The future is tough to foresee. Ask any stock-picker, or the writers of Space 1999. Imagining it is fun, though, and occasionally fiction authors will get something right. Possibly because the narratives we create about the future go on to influence our vision of it, which we then attempt to make real. And while we may still be famously waiting for our jetpacks, there’s a lot we no longer have to wait for, from solar sails (From the Earth to the Moon, Jules Verne, 1865) to anti-depressants  (Brave New World, Aldous Huxley, 1932). This handy infographic, apparently created by some folks to sell printer ink, lays it all out for you. Did they miss something? Add it in the comments.

 

Science Fiction Predictions

4 Responses

  1. Bob

    Don’t forget “The Marching Morons by CM Kornbluth, 1951. It can be read online.

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  2. Patrick D. Joyce

    What a great chart. E.M. Forster envisions a number of technological advances in The Machine Stops, his short story from 1909. Here’s an example: “… it was fully fifteen seconds before the round plate that she held in her hands began to glow. A faint blue light shot across it, darkening to purple, and presently she could see the image of her son, who lived on the other side of the earth, and he could see her.” The infographic has Jules Verne writing about a videophone too, in 1889, but Forster’s version almost prefigures the internet: the main character in his story knows and interacts with thousands of people through the Machine, and none of them ever leaves their rooms!

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