I’ve been re-reading some of the books I enjoyed as a child. You have to remember we’re talking about the Dark Ages…way back in the late 1950s. Long before the Sputnik went up. Long before ANYONE used computers except maybe some secret military projects. (See, even then there were conspiracy theories about the government,)
In RED PLANET by Robert Heinlein, the hero and his buddy are about to start high school on Mars. They packed their gear, including a slip stick and gun. And that, folks, proved that this story was set in the future. A slip stick (aka slide rule) was used in advanced mathematics and all the geeks wanted one. Nowadays, geeks would laugh if anyone suggested they get a slide rule when they have handheld whatever.
Andre Norton wrote a time travel series called THE TIME TRADERS. Basically, it was a story about America and Soviet scientists in a race to the past to gather alien technology. One of the heroes tries to escape using an atomic machine called a “snow cat”. Though not atomic, snow cats are now standard fun stuff in America. And the Soviet Union is no more.
Both of these authors set their stories into the future. And the future is now. But you know what? The stories are, for all their dated material, still entertaining. Why? Because the authors wrote about characters that appeal to readers. The plots may be old standards, but they have a freshness that’s lasted the time. And that’s why both of these authors are still pulling in readers…even though the authors have died.
I accept that I may never reach this status as an author, but I’m not ashamed to claim them both as mentors. One hundred years from now, I may not have the name value of William Shakespeare, but I hope if someone next century reads one of my books, they’ll enjoy them as much as readers today.