seer with crystal ball

Science fiction is my favorite genre to read. For one thing, a writer can deal with ethical, moral, and culture issues that often are too touchy to take on in a standard literary form. But more interestingly, science fiction writers must study today’s science and predict the future. 

In an essay titled “Futuristics,” Isaac Asimov pointed out that the obvious prediction is not the most interesting one. It was easy to predict the automobile; what was difficult to predict was the traffic jam. It was easy to predict radio; what was difficult was the soap opera. It was easy to predict the income tax; what was difficult was the expense account. Equally, it was easy to predict the cell phone—Dick Tracy had his wrist radio back in the 1930s—but what was difficult to predict is that users would become so attached to them that they would step into traffic or allow their cars to drift out of control….
Science fiction might well be considered the literature of unanticipated consequences….In fact, to write an effective science-fiction story, all you need is something that the world thinks is an unmitigated boon and to focus on the unforeseen problems that it might create. -Science Fiction Imagines the Digital Future by James Gunn in Analog Science Fiction and Fact magazine

Writing Prompt: Go to your favorite news site, read a science story, predict an unanticipated consequence that will happen if that science is developed, and write a story about it.

Journaling Prompt: Do you read science fiction? Why or why not?

Art Prompt: Science

Nonfiction / Speech Writing Prompt: Write about an invention in your lifetime that has had unexpected consequences.

Photo Credit: Kraetzsche (busy) on Flickr

6 Responses to Prompt #109 Unexpected Consequences

  1. Myne Whitman says:

    I enjoy science fiction though I’ve never tried my hand at it.

    BTW, I just gave you the versatile blogger award in my latest post. Check it out and please pass it on.
    Myne Whitman recently posted..Blog awards still make my heart smileMy Profile

  2. That’s one of the reasons I write science fiction, to explore the things people accept without even thinking about them.
    Sue Ann Bowling recently posted..I Have Awards!My Profile

  3. zencherry says:

    Oh now I’m a long-time fan of Isaac Asimov. Sci-fi? I’m there with bells on.
    I love the Jules Verne mindset that allows new inventions to take form, (even subliminally), creating future wonders to behold.
    Such a diverse, wonderful genre. I’m with you on this one. 😀

    • Liz says:

      I am so grateful that my dad introduced me to Asimov, Verne, and all their friends. I meet a lot of people who look down on sci fi. They have no idea what they are missing.

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