Simon Wood

Posts Tagged: sci-fi

Acclaimed Science Fiction writer, Harlan Ellison, died last week.  He was a legend for two reasons–his writing and abrasive personality.  He was a force of nature that was hard to withstand.  I met only once.  We appeared on a panel together in 2005.  It was the most intense hour’s of my life (the picture is of me after the panel).  He called me “a fucking idiot” but I made him laugh too.  What made me run afoul of him only to turn it around moments later I haven’t told many people out of fear it would get back to Harlan.  Now he’s gone, I can share what happened, what was said and the secret I never told.  There are thousands of anecdotes about Harlan and this one is mine.  You can listen to it below.  I hope you like it.

Categories: Uncategorized

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The future! It’s so full of potential—until it arrives. Then it seems to lose something when we catch up with a point in time that we’ve looked upon in wonder or trepidation (if you’re a dystopian kind of a person). The reason for this “Future is Now!” jag is that I was watched Escape From LA the other week. Not a great movie, but the interesting point is that it’s set in 2013. In their 2013, LA is an island after an earthquake and the country and the world is falling apart, run by untrustworthy politicians. So way off the mark!!! The big one hasn’t hit LA…the rest, I won’t comment on. This inspired me to watch a bunch of my favorite sci-fi movies and I looked at their predictions and how close they’ve come in this 2013.

1. Robots
What we were promised
: Android butlers like C3PO and Data from Star Trek

What we got: The Roomba! I guess we got a robot in every home…kinda.

2. Ray Guns
What we were promised
: The phaser and blaster

What we got: The Taser

3. Sentient Psycho Computers
What we were promised
: Supercomputers like the HAL9000 and those made by Cyberdyne System’s would rise up against us to ruin our lives.

What we got: Window 8. Not especially equipped with super intelligence, but just as disruptive to our daily lives.

4. Lasers
What we were promised
: Death ray lasers emitting coherent light powerful to destroy cities.

What we got: Unfortunately making a death ray is harder than you think, so the nearest we’ve come to lasers in our daily lives are in CD players and checkout scanners. Not lethal but useful, so no complaints there.

5. Space Bases
What we were promised
: There’d be colonies in space just like Moon Base Alpha here.

What we got: Newt Gingrich saying that he’d build one and make it the 51st state of the USA. Pipe dreams have their place, I suppose.

The problem with our predictions for the future is that we inject them with our hope and dreams and fears and paranoia, instead of a healthy dose of pragmatism. That just shows that we humans are natural born dreamers. Aren’t we, Newt. 🙂

If you’ve got any predictions for the future, feel free to share, but I will check in on you when time catches up with them…

Categories: hump day post

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