Monday, August 6, 2012

Science fiction can predict the future

Prior to his death, Carl Sagan claimed that science and science-fiction kind of do this dance with one another. Jules Verne invented an atomic submarine way before one existed. Michael Crichton took genetic engineering and gave us dinosaurs. William Gibson saw what was happening in the eighties and coined a term, "cyberspace". You may have heard of it.

Anyway, I got sent this tweet yesterday by my good blogging friend Callie Leuck:

@nasw blurb: "substances in the blood of the young may be able to rejuvenate aging bodies." - @MichaelOffutt you knew?! http://tiny.cc/16xkiw 

I have to admit, I thought "this is cool." One of the things I write about in my book is "liquid life", a drug taken from the young to essentially rejuvenate the bodies of the old. It's so valuable, it drives the economy of Avalon (the mirror world of Earth). Basically, currency has a "value" in that world because it can theoretically be exchanged for liquid life (much the same as the currency in the U.S.A. used to be based upon a gold standard).

Just to be clear, I'm not saying I'm a science-fiction writer with the same talent as any of the aforementioned names. But it does validate me in one way: to know that I predicted something I didn't know about and that it's the newest thing being studied by scientists at Stanford.

So in a way, science fiction can predict the future. Who knew, right?

I think that's the "hallmark" of someone that writes science-fiction, and I'm happy to be a part of the dance which Sagan talked about, even if my part is minuscule and unknown.

Have a great Monday :) Thanks Callie for the tweet!

33 comments:

  1. I can relate to this. I hope to one day be part of this dance too.

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  2. I always knew bathing in the blood of virgins would pay off.

    mood

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  3. What about the story of the billionaire who really wants to create a Jurassic Park? (Apparently he didn't see the movie to know that it won't end well.) That's science fiction coming to life.

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  4. I think there's a lot of things invented in SF that we have now.

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  5. That is so cool, Michael. I thought liquid life was such a cool concept in your book.

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  6. I should go back and see if anything I wrote about in the 90s has come to pass yet. That would be awesome.

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  7. I'm still waiting for the day when we'll be able to control our computers with our thoughts like in my book, Neuro. I'm not holding my breath though. :)

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  8. That's why I love scifi, too; it alerts me to what may be.

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  9. I hope you've predicted correctly, and I hope someone hurries up and proves you right. I need that serum and soon.

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  10. know what you mean!
    my dad sent me a nova video on teleportation and its eerie how it will work, if it does...

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  11. I've always known that. Even Orson Scott Card saw how powerful an influence blogging and social networking can have in the political area well before computers were in the home. :)

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  12. Sounds a bit like HGH, which is a pretty cool angle, since youth is wasted on the young.

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  13. Hey, that IS pretty dang cool, Michael! Now, where can a gal get herself summa this liquid life??? ;-)
    Some Dark Romantic

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  14. Michael Offutt: Visionary.

    I think science fiction either dates itself (all those buttons now that we have touch-sensitive screens) or can seem ahead of its time. I'm impressed with people who write it.

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  15. Michael, your'e a science prophet.

    I saw some documentary once on how Star Trek alone influenced a whole generation of scientists, and among the things they created were the doo-dads they saw on the show. Science and fiction came full circle.

    Still, the scientists agreed that in the future no one will wear those Trekkie clothes.

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  16. I think in your next book you should write about how two young people from one world can go to another world, then come back and guess the Powerball numbers correctly and say what those numbers are.

    And you should have me proofread that book before the drawing.

    Nicely done: you did a lot of research on your book and it paid off. You are officially a smart person.

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  17. If something can be imagined, it's possible. Nothing is possible that can't be imagined.

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  18. There's also a relation to stem cell research in this.

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  19. So long as harvesting the blood doesn't hurt those that the blood came from.

    But isn't that the point of stories in general and science fiction in particular? To give ideas to those that can actually make those things work?

    (It's sentence fragment day in my brain!)

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  20. Awesome. Get me my dose soon. :)

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  21. Sci-fi writers are brilliant... you totally have a different type of brain than the rest of us... you have this extra... logical sense and ability to make things... work or something. See? I can't even explain it, LOL. I just know that whatever amazing factor you lovely sci-fi writers have, I don't! Ha.

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  22. i've always thought the concept of vampires drinking blood as bullshit.

    why would they bother, since they're, basically, not of this world, ie. DEAD? ...hence in no need of 'nutrition'

    in order to continue their existence on this plane, they'd need a life source, hence they suck up human 'essence', aka, souls - if you believe in such - elsewise, 'essence' serves as the word to use....

    also, since they're dead, it's equally stupid to think they want sex, of any kind...

    but then, all the sex/forbidden romance written of vamps would be ridiculous, leaving writers to struggle saying anything to keep sales of those books 'on the front burner'; after all, nothing sells like sex and violence - sax and violins, if you will

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  23. Stephen Hayes said it already. I do think imagination powers us to think beyond the box of what is to what can be.

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  24. The liquid life really was one of those ideas where I read it, stopped for a minute, and said, "Damnit! I wish I thought of that."

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  25. I really like that blurb you received... has many connotations. Not all dark and evil either:)

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  26. Wow! That is cool. Way to be ahead of your time! :)

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  27. That is really great how you thought of something that is now being researched. I'll have to get my grandchildren to pump out some blood for me.

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  28. That's cool...a lot of science fiction gadgetry does get translated into real life inventions.
    Wasn't some likening the optical invisibility concept to Harry's cloak or Predator's camouflage?

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  29. You're welcome! Glad you enjoyed that bit of information. Oddly, that was the part of your book that I thought was the most "fantastical" and just had accept as a "rule of the world" and move on.

    But I did notice that you seem to be a science enthusiast (see all the passages about theoretical physics, etc). Don't know if you knew this, but I am studying science writing, and I am fascinated by science, and I'm a member of the National Science Writers Association (NASW) so I get their magazine. Anyway, I'm reading this at the cafe and just scanning things and saw literally a one-line blurb in an update on the California chapter. Well, I almost had a heart attack. I was all "HOLY CRAP DID MICHAEL KNOW ABOUT THIS OFF-THE-WALL RESEARCH??"

    So as you can imagine, my mind was exploding, and I was pretty much geeking out as much as my geeky heart could handle. I had to look up the science ASAP. Couldn't find much, but it was totally cool.

    I think it's totally awesome when you get that circular action with science fiction and science.

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  30. Here I am catching up again... Carl Sagan was very insightful in many ways. Think what we have done to surpass Star Trek-- but I'll bet there many a Trekkie youth who were involved at NASA for the Curiosity launch. Did you watch any of that??? WOW! I heard the crowd in NY chanted "Science, Science, Science" So cool! Cheers!

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