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Recent Reading - Things Science Fiction Predicts, and Doesn't - Mo's Journal
February 23rd, 2010
10:38 am


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Recent Reading - Things Science Fiction Predicts, and Doesn't

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[User Picture]
Date:February 25th, 2010 05:23 pm (UTC)
I can't think of any examples; I haven't read enough Golden Age science fiction to make any definative pronoucements, though.

Whenever I read pre-1970's sci fi the thing that strikes me the most is how authors tended to predict all sorts of technological developments but completely fail to predict many important social developments -- like, you know, feminism. (So women are still limited to roles as nurses and receptionists ... but in space!)

Actually your post made me think of a series of blog posts my friend snowmit has been making, which you might enjoy. He was investigating sort of the opposite phenomenon from what you're talking about here: futuristic technologies that sci-fi predicted would be world-changing, but which, when they actually happened, turned out to be not such a big deal. Read the series here: http://quietbabylon.com/2009/b-list-holy-grails-and-a-contest/
[User Picture]
Date:February 25th, 2010 05:56 pm (UTC)
On the women being nurses in space thing - that's a Heinlein failing, among others.

The snowmit thing was a fun idea, although I had a little trouble following who was saying what, etc. I think the prime example of that is space travel. Science Fiction saw getting off of the planet as a truly socially transformative event, that humanity would never be the same. I remember seeing Arthur C. Clarke telling Walter Cronkite on the day of the first moon landing, "This is the year 1." I think I believed him.

But ultimately, going to the moon didn't change much.

Edited at 2010-02-25 05:56 pm (UTC)
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