Writing Prompts: Future Fantasy vs Future Reality

Recall if you will the Back to the Future films. They were highly watchable and very much a product of the 80s! Part II gave rise to some interesting ideas about what the future would look like, and whilst it would get some stuff wrong, the film successfully predicted a number of things. For example, 3D movies. Smart Glasses (which whilst not mainstream by any means, are out there). Video calling. Tablet devices. Drones. These are all reality, to some degree. There’s plenty of stuff that hasn’t materialised (flying cars? Nope. Food hydrators? Nope), but the predictions have proven surprisingly close to the mark.

The rate at which we successfully predict the future varies wildly, depending on how far into the future we go, and how far back as well. Could the Romans have conceived of wireless mobile devices that allowed for instant communication? Did the Victorians imagine an era where planes would carry people across the world in little more than a day? Yet if we shrink the gap, it was relatively easy for the minds of the 80s to foresee the development of mobile phones, wireless data transfer, and so on. Predictions become easier when you don’t have to look too far into the future. That doesn’t mean they’ll be right (according to Back to the Future, by 2015 we’d have fusion power for every home), but the guesswork is more educated if framed within a shorter timetable.

Human imagination is pretty much limitless, and we’ve conjured up many unique futures for TV and movies. The technology of Star Trek is (despite claims to the contrary) fanciful, as opposed to having solid foundations, but it has certainly inspired people to push boundaries, in an effort to turn that future fantasy into some form of reality. After all, who wouldn’t want a replicator to make pretty much anything you needed? Then there’s the holodeck, which would be massively useful as a training tool, though it have been a very bad idea to allow hormonal teenage me into one…

Please follow and like us: