Nora Roberts’ Eve Dallas novels: How close are we to 2058 technology?

New York

New York image courtesy of mconnors, Morguefile.

One of my favorite authors, Nora Roberts, also writes under the name J.D. Robb for her futuristic “In Death” series. These books have a central character called Eve Dallas, a tough, seasoned and beautiful cop who is married to Irish billionaire bad-boy-turned-good-and-seriously-gorgeous Roarke. Eve and Roarke are one of the best literary couples ever created; they are good, strong characters who understand each other on an elemental level and act as each other’s rock in life.

For those who are unfamiliar with the books, I’ll go into the backstory a little. In 2058, the people are still the same, but the gadgets of everyday life have changed somewhat. Cars and buses can fly, and cars may be driven by hand or on automatic pilot. Homes often have AutoChefs (vending machines capable of storing and cooking food), tele-links (similar to video phones), drying tubes rather than towels, voice-operated televisions, gel furniture in living rooms and privacy screens that slide over windows. Holograms may appear as people or take over an entire room. Some people wear wrist units or carry PPCs (Personal Portable Computers) with video capability. Robot droids appear as animals or even in human form, and the cops carry stunners.

Some of this technology I’m seeing already. I’ve seen videos of self-driving cars, but I think the FAA might raise an eyebrow or two about flying cars. Apart from overcoming aerodynamic forces such as weight, thrust, lift and drag, you’d have to keep impatient drivers from banging into each other — messy. But wouldn’t it be great to have one of these for your morning commute? I’m  in. You could just settle in, tell the car where you want to go and read a book or sleep on the way there. Nice.

Holograms could work. 3-D holograms still appear to be in our future, but the 2-D ones aren’t bad. Shades of Star Wars, anyone? Remember Princess Leia’s hologram at the beginning?

And I’d love a PPC. According to the Nora Roberts website, the PPC is similar to a laptop, but I always pictured it as being closer to a smartphone since it has video capability.

Anybody want an AutoChef? Naturally, I’d stock mine with healthy foods (You may giggle, but hey, somebody’s got to do it) and the four basic food groups: chocolate, chocolate, chocolate and chocolate. YEAH, BABY!

Voice-operated technology is here, but I haven’t seen it on televisions yet. Would you have to yell at the TV to turn it on or off during a party, with all the background noise? And what if you had laryngitis one day? Would remote controls still exist?

Hmmmmm. I think we’re on our way to the technology of 2058, but we’ve still got a ways to go yet.


Filed under Writing

17 responses to “Nora Roberts’ Eve Dallas novels: How close are we to 2058 technology?

  1. Sounds a little like Blade Runner as far as the technology goes. Could be an interesting read…

    • The characters are very well done, and there’s quite a bit of Eve’s sardonic humor. Eve is often battling technology — vending machines in her police department don’t like her and refuse to work.

  2. I like your 4 food groups. I will definitely take an AutoChef if it spits out those kind of meals.

  3. I’m surprised no movie options yet. Sounds like popcorn fare in the making. I’ll check it out. Which book do I start with?

    • Start with the first one. The books should be read in order, because the characters grow and develop from book to book. Over time, you learn more and more of Eve’s and Roarke’s back stories and why they became who they are. Plus, other characters are gradually introduced and form relationships with other characters (McNab and Peabody, Charles and Louise, etc.). I still want Baxter and Trueheart each to get girls! Maybe later.

      The entire list of books can be found at Be advised: Some of the books’ content is R-rated (homicide scenes and love scenes), so I’d keep ’em away from kids.

  4. Didn’t click that Roberts was also Robb.

    Everyone loves gadgets – and technology is moving so fast. But you bring up a really good point about voice-activated things…won’t they have to have adaptations? Interesting stuff to consider.

    Great read.

  5. Some interesting possibilities and hazards!

  6. Hate to sound cynical but glancing at the empty parking lots, playgrounds and ball fields where our children should be out, playing, I wonder if they’ll feel the need at all for personal transportation when they are adults. They’ll likely be at home continuing to play out their fantasies–no, I suppose their realities–on ever more powerful gaming machines.
    But then again, maybe it’s that generation that will ‘drive’ the autonomous transportation devices.
    Who knows?

    • Maybe they will. They’ll have to go to work and earn the money to have those gaming machines.

      I am of the opinion that the future will be much like it is today, just with nicer gadgets and software. I still marvel at the fact that I can say something in this blog and somebody on the other side of the world responds in a few minutes or even less. How amazing is that??!!!

  7. Wow, a post I can contribute to. I’ve been a fan of J.D. Robb for years. Never would I had told you, a person I am coming to admire immensely that J. D. Robb is one of my favorites. Your writing is so … Educated. I know … Jeeze.

    J. D. Robb has been my guilty pleasure for years. I thank Roberts’ ability to write quickly so the wait time between books is doable.
    I become very impatient with other authors.
    I have not read Nora Roberts books for few years but I wait for Robb’s books. A great escape easy read series.
    Yes, read them in order.

    The main characters are multi-faceted and so believable with their quirks.
    Want to share a tube of Pepsi?
    This is one series of books I slow way down while reading, I hate when the last page is turned.

  8. musingsofamadgradstudent

    One thing I find interesting about this series is the shadow of the Urban Wars that according to her timeline should be happening…now? I always wanted to know more about what all of that was about. (She may have discussed it in one of her books, but there are so many that it all kind of blends together sometimes…) But her series always struck me as somewhat post-apocalyptic. Geez, I hope they make movies of these someday…

    • I’ve read just about all of the books and I don’t think J.D. Robb/Nora ever said what led to the Urban Wars. But that would be a fascinating topic to cover in the books.

      They would be excellent movies. Some people have speculated which actors they’d use in YouTube videos — worth seeing if you have time. I’m of the opinion that Ashley Judd would make a great Eve Dallas and Matthew Lillard could be Ian McNab. Morgan Freeman as Tibble, naturally.

      Somebody on YouTube suggested The Rock/Dwayne Johnson as Leonardo. I chuckled but at the same time I thought they had something.

      Roarke would be incredibly difficult to cast, which is probably why the movies haven’t been made yet. Matt Bomer comes the closest to the author’s description, I think.

      Check out the InDeath Wiki site. Good for looking up all kinds of information about this series.


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