National Science Fiction Day

Happy National Science Fiction Day! January 2nd is the day selected for this wonderful holiday because it was Isaac Asimov's birthday. It's a day to celebrate, appreciate, and even read some of the many science fiction offerings at your local library, bookstore, website, or your own bookshelf. 

And speaking of Asimov, Open Culture posted some of his predictions for the year 2014, which he wrote about in 1964. Some of them are eerily prescient, until you realize that quite a bit of our technology is inspired by visionary science fiction. Here's a sample:

“Communications will become sight-sound and you will see as well as hear the person you telephone. The screen can be used not only to see the people you call but also for studying documents and photographs and reading passages from books. Synchronous satellites, hovering in space will make it possible for you to direct-dial any spot on earth, including the weather stations in Antarctica.”

“Robots will neither be common nor very good in 2014, but they will be in existence.”

“[T]he world population will be 6,500,000,000 and the population of the United States will be 350,000,000.”

Not too far off -the world population is now 7 billion, and the U.S. has 317 million. When he wrote that in 1964, the world had just over three billion people, and the U.S. had fewer than 200 million.

We should celebrate science fiction by sharing it with each other. Have you read any great science fiction books or short stories lately that you want to recommend to others? What's your favorite science fiction story, book, movie, or TV show ever? Since I am old school, I'll have to sing the praises of Slaughterhouse Five, The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, Star Trek: the Original Series, The Martian Chronicles, and Brave New World. My favorite Isaac Asimov story is The Ugly Little Boy.

(Image credit: Rowena Morrill)

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