Sci-Fi Successes | J@N | 4.7.11

Sci-Fi Successes | J@N | 4.7.11

Back in March, we published an episode all about the things that Hollywood got dead-wrong in some of its biggest Sci-Fi blockbusters. You guys seemed to love it, even though we were a bunch of negative nancies, hatin’ on the sci-fi movies.

Tonight we’ve decided to take a similar idea, but turn our gaze to celebrating the triumphs of science fiction; all the things they’ve gotten RIGHT over the years, whether predicting the details of manned space flight or handheld gadgets. From authors to modern cinematic blockbusters… which predictions were accurate? And which may yet still come to pass?

Thanks to: for their sponsorship of tonight’s show!

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Show Notes:

Accurate Predictions by Sci-Fi Authors:

  • Jules Verne accurately predicted a lot of the minutiae of Moon flights in 1865:
  • Aldous Huxley predicted human cloning in “Brave New World” in 1932
  • John Brunner’s 1975 novel “The Shockwave Rider” coined many internet phrases used today:
    • Hackers, identify theft, computer viruses and worms
  • Robert Heinlein “invented” the waterbed in 1961’s “Stranger In a Strange Land”
    • Produced in reality in 1967, and creator referenced the book as inspiration.
  • Arthur C. Clarke accurately predicted a network of communications satellites in 1945
    • Such a network didn’t exist until more than 20 years later.
  • Stanislaw Lern predicted eReaders and eBooks in 1961’s “Return From The Stars
  • Douglas Adams’ “Hitchhiker’s Guide” was a Wikipedia+iPad. (IMAGE)

Accurate Predictions from TV/Movies:

Minority Report : Touch/Motion Interface
Total Recall : Video Phones
Total Recall : Airport Security Scanners
Star Trek : Cell Phones
Running Man / Truman Show : Reality Television
2001 : Several aspects of space travel (artificial gravity via centrifugal force, etc)
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind : How the brain stores/accesses memories

Could be right?

Alien : Suspended Animation pods (instead of FTL travel)
Solaris : Alien life will be so strange that will will be incapable of understanding it
Gattaca : Once the human genome is completely ‘decoded,’ humans face DNA destiny
Contact : “Exploration” of space will be done via communication alone
Terminator : Robot uprising brought on by self-aware AI


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