Today’s Science Fiction is Tomorrow’s Science Fact

Science fiction and fantasy is ultimately about people and how they relate to their world, a world which, by definition, is different from ours. It is not important whether the world is actually feasible only that it is internally consistent. It is not important to explain how the mechanisms of these fantastic worlds work, in fact it is often more effective to leave them as mysteries. How many people stop to think how TV or cell phones work. We just accept them for the functionality that they represent.

We have no idea how to traverse the light years between star systems in our universe but in science fiction we take the problem as already solved and instead focus on exploring the impact on human lives of being able to traverse such immense distances. And then, as often as not, something strange happens. Because we have thought about the desirability of these fantastic capabilities, we figure out a way to make them real.

The classic example was the hand held wireless communicator that every member of the star ship Enterprise carried in the original Star Trek television series. It inspired an electronic engineer at Motorola to invent the cell phone. And now, fifty years later, we can’t imagine life without them.

The challenge to the imagination of the science fiction writer is to imagine the impact of fantastic capabilities on the lives of people. Once that has been accomplished, anything is possible.

Sweet dreams, don’t forget to tell the ones you love that you love them, and most important of all, be kind.