DISCUSSION ON SCIENCE FICTION AMERICAN HISTORY 1865-PRESENT
The art of writing science fiction began to take hold in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. H.G. Wells (1866-1946), the Father of Science Fiction wrote THE TIME MACHINE in 1895! the WAR OF THE WORLDS in 1898! Imagine his dreams at night! Imagine how his visions fueled the minds of industrialists and militarists in the new century.
I attended Eastern New Mexico University in 1970 where my English professor was none other than Jack Williamson (1908-2006), who became the “Dean of Science Fiction” upon the death of Robert Heinlein in 1988 (http://www.imdb.com). Dr. Williamson began publishing his tales in the 1920s, when “Proceeding at a dizzy pace, 1920s SF quickly saw the birth of major trends that would dominate the field for decades to come including extra sensory powers, alien contact, time police, and robots .” (The 10 Most Influential Science Fiction Stories of the 1920s by Pierre Comtois). Dr. Williamson wrote of robots designed to simplify the lives the humans. Machines doing the work of hundreds of men, women and children, enhancing lives and increasing profits. Surely the “fiction” of science inspired industrialists like Henry Ford as he built his plants with their assembly lines. Surely no one actually believed that robots, designed to help man, would eventually kill him…until 2015, when all the predictions of Science Fiction writers in the previous hundred years came true in an auto plant in Germany…
WHAT IMPOSSIBLE INVENTIONS, DEVELOPMENTS NOW, TODAY, WILL COME TRUE IN ANOTHER CENTURY? There is nothing to be done, but to continue to feed our heads…(a nod to Grace Slick and White Rabbit)