Books

The Children of Men Book Takes Place in 2021: Let’s See What the Novel Got Right

Children of Men

The year 2021 was a distant, futuristic blank canvas back in 1992 when The Children of Men was written by esteemed British crime author P.D. James, but some of her ideas aren’t too far from the real 2021 we face today.


The Children of Men
is a dystopian novel that tells the story of a world where men are all sterile and children are no longer being born. This results in a rapidly declining population, mass civil unrest, and the disintegration of an organized political system.

Children of Men Book Cover

The book was adapted into a blockbuster film in 2006, starring Clive Owen and Julianne Moore, featuring some drastic departures from the original story. Despite this, P.D. James was said to have been pleased with the movie overall.

At this point in 2021, we’re still enjoying the honeymoon stages, excited to put 2020 behind us and optimistic about how much better this year can be. In January of last year, we had no idea how drastically society would change, so the concept of a dystopian novel from the 90s coming true isn’t so far-fetched when you think about it.

But what exactly did the author correctly predict in her novel? Let’s take a look at the five most accurate predictions.

  1. Recent studies show that male sperm counts have been rapidly declining since 1950, most of which is attributed to male health. But as a general awareness of the importance of food quality and exercise increases, we hope that trend slows or even reverses.
  2. Young people in the book are called Omegas and held at very high regard. They realize they can do no wrong, so they live reckless and privileged lifestyles. Turn on the news or social media if you’d like to see current examples of this.
  3. In conjunction with that, the elderly are treated as useless burdens on society. Sure, youth has always been admired, but there’s no denying the recent scourge of disrespect for the older generation. Just ask any millennial about the meaning of “OK Boomer.”
  4. Animals are still able to reproduce normally in the book, so puppies and kittens and other baby animals are treated as replacements for human children. If you have “fur babies” then you know that this is very true today.
  5. The book describes foreign workers coming to England in droves to be exploited for working the less desirable jobs. While this is pretty much true in most of the developed world, it’s interesting to note that this became such an issue for England in recent years that many believe it’s one of the reasons for “Brexit,” or England leaving the European Union.


So there may not be a complete absence of fertility in the real 2021, but it’s always interesting to see how closely science fiction predictions come close to becoming science nonfiction.

Do you have anything else to add to this list? Is there another sci-fi book or movie that more accurately predicts our current world? Let us know in the comments below!

Shawn has been infatuated with the post-apocalyptic genre since he wore out his horribly American-dubbed VHS of the original Mad Max as a child. Shawn is the former Editor-in-Chief at Joystiq's Massively.com, creator of the Aftermath post-apocalyptic immersion event, and host of the Through the Aftermath podcast for over 11 years. He currently resides on top of a mountain in the middle of nowhere with his wife and four children.

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