Wednesday, August 9, 2023

The Predictions of My Favorite Authors.

 Most science fiction authors don't try to predict the future, but instead satirize or comment on their own timelines.  It's especially ironic when some readers interrupt and author's warnings or most worst case scenarios as wishes or suggestions, but that's only part of the complexity of works of fiction.  This is a comment by Samuel R. Delany suggesting that science fiction doesn't predict the future only significantly distorts the present. 

Here are some of the most accurate sci-fi predictions.

Mary Shelley was a mere 17 years old when she wrote her novel, "Frankenstein" in 1818.  Although there is still a debate whether this is a work of "Horror" or "Science Fiction" some readers think that she predicted future innovations from organ transplants to genetic engineering.  Although these might not be precise predictions, the book undoubtedly influenced many genres and paved new paths  in the imaginations of writers to come.  "Frankenstein" is considered the first published work of modern Science Fiction.

In 1998 Octavia Butler published her dystopian novel, "Parable of the Talents" in which she introduces a bigoted presidential candidate that calls himself,  Andrew Steele Jarret who coins the phrase, "Make America Great Again."  His rise to power and his political views eerily mirror one Donald J. Trump.  Andrew Jarret even manages to get himself arrested and impeached on a couple of occasions.  A decade after publishing the book Ms. Butler stated in a speech at MIT that it wasn't intended to be a prophetic novel, but a cautionary tale on what could happen if one man was given unbalanced power.   

There is the 1932 novel by Aldous Huxley, "A Brave New World." in which he predicts the cloning of mammals and entire classes of people using the, "Bokanovsky's Process."  Some think that cloning is the most remarkable concept from this book, however it also introduces a mind altering anti depressant drug called, "Soma" that could have been a pre-look at the mood altering drug craze of today. 

Then we have Ray Bradbury's, "Fahrenheit 451"  in which Bradbury describes devises called Seashells, that are being compared to Bluetooth, and Airpods.  This novel even predates innovations such as Stereo Headphones, and the transistor radio which was a new invention.  The characters of the book even used ATM machines and Flat Screened TVs.  Was Ray delving into the future?

Michael Chrichton wrote about the cloning of dinosaur DNA in his 1990 novel, "Jurassic Park"  and the movie franchise of the same name. Then in 2021 scientist announced their desire to clone prehistoric animals?  Shhheesh...  

Now we're back at the beginning with Mary Shelley predicting the manipulation of the genetic code of the human host as well as recreating life in our image.  Is cloning a large carnivorous predictor a good idea in the longevity of humankind?   We'll have to wait for the next installment of our favorite Sci-Fi author to answer that question.  Where is our future coming from?

Peace and Balance,



  1. Heinlien invented the water bed. Just saying. He described it in Stranger in a Strange Land in enough detail to establish that it was legally in the public domain.

    1. That's pretty cool. If I remember right, Michael, the protagonist spent allot of time on the bottom of the pool. Another prediction about the downfalls of sleeping on water? 80)