Sci fi movies (and books) that came true



Just playing around with an idea, which is whether there’s anything interesting to be said about speculations in science fiction versus science fact. Seems like quite a bit of what gets written about in fiction tends to become fact given enough time. This could be chance or it could be that if it gets written about, it gets thought about.

Some examples:

1657, Savien de Cyrano de Bergerac, A Voyage to the Moon  – Apollo 8, 1969.

1888, Edward Bellamy, Looking Backwards (Credit cards) – Diners Club, 1950.

1964, Star Terk, The Cage, (mobile phones) – Motorola, 1973.

One issue is a lack of data. I have about fifty examples of things that got thought about and then happened, mostly from the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s, but that’s not many. There’s also the infinite monkeys argument – given enough predictions something will eventually be correct. But are these really predictions?

There’s also the issue of which writer is right. Many musings are vague in terms of how things might work out and often there are numerous examples of people ‘predicting’ the same thing. For example, the internet, as an idea, can be traced back to Mark Twain, Douglas Adams, Geoffret Hoyle, William Gibson and many others.

What interests me most, apart from who is influencing what, is the time difference between speculation and appearance or invention. It does seem to getting shorter.





3 thoughts on “Sci fi movies (and books) that came true

  1. Yayyy! This is an area I always wanted to put some time in and research even though i haven’t read many sci-fi books. the ones i did pop in my mind more and more frequently as technology and society changes. some elements of these novels may indeed have come true, even if metaphorically only; e.g. soma from Brave New World; is that the internet or the virtual role-playing world? or even TV? The other is Fahrenheit 451 – it’s hard to think that books will be burnt in future (in fact i sense that people are returning to books from their kindles; based on observations on commuters 😉 ) but the massive digital screens on the wall and talking ‘machines’ are around..

  2. Just been thinking how this idea is historical. It’s about looking at speculations in Sci-Fi and linking with things that came true or got invented. In other words it’s backwards looking. But surely the real value, beyond purely academic interest, is in what is being written about or thought about in Sci-Fi NOW that, while currently impossible or crazy, might come true or be possible in the FUTURE. In this vein there’s a great post by Brain Merchant on Motherboard at Vice magazine about what Sci-Fi in 2015 says about us now.

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