Speculative writing, the constructing of possible ideas and scenarios within prose, that can be linked to existing knowledge in some way, is an essential ingredient to progress in society. Often in the form of fiction, or visual media like TV and Film, future designs or fanciful modern secrets have been flaunted to give that extra sci-fi tingle to finish the recipe.
We all know about Star Trek inventing the mobile phone, as it wasn't until later series' when a badge press did the job of opening a channel of communication. What other things are there?
The Moon landing for instance, was described in pretty accurate detail within the pages of a nineteenth century novel. Sometimes, it differs, sometimes it is exactly right, uncanny is a word I'd not be shy to use. Verne used the term Columbiad to name the space cannon, and he also predicted weightlessness before anyone had left the Earth.
Telelectroscopes were an early internet modem based on the telephone system of 1898. That's right, in a short story written in the London Times by none other than Mark Twain of Huckleberry Fin fame, the internet principle was described in pretty accurate detail.
Another Jules Verne classic invention is the submarine. When first built nearly three decades after written about in 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, business owner Simon Lake was congratulated by Verne himself.
The first liquid fuel rocket was inspired by H.G Wells' book, War of the Worlds, in which crafts visit Earth from space and unleash havoc on humanity. The story was read out over the radio which caused many people to panic, as they were unaware it wasn't real.
A Heinlein character named Waldo F Jones, written about in 1942, was the inspiration for the real life Waldo mechanical arm which is used in manufacturing and science labs. They didn't take long to materialise after their first description among the pages of pure science fiction.
Debit cards and universal credits were introduced to us in the work of Edward Bellamy, an 1888 science fiction story spoke of a central bank where customers would spend credit on issued cards.
So where am I going with this? Inventing things in our head doesn't have to stop at the day dream, write it down, if it won't fit in a magazine, or book, then blog it, just get the ball rolling with your ideas. Patents and all that are well and good, but for an artist, it is more about the contribution of ideas. Putting the input to society into practical use is the best way to cross that bridge and exchange energy in new ways.
Read on about writing ...
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