There are no limits to the imagination used in science fiction writing. The laws of time, physics, and nature are no restriction in the creation of science fiction, yet somehow, many of man’s actual greatest developments were predicted on the pages of a science fiction work decades and every centuries before there was even a glimmer of a possibility of it. Here are a few interesting cases:
- Jule Verne Landed on The Moon in 1865
Over a century before Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin made one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind, Jule Verne described it in his 1865 book, From the Earth to the Moon. There were several uncanny similarities between the fictional work of Verne and the actual events that occurred in 1969. Verne’s spaceship was launched by a cannon named Columbiad out of Florida. The actual mission was also launched from Florida and the command module on the ship was called Columbia. Even the cost of making the voyage was almost the same as the sci-fi version, if the value of money is converted from 1865 to 1969.
- The Original Remote Controls Were Dreamed Up in 1911
Remote control technology has progressed so much that you might have had to research 6 different remote manuals to get your DVD player remote and TV remote controls programmed into one or more all in one remote controls. However, until 1950, when the original remote controls, “Lazy Bones,” hit the market with long wires attached to the TV, the only way to change the channel was to physically make the arduous journey across the room to move the dial yourself. It’s so very odd then, that science fiction author Hugo Gernsback published a series of futuristic stories in Modern Electrics Magazine where he makes an uncanny description of a remote control. The first TV wasn’t even invented until 1927, but the original remote controls in Hugo Gernsback’s stories were used by doctors to diagnose patients long distance on a TV screen that hadn’t been invented yet.
- Mark Twain Was the First Social Media User in 1898
When Mark Twain wrote From the ‘London Times’ of 1904, the telegraph had only been out for a few years. Yet he describes systems of phones that creates a world wide network of communication called the “telelectroscope” that seems to accurately describe the internet. To take it one step further, he says: “the daily doings of the globe made visible to everybody, and audibly discussable too, by witnesses separated by any number of leagues.” That could be a description of any social networking site, given by a person in our modern time who uses it every day.
- The Credit Card Was First Swiped in 1888
In his book, Looking Backward, Edward Bellamy wrote about a man who went to sleep in 1887 and woke up in the year 2000. In the futuristic setting Bellamy creates, everyone uses cards attached to a line of credit, and even ordered goods “online” that are delivered through underground tubes. The first actual credit card wasn’t issued until 1950.
What is your favorite Science Fiction book? Do you know of any other eerily accurate predictions in science fiction books that we haven’t mentioned?