Friday, January 15, 2010

[Diversicon] Sir Arthur C. Clarke, Getting it Wrong

This year's posthumous guest of honor at Diversicon, science fiction writer Sir Arthur C. Clarke is often hailed for many of his visionary postulations of what life would be like in the future. But it's also entertaining to look at what goes wrong too, and this makes for a very lively conversation. Alas, moon mining did not come to pass as soon as he predicted, nor are we traveling yet to other planets or living alongside cyborgs, making our way around thanks to matter transference.

But in many other ways he did make some close to accurate calls about what we could expect. In one of his books, he notes “The one fact about the future of which we can be certain is that it will be utterly fantastic.” And in many ways, that has happened. Perhaps not to the time of flying jetpacks a la Ray Bradbury, but interesting advances, just the same.

One day, it will be interesting to see where today's science fiction writers get it wrong.

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