Science fiction prophecy
Writers of science fiction are increasingly finding that rather than their words being merely dismissed as escapist fantasy, many aspects of their work is being realized as our technological evolution unfolds.
The allocation of a novel to the realm of "science fiction" immediately creates vivid imagery of its subject in the public's mind. Starship explorations across the frontiers of space; highly-organized, futuristic civilizations run by computers and robots; alien invasions, and insectile monsters over-running the Earth: all are commonly thought of as the colourful material out of which science fiction is woven. But behind many tales of space probes and fabulous worlds lie two more profound bases for the combination of science with fantasy. One of these is the use of science fiction as a kind of visionary speculation, a vehicle for extravagant dreams and hypotheses which may presage actual scientific conjecture in the same area.
Some authors in the field of science fiction have proven to be inspired story-tellers, anticipating scientific breakthroughs undreamed of by the principle theorists of their time. Others have explored the format of science fiction to create new myths as allegories of the human condition.**
One can ask what is exactly prophesized in the stories from science fiction and why. Do tales set with a future time perspective necessarily portray a more positive light to human existence? An idea that can be expressed say, in film may have a validity in reality according to how it is received, researched and actualized. For example: space flight had been prophesized, and now is a reality in a limited sense for humans. Autonomous robots, matter transmission and time travel are still fiction at present.
Science fiction is written to be thought-provoking. It usually challenges notions of time and space, and also notions of our own selves. The question: what if...As our technological endeavours enhance, complicate and challenge different societies in different ways, the boundary between science fiction and science fact become increasingly blurred.
**This text has been adapted from Fate & Fortune magazine, Issue 13, page 15, "Science-fiction prophecies" by Angela M. Errigo, Marshall Cavendish Ltd, London, 1975.
"What a marvelous way to travel!" - and it would be!
Here from an episode of Doctor Who, the Doctor, Sarah and Harry prepare to beam down to Earth using the teleportation system onboard space station Nerva.
The system adjusts automatically for the physicalities of the objects being transmitted,
so using this novel form of transport would be extremely convenient and fast.
The space station also has units capable of local teleportation.