How Does Science Fiction Influence the Real World?


Back to the Future Part II (1989) by Robert Zemeckis was released over 30 years ago, but it shaped how we look at science fiction today in many ways. The iconic cult predicted many scientific progressions that would transform lives in the future. Its safe to say that BttF Part II greatly influenced many livesand imaginations and offered a new perspective to the world at large. The iconic flick carved the way for science enthusiasts totry and create things that were once considered fantasy or possibly even fantastical!

Today, smartphones, drones, robots, digital payments, and personally targeted advertising are the norm. They have become a regular part of the surroundings. Targeted advertising was taken to genius levels in 2002s Minority Report starring Tom Cruise. Over the last 50 years, science fiction has contributed to the advancement of our technology-dependent society. From genetic engineering to full-fledged robots, these inventions were just a bit of gray matter in the imagination of these flash-forward Sci-fi directors. Science fiction writers, and movie directors who made their stories threedimensional, have imagined possibilities and then turned the possible over to scientists and engineers who turned ideas and hints into the probable and then the reality.

Theres absolutely no doubt that science fiction stories precede modern advanced science. They contribute to humanitys inspiration pool heralding the discovery and creation of the once highly anticipated scientific secrets. They enabled the scientists to think beyond limitations and experience the unbelievable. One example: in Star Trek: The Original Series (1966-1969), with William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy, writers and directors showed us all the possibility of hand-held personal communication devices. A device that is commonly known today as a mobile phone. Martin Cooper, the pioneer of wireless engineering, stated that the motivation for developing the worlds first portable phone came from the communicator device used in all of the episodes of Star Trek: The Original Series episodes.

The Blurring Lines

The lines that once existed between reality and fiction are rapidly blurring. Humanity is jumping on the space wagon encompassing everything from near-Earth exploration to developing genetic clones.  With marvels like genetic engineering a reality, a new wave of questions must be answered. Questions about the ethical use of powers remain an unanswered mystery among serious thinkers.

A series of unprecedented challenges have emerged that can directly threaten human existence. The use of robotics in warfare aimed at destroying human life requires deep conversation and explanations of why such tactics are allowed to take hold in modern warfare. The unprecedented use of unmanned aerial vehicles, whose sole intent is to destroy human life, should shock us far more than only raised eyebrows.

If you want a true, prescient look at unmanned weapons of human destruction, watch A Taste of Armageddon, which originally aired in February 1967; also, Star Trek: The Original Series, written by Robert Hammer and Gene L. Coon, takes the trend we are seeing right now to its most dangerous, illogical conclusion. And yet, it seems that those who wage war are unerringly heading in this direction.

Humans and Science Fiction

Science fiction has had a significant impact on humanity. The thriving fiction genre has allowed humans to explore new horizons beyond imagination. Author Paul Artell Smith has been a long-time student of the way in which science fiction stories can drive realworld advancements. Born to a Chemist duo, father, a researcher, and mother, an academic, Paul spent his early life hearing about the names of those who immensely contributed to different fields of science, including Linus Pauling and Madame Marie Curie; Paul was fascinated by science‘s pivotal role in changing peoples lives. And especially fascinated by the sci-fi writers whose imaginations were fueled by possibilities based on logical extensions of current scientific discovery.

With his debut sci-fi book, Sabbatical: Book One of the Sol System Enforcer Series, Paul has effortlessly depicted how science can transform the surroundings. He has emphasized the behavioral aspect of human nature and how it cultivates over time. The author, with the creative help of his two sons, Preston and Troy, has leveraged the sci-fi books that inspired him to create a fictional world that resonates with the present.

Sabbatical is a book that brings together the elements ofemotions, humility, heroism, science, and what we can expect from science a century from now. Paul also pushes the envelopeon what consciousness really means and what are the limits of maintaining it through digital means.

The author has allowed every character of his fictional saga to shine, placing the audience squarely in the middle of the narrative. Science is a phenomenon that will keep providing us with surprises and new technology. But, theres clear stress on how science can change how we view humans and behavetoward each other. Future science, Paul believes, will create both heroes and villains, fabulously enabled by tools and technologies nascent now but full-grown very soon.

Paul Artell Smith is an author who believes in the power of science. His book reflects his work advocating for the growth of science and the people associated with it.