We must act now! This is the moment of crux, when a single act can
crystalize our future. We have our choice: routines or miracles. Demand
This is hard science fiction. That means characters cant expect to survive just because they are heroes, they better have a plan.
The situation is on the verge to something. All the components are there: FTL, new cultures, advanced technology, new ideas, aliens. They are up to grabs, whoever combines them in the right way will determine the destiny of mankind and quite possible other species.
The conflicts of this scenario are not traditional wars, not even the cliché of greed. The world of 2350 lies 350 years into the future and is extremely different in many ways human nature is no longer what it was on some worlds, new technologies make conflicts utterly different and the ideas that struggle for dominance are quite unlike the ideologies of the 20th century. The true conflicts are cultural wars: which ideas will dominate? What culture will emerge? Who will set the tone for the future?
...no matter how far we go into the future, there will always be new
things happening, new technologies coming in, new worlds to explore, a
constantly expanding domain of life, consciousness, and memory.
It is important to realise how much has changed up to 2350. Entire cultures are gone. For example, the Japanese never built any interstellar colonies, which means that the Japanese culture vanished into the incomprehensible system of the Cocoon or possible stylistic revivals as somebody digs up information from old archives about Japan. New cultures have emerged, ranging from the Arcadians to Unity. Many of these cultures are utterly different from anything ever seen on Earth, impossible without special circumstances or technologies.
To get a glimpse of how much that can change, try looking back 350 years. In the year 1650 the young Newton had not yet discovered the law of gravity. The idea of a circulatory system was slowly gaining ground in medicine but dung was still regarded as an important part of medications. Australia had not yet been discovered. Flintlock guns were the state of the art in firearms, but too advanced and expensive to use in the entire army. The concept of monarchy was regarded as state of the art in statesmanship. The 30-years war and British civil war had just ended, slave trade to the colonies in the new world was brisk, the Ming dynasty had just fallen to the Qing while the young Tokugawa shogunate was going strong.
In 350 years more change will take place than occurred between 1650 and now in physics, medicine, technology, society, economics and warfare. Just imagine the amazement of young Newton if he encountered the Internet then imagine something equally amazing to us when we compare it to our current Internet. That will be something people of 2350 take for granted. There will be things that amaze them.