Future Sci-Fi


More random bizarro thinking on my part.

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I suddenly started wondering what science fiction of the future will be. Today most science fiction is focused on colonizing other planets, alien encounters, high-tech taking over, dystopias, the fall of civilization, robots, AI, time travel, extending human life. Ok, that’s a whole lotta stuff.

In say, a thousand years, when we’ve conquered space and how to travel millions of light years, encountered alien races and survived the fall of civilization and rebuilt, AI will be pervasive, robots old-hat – what form will science fiction take? What will future sci-fi writers write? Presumably by then the question of “are we alone in the universe” will have been answered. Possibly not, but my gut says another thousand years will see things we haven’t even dreamed yet; finding extraterrestrials will be small potatoes.

There’s been some discussion lately that science fiction no longer deals with the ‘big questions’ of what-ifs, that it’s focused on the immediate future: There’s some truth to this. Most of the sf I see lately is riffing on some current political issue, detours in tech that derail us, terraforming planets.  These topics will seem like baby steps to future generations. :::just gave myself an idea…:::

Mars terraform

I wonder what the ‘big questions’ will be a millennium from now. Or am I being too optimistic? Will we still be consumed by the things that concern us today: overpopulation, diminishing resources, pollution, corruption, greed, religious wars, politics. Will we be Borg? Will cyborgs be passé by then? DING! (another idea) John Steinbeck was right:

Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen.

I would imagine all these topics that we spend so much time writing and thinking about today will be as normal to future humans as telephones and electricity are to us. I’ve been spending a lot of time wondering what future science fiction will consist of, and I guess I’m no visionary because at the moment I have no idea what people will be wondering about in a thousand years. If you look back at what people were doing a thousand years ago in 1013… The Norman Invasion hadn’t even happened yet. Brian Boru had not yet fought the Battle of Clontarf (that would be the following year in 1014).  The Black Death, The Crusades, Copernicus, Columbus, Magellan, Galileo, Da Vinci, Gutenberg, the Protestant Reformation, Henry VIII, Mozart, Beethoven, the bicycle, the automobile, Kitty Hawk, Apollo 11… all that and so much more in just the last thousand year.  Imagine even the same rate of advancement  taking place over the next 1000 years. And at the rate technology increases and the fact that so much more is being done in general makes it almost scary to think where we’ll be in a thousand years. Or two thousand.

But wow, would I like to see it.

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2 thoughts on “Future Sci-Fi

  1. This is a great musing post DD!

    I never actually thought about what sci-fi might be like as you pose the question. I imagine it would probably contain things that you and I can’t even possibly understand at the moment.

    I often wonder though, how the human race will survive it’s first encounter with an alien race. I think it was Stephen Hawking who recently said that we shouldn’t wish for an alien encounter too much. More than likely any alien race that happens upon the earth will more than likely be looking to colonize or conquer it. He predicts that a violent conflict is more than likely.

    It depresses me every day though to think we have not progressed “officially” in a more forward direction towards space travel.

    I honestly thought we would have at least been to Mars by now.

    I read promising articles almost daily about advances that have been made by private companies in space travel. The last one I found said they had developed technology that could make the trip to Mars only 6 months instead of years. but nothing is ever CONCRETE.

    I do know one thing though, There will always be futuristic “Steam punk” writers, writing about the old days of “Fiberoptics and digital media!

    The technology of today viewed as, “Primitive”, Now that would be cool!

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    1. I hope Prof. Hawking is wrong, and that our first encounter with an advanced alien civilization will be one of mutual exploration.

      I remember many years ago the trip to Mars was, with technology of the time, supposed to take something along the lines of 3 years. Then they figured out about launching at certain times and cut the trip down to six months. Still horrendous but way better than three years!

      Yes, it’s a shame our space program is basically languishing. Carl Sagan hated even the shuttle missions, he thought they were a waste of time and resources, and unjustifiable. I think it’s going to fall to the private sector to take us to the stars.

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