Does Science Fiction Really Drive Innovation?

Do science fiction literature and films do more than just influence technology? This seems a simple enough premise and most of us steeped in the genre would answer with an emphatic, “Yes! Of course it does.” Deeper reflection on the subject makes me not quite as sure as I was when I, too, answered in […]

Interspecies Communication

I first met Sammy Davis, Junior, when I was nine. At the edge of the kitchen counter, he waited, a gray house lizard—what we in the Philippines called butiki. No bigger than my father’s index finger, half of him was a thin, twitching tail that tapered to a point.     Sammy Davis was a […]

FTL – Science Fiction's Fudge Factor

Hyperspace, warp drive, folding space…over the years, authors have come up with lots of ways to travel faster than light, a virtual necessity if we are to portray any plausible kind of interstellar civilization.  Yes, you can build a good story even with years of transit time between even close systems.  Generation ships and crews […]

The Butterfly Effect

“Can anyone alter fate? All of us combined… or one great figure… or someone strategically placed, who happens to be in the right spot. Chance. Accident. And our lives, our world, hanging on it.” — Philip K. Dick   Ray Bradbury’s classic short story A Sound of Thunder is the most reprinted science fiction story of […]

7 Science Fiction Books, and What They Taught Me.

I admit it: I was a nerd growing up. Rather than go out and play football with my friends, I barricaded myself in my bedroom and played on my trusty Commodore 64. Instead of sports, I had computer games, movies, and books. Especially books. One time, an adult friend quizzed me for fun things to […]