What will the future hold? Sociologists and pollsters can try to predict, but no one knows for sure. We decided to have some fun and asked three novelists with ties to Orange County to let their imaginations run wild and give us a glimpse of the Orange County we might inhabit in the year 2020. Laguna Beach resident Gregory Benford, a professor of physics at UC Irvine conducting research in plasma physics and astrophysics, has written a dozen novels and won several literary awards, including the Ditmar Prize for International Novel. Although Kim Stanley Robinson now lives in Chevy Chase, Md., he grew up in Orange County and has used the county as the setting for three novels, including "The Wild Shore" and "The Gold Coast." His offering is an excerpt from the third novel in the trilogy, which will be released by Tor Books in the fall of 1990. Donald A. Stanwood has lived in Orange County since he was 7. His piece is adapted from his forthcoming novel "The Sleep of Lazarus." His other fiction includes "The Memory of Eva Ryker," which was made into a TV movie, and "The Seventh Royale."