Midcentury sci-fi writers predicted our gadget-driven life

  • Article by: Carlo Rotella
  • Updated: December 6, 2013 - 5:46 PM

Who could have foreseen our gadget-driven life? Midcentury sci-fi writers, that’s who.

  • 8
  • Comments

  • Results per page:
  • 1 - 8 of 8
furguson11Dec. 6, 13 8:26 PM

I still want my flying car.

13
2
Diogenes9Dec. 6, 13 9:18 PM

Simek predicted that dogs would talk, too. Report on all the goofy sci-fi stuff that NEVER happened, why don't you?

3
16
heckyousayDec. 7, 1312:25 AM

My dog talks. At least she THINKS she can...

18
0
bizsmithDec. 7, 13 5:46 AM

In the early '50s a futurist spoke at my school. He said every person would be assigned a telephone number at birth and we would all carry personal telephones. How far did he miss?

18
0
cstoney48Dec. 7, 13 8:30 AM

Diogenes9 said: "Simek predicted that dogs would talk, too." Clifford Simak, a science writer for the Mpls papers and a science fiction writer wrote a series of allegorical stories collected in a book called "City" in which the dogs who inherited the earth told tales about the demise of humans. Talking dogs was not the focus of the stories. "Huddling Place" is particularly alarming in light of our addiction with technology at the expense of human interaction. Two other points: Science fiction has never claimed predictive powers. It forecasts alternative futures which might/could occur and gives us the ability to evaluate their impacts and probability. It can and has often been a useful tool. Read the Cleve Cartmill short story “Deadline” that prompted a visit by the FBI to John Campbell’s ‘Astounding’ offices in 1944. Secondly, as Isaac Asimov noted--forties and fifties SF mostly ignored the impact of the personal computer and the alternatives which resulted from its widespread use. SF missed that one--big time. While SF is often fun, informative and engaging, it is not omniscient. I do still enjoy it--particularly the ‘old stuff’. Fond memories!

11
0
nonau55Dec. 7, 1311:17 AM

This is called predictive programming. Aldous Huxley even admitted that "Brave New World" was not really science fiction, but really a guide to the future.

3
0
rskophammerDec. 7, 1312:10 PM

Much of the current SF is lost in the plethora of fantasy (some of which is good reads) that is being published. There are important exceptions that deal with our future. "The Diamond Age: Or, A Young Lady's Illustrated Primer", is one example of the what the future could look like. Read it and then watch a pre-schooler with an iPad or other tablet...We are not ready for the future, and it will be here sooner than you think!

3
0
rosemaryfrmnDec. 7, 13 1:17 PM

An Ipad or tablet reminds me of Star Trek, and cell phones the Communicator from the same show. Now if we could just manage to get along with each other, no matter what we look like, Gene Roddenbury would sure be pleased. Most people missed the very Moral Implications behind most of his stories, IMO.

6
0
  • 1 - 8 of 8

Comment on this story   |  

ADVERTISEMENT

  • about opinion

  • The Opinion section is produced by the Editorial Department to foster discussion about key issues. The Editorial Board represents the institutional voice of the Star Tribune and operates independently of the newsroom.

  • Submit a letter or commentary
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT