James Warner, a contributor to McSweeney’s, shares his thoughts on what might happen from 2020-2080.
Direct to McSweeney’s Internet Tendency
2020: All Books Will BeCross-Platform and Interactive.
Future “books” will be bundled with soundtracks, musical leitmotifs, 3-D graphics, and streaming video. They’ll be enhanced with social bookmarking, online dating, and alerts from geo-networking apps whenever someone in your locality purchases the same book as you— anything so you don’t have to actually read the thing. Authors will do their own marketing, the reader will be responsible for distribution, the wisdom of crowds will take care of the editing, and the invisible hand of the market will perform the actual writing (if any). Writers will respond either by going viral or by going feral.