About a year ago, I was visiting Sri Lanka and had the pleasure of visiting Arthur C Clarke’s well-preserved office (you can read about my visit here if you like). Anyone who’s read that piece knows that I grew up as a big fan of Clarke’s science fiction, so it was a thrill to be there and see his books and office. He lived in Sri Lanka for 30 years before his passing in 2008.
This year, I’m unable to travel so far, but visiting my parents’ house in the midwest got me thinking about the times that I used to read Clarke’s science fiction books while growing up — imagining I was off with some crew on a “romp through the solar system”.
While there were some elements of Clarke’s books that are way out of our league even today (think star child or childhood’s end), there were always others that seemed like they weren’t too far away. So, this Christmas holiday, I wanted to write about a few things that Arthur C Clarke predicted in his science fiction and science-related works that have (mostly) come true (or will very soon!).
Science Fiction Turns Into Science
Of course, science fiction has always had a way of predicting the future, going all the way back to Jules Verne’s 1865 novel, From the Earth to the Moon. While he didn’t have it exactly right, Verne’s prediction that it would be the Americans who first got to the moon, firing off a giant gun (rockets didn’t exist) from somewhere in Florida, were