When I was a kid, I read more than many of my friends. Sure, I played baseball and soccer, but I was what would have been called a bookworm. Many of the books on my list were science fiction. You name it, I read it. Many I just wandered in and found on my dad’s bookshelf, that led me to the library and the rest is now dusty book memory.
When I was determining what my ultimate career path would be I was drawn to writing, but I was more drawn to science and engineering, and I ultimately chose that career path earning a PhD in Physics.
So, how do I think Science Fiction writers showed us the world we live in?
Many of the things we take for granted today were first put into our mind’s in those fiction “stories” of the past.
Cell phones of the flip variety came from Star Trek.
iPad or similar device first appeared on Star Trek the Next Generation (Thank you Captain Picard and welcome back).
Robots as elements in battle (war robots) came from G. Harry Stine in his series Warbots. He also pointed out a lot of political arguments we would have in the future that might result in military action and dang if he wasn’t right on the money. Everything from women in combat to United States border issues.
The point is that as we enter an era where people read less and less and focus on super hero movies and the latest binge worthy TV show I think we miss that inspiration that can be found in these sci fi stories. Most of what we see today is some dystopian future where everyone has died and we need to have a reality TV show where people hunt other people (Hunger Games) to keep us looking to the future.
What does this say about where we are going?
In my work as a writer I try to focus on some of these older topics. How technology will take us places and perhaps lead to a better world. I have even been working on putting out of print sci fi back into print. Finding the rights and prepping them for modern publishing. It is an interesting shift to a scientific career, but one I think will build a better future, and isn’t that what scientists are supposed to do?