Future History Edit

Arlington Edit

  • September 25, 2023 - The Urban Wars were basically over when Apollo, a terrorist organization, took responsibility for blowing up the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia. They used what was then a new material known as plaston and used it in such amounts, and in such areas, that the building was essentially vaporized. Eight thousand people, military and civilian personnel, including children in the care center, were killed; there were no survivors.[1]

Crime and Legal Changes Edit

  • In the year 2016, at the end of the Urban Revolt, before the gun ban, there were over ten thousand deaths and injuries from guns in the borough of Manhattan alone.[2]
  • Before we legalized prostitution, there was a rape or attempted rape every three seconds ... the figures have dropped. Licensed prostitutes don't have pimps, so they aren’t beaten, battered, killed. And they can't use drugs.[3]
  • The Clemency Order of 2045 expunged all criminal records for minors who were convicted of any crimes short of those sentenced to prison: "there is no record for minors who didn’t do time." For minors who served time in prison, their records are sealed. The Clemency Order was overturned the following year, but the records had already been wiped or sealed.[4]
  • See also Laws

Earthquake Edit

  • Los Angeles suffered a major earthquake and, according to Eve Dallas, "[I] Can't figure out why anybody lives out here," she said. "Just because they've had the big one doesn't mean there's not another big one just waiting to flatten them."[5]
  • There'd been old photos of San Francisco, too, before the quake had given it a good, hard shake.[6]

Federal Property Act of 2022 Edit

Medical Advances Edit


  • Medical science had eradicated plagues, a host of diseases and conditions, extending life expectancy to an average of one hundred fifty years. Cosmetic technology had insured that a human being could live attractively for his century and a half. – You could die without wrinkles, without age spots, without aches and pains and disintegrating bones.[8]
  • She judged him to be somewhere around the century mark, and even without murder, he'd never have attained the average twenty more years decent nutrition and medical science could have given him.[9]
  • Morris said that it was unlikely Jenkins would have made his "one-twenty."[10]
    • Deena Flavia is described as having no genetics flaws with an estimated life span of one hundred and fifty years ("which might be considerably extended through continued advancement in medical technology").[11]


  • A suture wand knits muscle and skin together.
  • A healing wand can be used on bruises, scrapes, etc. and to speed general recovery.
    • "With daily wand treatments, rest, he could be fine in a matter of days. Without the follow-ups, a couple of weeks. The first treatment is the most intense."[12]


  • Walter C. Drake is credited with discovery of anticancer vaccine.[13]
  • Sexually transmitted diseases still occur in the In Death world.[14]
  • The common cold is still around. Feeney complains that "I get a brain tumor, they can fix it, no problem. I get a lousy germ, and they got nothing."[15]
  • Though it was rare with in vitro testing and repair for a child to be born with a heart defect, some slipped through. An organ could be built using the patient's tissue, but that took time.[16] Now the flawed heart could be quickly removed and replaced with what Friend called a longevity replacement that would continue to perform long after the child had used up his one-hundred-twenty-year average life (they could then be recycled and implanted in other patients).[17]
    • Artificial organs – the process initially discovered by Friend and his team and redefined over the years – were cheap, efficient, and dependable. The transplant of human organs was not. The building of organs from the patient's own tissues was more advantageous, as there was no risk of rejection, but was costly in time and money. With current medical knowledge, human donors were few and far between. For the most part, healthy organs were harvested – donated or brokered – from accident victims who could not be repaired.[18]
  • Richard Draco's liver showed some rehabilitation. He had been a serious drinker and had at least one treatment to revitalize it.[19]

Human BehaviorEdit

  • Mira said, "With all out technology, with the amazing advances that have been made in genetics, we are still unable to control human virtues and flaws. Perhaps we are too human to permit the tampering. Passions are necessary to the human spirit. We learned that early this century when genetic engineering nearly slipped out of control."[20]
    • According to Dallas, "Whatever we've done in genetic engineering, in vitro, with social programs, we still can't control basic human failings: violence, lust, envy.[21]
    • There was a time when women went to butchers to deal with an unwanted pregnancy. When they had to risk their lives or ruin them. Babies were born blind, deaf, deformed before genetic engineering and the research it made possible to repair in vitro.[22]
    • In 2058, genetic testing often weeded out the more violent hereditary traits before they could bloom.[23]
    • They are able to filter out certain undesirable tendencies through genetics, chemical treatments, beta scans; they deter with penal colonies and the absence of freedom. But human nature remains human nature. The basic motives for violence that science is unable to filter: love, hate, greed, envy, anger, and thrill.[24]
  • See also Medicine

Space Travel Edit

Urban Wars Edit

  • A violent period of urban unrest; also called 'Urban Revolt'.[26]
  • Most of New York's infrastructure had failed during the dawn of the twenty-first century and a large portion of New York's posher homes in the East Side had been condemned and razed. After much debate, this neighborhood was rebuilt in the old tradition - including brownstones - barely thirty years before (c. 2028). Only the very wealthy had been able to afford it.[27]

Other Future Changes/Differences Edit

  • Burials/Funerals:
    • Only the very rich could afford body internment. Only the obsessively traditional still put their dead into the ground.[28]
    • In August 2059, Rachel Howard was laid in a glass-sided coffin - one of the trends of mourning Eve found particularly creepy.[29]
    • In 2060, clear-sided boxes (caskets) that displayed the body were currently in vogue.[30]
  • Fashion:
  • Food:
    • Roarke's coffee: "It was real. No simulation made from vegetable concentrate so usual since the depletion of the rain forests in the late twentieth. This was the real thing, ground from fresh Columbian [sic] beans, singing with caffeine."[31]
    • Real sugar is hideously expensive.[32]
    • Fresh or frozen lemonade is monstrously hard to come by so Mrs. Whitney made it from a tablet.[33]
  • Media:
    • Sitcoms were a dead medium in 2058 that had been revived over the past couple of years by talent such as Yvonne Metcalf's.[34]
  • Religion
    • Catholic rites had gone back to Latin sometime in the last decade (c. 2048-2058).[35]
    • The Church has a firm policy regarding suicide, even as suicide has become legal in most places, most parts of the world, with proper authorization.[36]


  • Note: There are slight inconsistencies indicated in the series involving the aging process in terms of life expectancy or life span. It has been listed as 150 years[37] in some books or as 120 years[38] in other books.

References Edit

  1. Loyalty in Death (ISBN 0-425-17140-X), pp. 97, 98
  2. Naked in Death (ISBN 0-425-14829-7), p. 278, 279
  3. Naked in Death (ISBN 0-425-14829-7), p. 279
  4. Salvation in Death, Chapter 6.
  5. Imitation in Death (ISBN 0-425-19158-3), p. 237
  6. Haunted in Death (ISBN 0-515-14117-8), p. 87
  7. Naked in Death (ISBN 0-425-14829-7), pp. 111, 112
  8. Rapture in Death (ISBN 0-425-15518-8), p. 69
  9. Conspiracy in Death (ISBN 0-425-16813-1), p. 10
  10. Salvation in Death (ISBN 978-0-399-15522-2), p. 157
  11. Origin in Death (ISBN 0-425-20426-X), p. 206
  12. Thankless in Death, Chapter 14.
  13. Conspiracy in Death (ISBN 0-425-16813-1), p. 28
  14. Strangers in Death (ISBN 978-0-399-15470-6), p. 147
  15. Strangers in Death, chapter 15.
  16. Conspiracy in Death (ISBN 0-425-16813-1), p. 108
  17. Conspiracy in Death (ISBN 0-425-16813-1), p. 109
  18. Conspiracy in Death (ISBN 0-425-16813-1), p. 172
  19. Witness in Death (ISBN 0-425-17363-1), p. 49
  20. Naked in Death (ISBN 0-425-14829-7), p. 135
  21. Naked in Death (ISBN 0-425-14829-7), p. 227
  22. Naked in Death (ISBN 0-425-14829-7), p. 279
  23. Glory in Death (ISBN 0-425-15098-4), p. 2
  24. Glory in Death (ISBN 0-425-15098-4), pp. 138, 139
  25. Interlude in Death (ISBN 0-515-13109-1), p. 5
  26. Naked in Death (ISBN 0-425-14829-7), p. 144
  27. Glory in Death (ISBN 0-425-15098-4), p. 183
  28. Naked in Death (ISBN 0-425-14829-7), p. 37
  29. Portrait in Death (ISBN 0-425-18903-1), p. 264
  30. Promises in Death (ISBN 978-0-399-15548-2), p. 188
  31. Naked in Death (ISBN 0-425-14829-7), p. 42
  32. Naked in Death (ISBN 0-425-14829-7), p. 194
  33. Glory in Death (ISBN 0-425-15098-4), p. 68
  34. Glory in Death (ISBN 0-425-15098-4), p. 161
  35. Glory in Death (ISBN 0-425-15098-4), p. 75
  36. Salvation in Death (ISBN 978-0-399-15522-2), p. 353
  37. Rapture in Death (ISBN 0-425-15518-8), p. 69; Origin in Death (ISBN 0-425-20426-X), p. 206
  38. Conspiracy in Death (ISBN 0-425-16813-1), p. 10; Salvation in Death (ISBN 978-0-399-15522-2), p. 157
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