SCI FI / SCI FACT
I has been stated on many an occasion that the Science Fiction of to-day is the Science Fact of tomorrow. Now I know that some out there might find this hard to believe but it is true.
Perhaps the greatest example of fiction becoming fact is in the novels of Jules Verne. His novel predict space travel, atomic energy, and dirigibles. His submarine Nautilus of 20,000 Leagues under the Sea is powered by a mysterious power source. To-day that power source is Nuclear Energy. In that same novel he predicted sea farming and the aqua lung. In From Earth to the Moon he predicted space travel. He said it was possible to go around the world in 80 days, we now do it in 90 minutes (Satellites). H.G. Wells in his Island of Doctor Moreau predicted Genetic Manipulation. In The Shape of Things to Come he also predicted space travel although I don’t think being shot out of a giant cannon was really the way to go.
Ray Bradbury gave us the Laser in his short story the Meteor (It came from Outer Space). IN the 1930s “Amazing Stories” introduced us to Hyper Space (Faster than Light) travel and although it is still in the realm of fiction scientists at NASA are working on a plausible engine. Some of the everyday medical advance we have to-day first appeared in sci-fi. Opened heart surgery, organ transplants, and the replacement of limbs, either by reattachment (if soon enough) or by cybernetics. Perhaps the biggest sci-fi to sci- fact is the computer. In the 1920s and 30s they belonged on the pages of Astounding Science Fiction and Amazing Stories, by the early 40s they became a fact but they were usually either electro-mechanical or early electronic using Vacuum Tubes. The first Personal Computer arrived around 1957 but it was large and cumbersome. It was the IBM 160. Progress continued and by the 80s’ the computer age arrived.
Into-days’ world Science Fiction is big money, with Films like Star Wars, and Star Trek also TV Series like Star Trek in the 60s, which would eventually lead to spin off like Star Trek, The Next Generation, Deep Space 9 and Voyager, and finally Enterprise. There would other series like Babylon 5 and the Mini Series Battle Star Galactic. Battle Star Galactica originated in 1978 and was remade as a mini-series in 2004. The remake far outshone the original as the science was more, believable and the effects realistic. Faster than light speed in science fiction can be attain in at least 3 different ways. In the Star Trek series it is attained by forming a Hyper Space field around the ship and propelling said bubble along carrying the ship with it. In Babylon 5 Hyper Space is attained through a projector device floating in space. The vessel enters and is hurled forward at FTL speed. In Battlestar Galactica the ship builds up an energy pules that when released jumps the vessel forward to come out at its’ destination almost immediately. This of course is fiction but who knows someday, maybe in the near future there will be a scientific breakthrough that will let faster than Light travel be a reality.
In the old sci fi there were ray guns and disintegrates these are not that farfetched for to-day in reality we have Lasers, Particle Beam, and Magnetic Rail Gun, weapons. We also have micro-wave weapons and sonic weapons and of course the big one Atomic weapons. Humanity is quite versed at making weapons. Who in the fifties would believe that before the century was out we would go to the Moon, landing upon it, send exploring satellites to Mars, and have cell phoned and personal computers. All these accomplishments were Science Fiction in the 30s’ and 40s.