Predictive Fiction

Why has science fiction failed to predict the future? [1]
1. One of the reasons science fiction authors may have failed to predict the future could be due to not doing enough research about current technologies or knowing the boundaries and limitations of where technology is heading. It is easy to imagine future naively. It is far more difficult to base it on real know how of where today is.

2. I believe it is insightful to understand why popular science fiction, one that was believed to turn into reality in future, failed. What I can not understand is why do we think that science fiction is trying to predict the future? And why should it predict the future accurately? I have been reading science fictions since childhood and I never looked at them as future predictions. Why all the judgement?
I believe science fiction helps society to realign it’s beliefs and choices for the present and not for the future. Science fiction is to get a glimpse into the unknown and to realign,now . It is means to shaping the current.
In any case, here are some of my favorite accurate predictions-

Movie: Metropolis (1927), Technology: Humanoid Robot

Movie: Woman in the Moon (1929), Technology: Space travel/ Apollo 11/ Multistage Rocket launch

Movie: 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), Technology: Tablet computer

Google glasses, Virtual Reality, the internet

Nuclear Age.


“Technology claims to be at the service of humanity, but it remains so in appearance only, and actually it subjugates it. The relationship between design and science fiction sits on the edge of this tension orchestrated by the technological”

The fact that technology gets created first and the implications on the society and culture follow directs this tension.


“Each moment offers men and women the opportunity to design the future that they imagine and the past that they believe has happened” [2]

Every individual has different interpretation of the past. I have always believed that history is not a monument that is is rigid, a marker in time. It’s fluid, what we make out of past in terms of our ethical and moral framework now can be different than 10 years in future. We are remaking our future and past with every decision of today.


There is a connection between literature of science fiction and design fiction. Using literature as starting point might give a framework or provide a plot. But I disagree with a 4 step process for design fiction that is described in “Poetics of design Fiction”  Probably it’s useful for someone to get started, but using this as methodology is restricting. The process should be free.

1. Alexandra Midal, Design Fiction- All that glitters is not gold. Proceedings of the Sixth Swiss Design Network Conference, Negotiating Futures – Design Fiction (2010): 80–90.
2. Freese Gonzatto, Rodrigo, van Amstel, Frederick M. C., Merkle, Luiz Ernesto, Hartmann, Timo. 2013.The ideology of the future in design fictions. Digital Creativity, Vol 24, No 1, 1 – 10, 2013


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