So, I’m a science fiction nut. No, not a geek, or a gamer, or a nerd, I’m none of those things. I am simply an old-fashioned fan of science, especially as it pertains to speculation of which technologies will take off. In addition, in much of my day career (which is better than a day job) I have been paid to try and pick trends and extrapolate them to the future. I suppose it’s natural for folks like me to gravitate towards Sci-fi.
As such, I am thrilled to have lived long enough to see the dawning of a great technological age. I think we are no more than thirty years from life being extraordinarily different than it is now.
When I wrote my last novel, Hard as Roxx, I had a ball taking today’s technology and trying to determine what life would be in the year 2137. However, since my novel takes place after a nearly century-long global holocaust (mostly biological), I then had to figure out how much slower things would develop. I ended up with a mixture of kluged, repaired, and modified twentieth-century gear, and a great deal of new technology. Most of the new tech I actually expect to be developed by the year 2050, but with the world going to shit and all, one expects it would take a bit longer.
A fellow scribbler and Facebookian posted a link to a an article entitled “27 Fictions that Became Science Facts in 2012.” I find it an extraordinary list, and personally interesting, as some of these I had pegged to be breakthroughs for the coming century. It’s nice to know I’m on the right track.
Now, I wonder if my predictions for social change will come to fruition. After all, Roxx stars Roxanne Grail, who considers herself to be gender neutral (when it comes to romance), and her partner, Trint Sandahl, a fiery little African-Norwegian lady who intends to make Roxxy her own. Sex becomes more interesting, I imagine, when many of the old rules fall by the wayside.
Sociology aside, here are some of the breakthroughs that made the list. Check out the original article for the details.
- Quadriplegic uses her mind to control her robotic arm – not only will this revolutionize mobility, and allow for the long-predicted age of cybernetics, I believe the breakthroughs will speed up the development of human brain to computer interfaces, which will replace current input devices. We will move computers by sending electrical systems directly from the brain. The age of robots is less scary when one realizes we can integrate directly with them.
- Which leads us to “human brain is hacked” – to map the brain’s neurons and see what does what. Told you.
- Darpa Robot can traverse an obstacle course and NASA begins using robotic exoskeletons – not to mention the cheetah robot. The age of bots has begun. Yeah, we’re decades from hobots, but they’re coming. I don’t think it will be scary at all – not the first four generations, anyway. But they won’t look like the movies. With spray-on skin, ultra-realistic pseudoskin, and skin grown in sheets and grafted to bots (who wants a hobot with latex skin, except fetishists?) your granny bot can actually look like granny. In addition, the guys and gals at NASA saw the Aliens movie series too, and they are totally going to be ready to kick some Alien ass with their Ripley-style exoskeletons.
- Genetically modified silk is stronger than steel – and thinner than skin. Body armor, construction, you name it.
- Light bending technology called Quantum Stealth – working for Lockheed Martin, as I do, my reaction is “about damned time.”
- Stem cells could extend human life by over 100 years – aw, we can do better than that. What about modifications that mirror the adaptability of bacteria or the durability of viruses? Think outside the genome.
- 3-D printers create full-size houses in one session and a custom jaw – and ultimately leads to the destruction of the manufacturing industry as we know it – except robotics, of course. No one is stupid enough to leave those plans hanging about, right? After all, if we could “print it ourselves” and a group of people, say some anonymous group, freed Intellectual Property and let designs out all over the net, then anyone could make anything. That could never happen. Nope.
- Self-driving cars – yawn. Mine are combined with superconductive magnetic tech, and suddenly, taxis are no longer restricted to the horizontal.
- Advanced genetics, this time in creating “chimera” monkeys from multiple embryos – we might as well make ghost monkeys, we’re about to kill off every damn thing else. But why monkeys? I hate monkeys. Make platypuses. I like platypuses.
- Google Goggles – Meh. I’m talking Google brain up in here.
- Flexible, inexpensive solar panels challenge fossil fuel – Yep. More to come, plus wind, and this article apparently isn’t aware that scientists have figured out how to turn seawater to energy! Clean energy.
This is just the stuff they’ve made progress on last year. There’s exciting stuff coming. No, not that science shit, I mean Hard as Roxx. All this technology, and more, is in my book. (Heh.) Plus, it has my Favorite Character Ever – a sarcastic, homosexual robot valet. Stay tuned. We about to kick some holocaust ass, with all this cool tech.
All except for Roxx. She likes kicking ass the old fashioned way: Bruce Lee, Jeet Kune Do style.