Thursday, February 09, 2006

Sleepwalking into the future?

There was a segment on the Today programme yesterday about a report on the future of humanity. The suggestion was that we're "sleepwalking" into this new society filled with things like memory enhancing drugs, gene therepy, embryo selection and cybernetics. Noticing a pattern? Science fiction writers have been dealing with these sorts of questions for decades.

I wondered recently how much relevence that science fiction still has in a society where the emphasis no longer seems to be on the "big ideas", and here's my answer. If this report is anything to go by, SF is still very relevent, and it's our job to guide a frightened mainstream into this brave new world – after all, we've been here so long that we're practically natives.

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