The Future: If You Blink, You’ll Miss It

We were recently asked if it was difficult to write science fiction in a world where the future quickly and persistently becomes the present.

You betcha!

How lovely it must have been to be a sci-fi writer one hundred years ago. The inventions and devices you imagined and described were unlikely to show up not only in the near future but in your lifetime. Your futuristic world would remain just that, an imaginative journey into a far-off place.

Not so today. When we wrote the first draft of Time’s Edge twenty-five years ago, the future we imagined included wireless mobile computers, touch screens, voice-activated devices, quantum physics… Well, you get the picture. Flash forward twenty years. We haul out the manuscript, begin to polish it for publication, and notice a big problem. The future we described had pretty much become the present.

We rewrote the story and have since added two sequels, but we wonder how long it will be before the devices and ways of life we described become part of our present lives. And then we wonder what it will be like for the science fiction writers of tomorrow. Technology is evolving so quickly, the future will be happening as they are writing it!

FUTURE WRITER: Let’s see. Orion steps into his personal protection pod (PPP) which will shield him from the harmful rays of the sun that shine through the depleted ozone layer, filter the smog-laden air, protect him from the chemicals that saturate the ground…

NEWS FLASH: Get your very own Personal Protection Pod. Don’t put yourself at risk of our deadly environment again! PPP’s will shield the sun’s deadly rays, filter your air, protect you from toxic chemicals…

FUTURE WRITER: Sigh. I wish I lived in the 21st century. Life was so much simpler then. Let’s see. Maybe Orion could just wear a special suit. Wait a minute. An ultra-thin fabric, transparent yet tough, which provides all the protection he needs from the environment. It will be practically invisible, so no one will know he is wearing it… I’ll call it WonderFabric…

NEWS FLASH: WonderFabric, now available from fine eOutlets everywhere. Transparent yet tough, invisible to others…

FUTURE WRITER: I’m switching to historical fiction.

 

 

 

 

 

About jmdattilo

J.M. Dattilo is our pen name. We are the authors of the Time's Edge sci-fi/fantasy series.

Posted on April 7, 2012, in Authors, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I had a similar thought yesterday on reading a news article about that cube 3d printer, though it didn’t so much apply to the writing end of ‘rapid-fire future approach’ as the result of growing up reading and wishing for the day. Now that I’m ..’middle aged’ though, that wish turns out to be more than bargained for. The news that can now ‘print out’ actual usable objects just made me want to throw my hands up and declare ‘that’s it, I’m old and done!’ for the world feeling too much like scifi and not quite so much like the reality I was raised to know. Though I suppose at least now I sympathize with how my grandparents must have felt when I was young. ;p

  2. Know the feeling. There is a “technology divide” in our society that is growing by leaps and bounds and, unfortunately, most of us are on the “I can’t keep up” side!

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