Science fiction technology is practically what gets me up in the morning. I really hope the future is going to be as awesome as I think it is. It would be a total bummer if the world just turned into one big suburb or the pollution really did kill us all. Even alien attack or zombie plague would be better than that. Sitting through yet another 111 degree day in Texas, I am not the biggest fan of climate change either.
I apologize if this post is a bit rambly. I am coming down off a hard core literary high after back-to-back conventions – Worldcon in Reno and Armadillocon in Austin, respectively. Had my mind blown about every hour with great ideas, solid advice and interesting people. Go to the conventions, folks. It will remind you why you obsessively love science fiction/fantasy. These are the people who love what we love and who understand what the heck we are talking about. They watch the same shows, read the same kinds of books, and share that weird urge to wear outrageous costumes while drinking Pangalactic Gargleblasters and discussing Regency-era dance maneuvers and the nothingness of being.
I got a ton of new ideas for future technologies that would be fun to fiction while at the conventions. Lately, I’m fascinated with the brain-computer-interface (BCI) and microchip implants and whatever this guy dreams up this week. My background is math and biochemistry, so I fan out on the traditional techie stuff, but I have no real insight. This is why it is a good idea to acquire yourself some science advisers from several fields. Since I love space exploration but utterly failed to pay attention during college physics, I recently have been in dire need of a space adviser. Fortunately, I was able to corner the lovely Dr. Corey Lee at Worldcon to ask her deeply mature questions about the impacts of a cattle stampede in space and the mechanics of near-Earth orbital colonies.
You probably saw this already, but last week Tor announced a partnership with NASA in an effort to boost the spaciness of today’s science fiction. That is totally awesome,right? I’ve been a little frustrated with the lack of Big Science in science fiction in the last decade or so. The Internet and the implications therein aren’t very compelling when compared to nuclear submarine wars and space operas.
I’m also quite interested in the science of resource scarcity. How will decreased oil or water spur changes in technology in the future? I don’t think anybody really believes we can continue living the way we do indefinitely. It is exciting times we live in. Technology is changing at the speed of light. For a science fiction writer, it can be very hard to keep up, even harder to invent a future that isn’t obsolete by the time the book is published. I was rereading some classic space fiction in which the main characters were talking about using pocket calculators to program coordinates into their rocket ships, bless their little hearts. So what’s coming next? Sky sleds! Hoverboards! Sexually-transmitted giggle plagues! Personally, I’m up for anything as long as it isn’t track housing and big box stores. Care of XKCD: