He’d inherited the position from his father Edison Webster, who had the position from Macon’s grandfather Gideon Webster.
Publishing the future had been an honorable profession back in his father’s and grandfather’s day. After all, according to Macon’s father, they were distantly related to Noah Webster, the inventor of the first American language dictionary, through a common ancestor, John Webster, Governor of the Connecticut Colony. And hadn’t Noah Webster set his own rules for American spelling – center vs. centre, plow vs. plough, and so on? Noah Webster’s inventive publications had changed America forever.
But now that it was the mid-twenty-first century and global climate change was entrenched, now that wild tropical storms and forest firestorms running rampant across the planet, Macon’s job seemed hopeless. How to publish a future that seemed headed for certain catastrophe?
He’d rather be putting out a future that was inspiring, even hopeful. Macon thought fondly of the times in the 1950s, even in the 1990s, when humanity was still optimistic that technology could solve the problems of fossil fuel depletion and greenhouse gas warming.
Those days were long gone. Still, it was worth a try. He dusted off some old prints of Martian Colony cities and Moon Base outposts. He plugged them into the trans-terra-imager machine his great-grandfather had patented, the machine that they used to publish the future.
In no time the media was replete with ads for space tourism to Mars and the moon. Just like in the good old days, the 2020s.
From the author: This post started with the first line: “Macon T. Webster was in the business of publishing the future.” – and it rolled out from there. The future of publishing?