Looking at the Future Past

Science fiction tends to be too optimistic about the future, even in its postapocalyptic visions.  We are all interested in the future (particularly our own).  We have been quite disappointed at its failure to arrive as depicted in various science fiction epics.

The Jetsons promised us Rosie the robot to take care of our domestic duties as well as flying cars and personal jetpacks to travel about from our home in the clouds.  We are still waiting.

1984 promised us television screens that filled the walls of our living rooms.  We are close, but do we really want to go there?

Gerry Anderson’s UFO, set in 1991, had us battling aliens from a space station and a moon base.  We are now building the space station, but are no where near having a lunar base.

His Space:1999, again promised a moon base and personal communicators (much like Dick Tracy’s wrist radio).  There is a prototype for a cellphone watch, but I don’t think it will ever hit the market.

2001: A Space Odessy promised a space station, long distance space travel and ‘Hal’, a supercomputer that loses its mind.  We are still working on the AI, hopefully without the crazy.

And here we are in 2010 waiting to see what else we won’t get as promised.

If you are wondering why I have left out 1966’s Star Trek, it is because that is one show whose predictions have come true.  Although we are still waiting for starships and transporters and phasers, we have achieved personal communicators (cell phones), medical scanners (both CT and MRI), electronic books, stunners (tasers) and other items that I can’t think of at the moment.


About Julirose

Amateur word arranger, avid number cruncher, and science fiction and fantasy enthusiast.
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