a lot of different subjects can be gleaned from sci- fi, from the Perception and experiences of the author in his or her field. Over the years I learned a lot about physics, sociology, psychology, current and present day events, politics, technology and philosophy.
From Verne we learned of the 19th century imagining of the Saturn V rocket, rocket propulsion theory, gravity wells, weightlessness and many technologies that we in the 20th and century take for granted. We call him the ancestor of ‘steampunk’, but really it’s not the same for us looking back to the past, as it was for him peering into the future.
I wonder, though- Was it for tongue in cheek comedic effect, the need to preserve a Tradition even while in space, or just a major blunder over a small detail, sipping tea from a porcelain cup in zero- g, wearing dungarees in ‘journey around the moon’? As quaint as the scene might seem, it would take a miracle for any liquid to remain in an ordinary cup. I’m almost certain that a man with the imagination of Verne might have recognised the error if he thought on it?
From Bova and Pohl and his contemporaries I read extensively as they wrote extensively on the Cold War with many predictions about the outcomes of the Space Race (world governments, or nations merging into blocs not unlike the EU), including the colonising of the Moon, and yes, an international space station was also theorised. Bova was one of the few however, who wrote an entire hard copy on the prediction of e- books.
Asimov was to female robots that Freud was to sex…if we could combine the fixations of Freud and Asimov we would have an adult industry that would change forever the meaning of hardcore and hardware. That said however, Asimov’s Laws of robotics are logical, though if we were to instruct any robot to imply Ethics it might be worth observing what practical considerations an ai subject would make.
Richard Rohmer- a Canadian economist with an interest in the rush to exploit global oil resources, strongly encouraged enforcing Nationalised corporations within Canada to prevent what he saw would end in the “Exxoneration” of Canada. If only he could have seen that it would be our Hudson’s Bay Charter that would be the Target©.
Spider and Jeanne Robinson- these local writers are somewhat less practical, taking highly sexualised bisexual astronauts in space and allowing them to evolve, through Zen, into metaphysical entities.
Almost without exception, each author considered carefully the motives and motivations of their characters, their reactions and responses to the situations they designed. Sometimes we knew not only what they thought or felt, but what colours they preferred, even their musical, sexual and religious preferences.; through each we develop a greater understanding about others, and more importantly, ourselves.