Writing process

Living in my own science fiction future


Sometimes I feel I’m living in my own science fiction story, but I don’t realise it.

Computers, credit cards, mobile phones, microwave ovens, genetically modified wheat and other plants, 3-D printers, military drones (military anything, really), tablet PCs.  The list goes on.

While it’s true some of these were invented before I was born, they only became common in my lifetime.

We haven’t got self-driving cars yet, but here’s hoping we get to them before I get too old to drive. Believe me, I’ll be first in line.

But for someone born in the year 2000 however, their science fiction will be different.

They grew up with computers, so that’s not science fiction to them.  Mobile phones, the internet. They’re part of life, in the same way electricity and washing machines are to me.

For them it will be self-driving cars (I hope), commercial trips to the moon (maybe), genetic modification of people (maybe) and a whole slew of other things that I haven’t even thought of yet but some science fiction writer probably has.

Friday’s internet denial of service attack feels like something out of science fiction. Maybe an apocalyptic novel, or a near future thriller that threatens an apocalypse.

I work in IT. I also run a blog.  Which means I know about denial of service attacks. In fact, most Australians do now, for our last census (#CensusFail) was spectacularly disrupted by a denial of service issue.

While we weren’t hit anywhere near as severely as the US last night, it does make you think about how much we rely on the ability to be online all the time. And when we do get an outage, how much it impacts us.

It’s a different world to pre-1980, back before the internet as we know it didn’t exist. Back then Friday’s events would definitely have been science fiction.


2 replies on “Living in my own science fiction future”

Yes. Charlie Stross complains that he often has to rewrite his near-future fiction because the world keeps catching up to it. ?

And you can see how quickly even contemporary books date, too.

Also, in science fiction, not only do you have to stay ahead of the technology/science, you also have to try to extrapolate the future, to ensure that the science/technology you choose to write about hasn’t become discredited by the time the book is finished.

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