nancylebov (nancylebov) wrote,

Science fiction and the future

Yes, I know.... science fiction is about the time when it's written.

However, I still get a kick out of it when science fiction gets something thing right (as I recall, there were approximately half a dozen pretty good predictions in The Door into Summer-- I'm especially fond of the classified ads (oh, well) where the man from the past can't even guess what most of the jobs are), a little sad when science fiction misses something fairly big (I believe no one guessed that tattooing and piercing would go mainstream), and kind of amazed when science fiction gets something right (The Machine Stops (1909)-- people use something like the internet to chat with each other, and they get obsessed with keeping up), and then everyone forgets it until it happens in the real world. (Typical computer networks in sf were highly centralized rather than being used for communication between people.)

While it's impossible to predict the future accurately, it's plausible that science fiction gains some mental flexibility by trying. I haven't seen discussion anywhere about the effects of trying to predict.

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