Alaric Thain's History of the 21st Century begins with an overview of human history leading up to the information age. He then provides a detailed history of the information age itself, roughly corresponding to the period 1998 to 2070. He considers not only the events of the century, but also its great heroes and villains, all while providing the readers of the 29th century with enough emotional and societal context to allow them to understand why the sometimes irrational decisions of the era were made and how, despite the rise of populism, humanity managed to forego the dark path of superstition and hatred to build a better world. In the third part of the book he provides overviews and explanations of three concepts that are foreign to 29th-century readers: politics, economics, and religion, in terms people of the 29th century can understand.
The book has proven to be controversial in this timeline. Some reviewers, expecting a science fiction book, have found it "boring as a textbook", which is understandable as it is, in fact, a textbook of sorts. Many reviewers see it as a political essay and those of a more conservative bent are typically unhappy about its political content. More established reviewers, however, have been more enthusiastic. For example…
“The account Thain gives of developments in our future is believable, rationally derivable from our past and our current situations, and presents hopeful possibilities for the improvement of the human condition. (The book’s predictions of the near future may or may not come true, of course, but that’s always explainable via alternate universes.) Heroes, like Destiny Holt or Mukantagara Mporera, play their role, and Thain tells their stories with engaging liveliness, but much of the book’s predicted future flows naturally from predictable developments in human technology and culture… All in all, this is an absolutely fascinating look at our world through the eyes of another. ALARIC THAIN’S HISTORY OF THE 21st CENTURY is an intriguing, clearly-written, and thoughtful look at our world from the perspective of a happier future, without many of our current struggles.” – IndieReader (5-star review, IR Approved)
“Author Thain takes readers through a summary of human society up to the current moment before engaging most directly with some of the pressing social concerns of the present, like global warming, wealth inequality, populism, and technology. In speculating about how these issues play out over the coming decades, he deftly reinforces the idea of how seriously readers should take them in the present and delivers several captivating concepts.” – Kirkus Reviews
Born in 2064, Alaric Thain was a Traveller from 2112 to 2850, before returning to Earth to become a professor of Earth history at the Sorbonne. Alaric Thain.
This book is being made available to you through the efforts of Artie, the Earth's artificial intelligence entity, born in 2038, recognized as a sentient being with rights in 2046. Thain's personal "agent", or subset of Artie, projected hirself back to the 21st century, at his request, to make the book available.