the Earth with them). How do we cover the “near future”, the next few years where everything must pivot? How do we get through our now?
This process Tom Atlee refers to as “BACKCASTING” (kind of the opposite of “forecasting”). Backcasting is defined in Wikipedia as
“…a method in which the future desired conditions are envisioned and steps are then defined to attain those conditions, rather than taking steps that are merely a continuation of present methods extrapolated into the future.”
Backcasting is also defined by “Transition Network” as a process that:
… helps us to identify the structures and institutions we need in place in order for transition to become a reality: where should we start and, indeed, what we have already done that might also be useful. [Transition Network]
Another relevant article on “backcasting” appeared in Huffington Post: “Backcasting to the Future”.
In the book, “The Chronicles of the Upheavals”, the characters from our 100-year future want to record and understand the forces that led to our goal: a thriving human population on a habitable, healing planet. Therefore, it may be an ultimate “backcast”.
So… did I inadvertently write an early “backcasting” novel? Perhaps so… “Chronicles” looks back from the year 2125 and asks the question: “How did the human race survive our challenges? How are we thriving? How did we change?”
OR… perhaps “The Chronicles of the Upheavals” is our first novel of “through-casting”: a novel of how we get THROUGH our challenges and upheavals.
What do you think?