20020: the Sequel to 17776

Pioneer 9

Three years ago, I reviewed a web serial/visual novel called 17776: What Football Will Look Like in the Future created by Jon Bois of the SB Nation blog, an absurdist tale about a far future where humans are immortal, and everyone plays ridiculous versions of American football.

Well, now, Jon Bois is back with the sequel, 20020. And with the surreal world we find ourselves in in reality, this one feels more timely than ever.

20020 is about the return of college football. Since humans stopped being born, aging, and dying in the year 2026 in this world, there’s not really any need for college anymore, but they revived the league, presumably for whomever wanted to sign up, for a new game designed by JUICE (the JUpiter ICy moons Explorer spacecraft), where 111 teams play on one huge field that criss-crosses the country—the usual 160 feet wide and 134,354 miles long.

Except it’s not really one field. The story so far focuses on two players from San Diego State, which alone of the 111 teams has a field that is cut off from the rest by the Mexican border. (The University of Hawaii was invited, but ultimately backed out.) They used a loophole in the rules to switch fields and have spent 2,216 years working on their master plan before finally getting a chance to make a play. (With immortality, automation doing all the work, and no science and technology left to solve, people have nothing better to do.)

20020 is just as good as the original and clearly had a lot of work put into it to figure out exactly how this insane game will work. It will update every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday through October 23, so I definitely recommend you check it out.

About Alex R. Howe

I'm a full-time astrophysicist and a part-time science fiction writer.
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