Life Mimics Fiction

Today let’s talk a bit of science fiction.  When you find a good sci-fi book or short story, it can be really good!  Although the opposite is true too, when it’s bad it’s really bad.  But today I’m a bit more interested in the way life has a way of taking science fiction and translating it into science fact.  It’s quite a bit more common than you would think.

In the late 1400’s Leonardo Da Vinci invented human flight, tanks, submersibles, double hulled ships, and more.  It may have taken science a bit to catch up but each of his inventions has been adapted and is in use today.  Sure most of them don’t quite look the same as he envisioned them but they have become science fact.

Jules Verne gave us ‘From the Earth to the Moon’ in 1865.  A story in which a man with the help of the Baltimore Gun Club use a giant cannon to launch men to the far away lunar surface.  One hundred and four years later, in 1969, Neil Armstrong took the first step on the Moon for all of mankind to see.

Even Star Trek has given us a few bits of science fact.  Okay, so they can replicate food on Star Trek.  Our 3-D printers can’t do food yet, but I’m sure it’s on the way.  There was one instance that I know of where they loaded a 3-D printer with blank stem-cells and printed a human ear!  The printer gives us the opportunity to print other mundane objects – hell they’ve even printed working guns!  Another Star Trek science fiction moment is the warp drive used by their star-ships.  Not as far-fetched as you might think.  NASA is currently working on a reimagined Alcubierre Drive, which would grant faster-than-light travel.  Physicist Harold White is using a modified equation based on the work of physicist Miguel Alcubierre to make this possible.

It seems that if the dreamers can dream it, the builders can build it.  I just want to know where to buy a flying car and a light saber…

Next week I’ll be tooting my horn a bit.  The regular post will be split into two parts for length and will feature a short story of mine.  Of course it’s fiction, but it’s also a western.  There’s no space travel like you find in the amazing adventures of ‘Firefly’ by Joss Whedon.  It’s more what I like to call a Nuclear Western – or maybe Spaghetti Fallout…  The Westernocalypse?  No matter, it is what it is.  Hope you folks enjoy it.  Below is just a little tease of what’s to come next Tuesday.

Dust hung in the soft afternoon breeze, catching the light that spilled in long shafts through the open windows. Outside the lazy shadows from a few lonely, thin clouds tracked across the ground though did little to abate the heat of the noon day sun. Tucker sat in his chair leaning back and peering over the top of his cards at the others around the table. He was sitting on a pair of Jacks, not great but it was something. He took the wet, chewed bit of cigar from his mouth with a puff of thick smoke and spit flecks of tobacco onto the floor. His stubbed third arm stuck the cigar back in his mouth and scratched absently at his ear.

“Call,” said the thick-skinned fellow to his left, large crooked teeth clicking as he spoke. Dust clung to the creases between scaled patches on his arms and face.

Cards dropped around the table. A pair of nine‘s, full house of eights and fours, three-of-a-kind, and Tucker’s pair Jack. Tucker blew a stream of smoke from his nose and stood taking his empty mug with him.

“I’m out,” he said. “Cards ain’t with me today.”


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