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Monday, August 13, 2007

A Note to Sci-Fi Writers

Hey, science fiction writers and other visionaries! I have a small idea for you. When you write about year 2300 or the 31st century, please do not make your characters use great inventions of a moment such as "HD disks" or make them walk in the corridors covered with a hype material that you just may have admired in your study when you wrote your otherwise timeless masterpiece. (Such as "linoleum" in Ursula Le Guin 1970s novel Lathe of Heaven).

I know, it is hard, but just look at some people like Arthur C. Clarke, who has created long respected ideas like a computer without moving parts or "pure travelling intelligence called Vanamonde" or something. And look, in 1992 Neal Stephenson created a metaversum structure in Snow Crash that is rather plausible for users of Second Life today. Or even Jules Verne, who is to some extent still fun to read...

Instead of a HD disk, you could just say "disk", or memory. Instead of linoleum, you could dream any name for a material. A good idea would be not to look at what already exists in the world of today, but what would be logical if there were no technological constraints. Use your imagination, guys! Don't ruin it for young people of 2015. Don't make the possible worlds impossible. Just think of all these poor guys, who have to read sci-fi from 1960s where astronauts are typing away on typemachines.

Some other funny sci-fi ideas: people sending each other sms-type of messages in year 4034. "CN U GET WRD, NO ATCK..." (Iain M. Banks, The Algebraist). Some guy desperately looking for a pay phone on Mars (Somehwere in Ray Bradbury).