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- View topic - Hard SF - "Predicting" the future?
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Hard SF - "Predicting" the future? 
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Post Hard SF - "Predicting" the future?


Sun Oct 25, 2009 1:01 pm
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Post Re: Hard SF - "Predicting" the future?
I was under the impression that Heinlein considered what he wrote to be "speculative" fiction - which allows for error in predictions, I would assume. If we are only speculating here we do not have to be accurate.

In fact I wonder if much of modern SF is not simply the same stories we think of as sf but marketed as mainstream. I saw a review for a book (Chronic City) by Jonathan Lethem today and the description of the plot cannot be considered anything but a standard SF device, IMHO. "Alternate reality?" That is mainstream now?

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/25/books ... &ref=books

I understand that he wants to be considered (and have his works considered) mainstream. This is actually perhaps not a bad thing - he may have covered up his Ubik tattoo but wasn't Heinlein also trying to get speculative fiction to be seen as part of mainstream literature as well?


Audrey


Sun Oct 25, 2009 4:32 pm
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Post Re: Hard SF - "Predicting" the future?


Mon Oct 26, 2009 2:43 am
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Post Re: Hard SF - "Predicting" the future?
I am currently re-reading Friday (for about the 100th time) and considering it was released in 82 it does have some pretty good "speculative" guesses in it. Particularly about the use of the "computer net". I know the the internet was just about starting up way back then, but would we (did we) forsee just how dependant our lives would be on it? RAH certainly hit the nail on the head on that score.

Pity women dont wear superskin jumpsiuts though! Well certainly not in England!


Tue Oct 27, 2009 12:57 pm
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Post Re: Hard SF - "Predicting" the future?
Well, not in Wolverhampton, certainly :-) Maybe certain communes in Sussex...

In 1982 the size of the Internet (then called the ARPAnet) was about forty nodes. A network diagram fit on a single sheet of paper. The backbone links ran at 56kbaud. So yes, RAH nailed it.


Tue Oct 27, 2009 2:19 pm
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Post Re: Hard SF - "Predicting" the future?
Re: supertight skinsuits>

Observe your local 16 year old girl. Observe that they are wearing a pair of "skinny jeans" that must be pulled on (and fit like) nylon stockings. Add 2-3 camisole tops that all fit like a second skin. They will have different hem lengths and several colors of straps showing.

For formal occasions like school throw a bedraggled hoodie over it.

Skinsuits are here. When you see them on your daughter it brings an entirely new perspective to the issue.

(Of course I never worse anything so wild in my glory days....)

Audrey


Tue Oct 27, 2009 6:33 pm
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Post Re: Hard SF - "Predicting" the future?
In mainstream media someone who just read Friday for the first time notes that Heinlein got an AWFUL lot right about California....


http://www.cnbc.com/id/33482832


Tue Oct 27, 2009 7:45 pm
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Post Re: Hard SF - "Predicting" the future?


Wed Oct 28, 2009 6:12 am
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Post Re: Hard SF - "Predicting" the future?
Dear Bill,

You are always gracious, but skinsuits and I parted company (in more ways than one) many decades ago.....

But thanks anyway -


Audrey


Wed Oct 28, 2009 4:47 pm
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Post Re: Hard SF - "Predicting" the future?
OK I will accept skinsuits are around (I am afraid I have a teenage daughter too!) perhaps I am just getting too old to see them!

I think if RAH had lived in the Midlands (Central England) instead of California Friday and Maureen may not have been quite so sexy! :lol:

What about "semi ballistic" travel? That is the current flight development that everyone is trying to develop - again in Friday amongst other books. I bet this was influenced at least in part by Arthur C Clarke, but definately another "prediction" waiting to come true.


Thu Oct 29, 2009 11:59 am
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