In the future of this week’s Character of the Week, the national boundaries of Europe are the same and characters have very culturally ethnic names. It’s not the future I would imagine.
Everyone imagines the future differently. Some people imagine it very much like is now, although history tells us that is probably not what will happen since change is inevitable. Some people, like politicians, will spew their party’s perfect version of the future and the possible annihilation that the other party will bring about. Some people imagine great strides in science. And some can only imagine the destruction of the environment and sometimes the accompanying destruction of mankind.
Writers imagine all of this and more. We imagine regimes that rise worldwide to create massive cultural dictatorships. We imagine worldwide wars. We imagine post war fascism. And sometimes we imagine a future where people have special powers and kick butt.
Our versions of the future are as diverse as the future can be. Politically. Scientifically.
Ethnically, not so much. In my (admittedly limited) experience, writers either seem to ignore race and create an essentially white future or they use race to show illustrate the racism of today.
If I were to write the future race wouldn’t be the focus, but it would be important. In my future you would all be like me—Hispanic.
What is Hispanic but the melting of ethnicities and races. Hispanics can be the blackest of black, the whitest of white, and anything in between. We have ancestors with various Native American, African, Spanish, Portuguese, Irish, German, and a plethora of other backgrounds. We are a melted pot of humanity.
In my future pure races would be gone, due to infertility and intermarriage. In my future people would still come in every shade from eggshell to ebony, but race wouldn’t be the thing that matters at all. The drama would come from other sources.
It’s just an idea, but it’s something I’m fermenting. For after I finish the other 20 books I have germinating in my mind.
What would you name the characters in my future? Would they have ethnically blended names like Maria Li? Or would you give them smashup names like Carlinov? Or would you choose something different altogether?