Sunday, August 29, 2010

LARRIANE WILLS: Does Science Fiction Have Any Effect On Science?

Though I only have one science fiction published, Looking Glass Portal, it isn’t because I don’t write more. Except for The Eternal Search, which will be coming out soon through XOXO Publishing, I just haven’t gotten any of the others ready yet for submission. It is one of my favorite genres to write in. Why? All those possibilities fascinate me. The challenge is to make the things you come up with believable, but do I have to rely on scientific theories? I give you a resounding no. In fact, the reverse is often true. Even 20 years ago, the idea of a phone small enough to fit into your shirt pocket was science fiction! A computer in your phone that connected you to literally millions—through the air? Home computers you could hold in your lap and you could talk to? So why not space ships and worm holes and light sabers, and best of all, aliens? Do any of you know that the cell phone was a direct result of the communicator used in Star Trek as well as other advances? Honest. I watched a documentary on how the series inspired inventions. Here’s another example:

"When I designed the UI (user interface) for the Palm OS back in '93, my first sketches were influenced by the UI of the Enterprise bridge panels,'' said Rob Haitani, product design architect for Palm-One Inc., the Milpitas firm that makes the popular handheld personal computers.

Rather than continue, visit this site to explore on technology advances developed from ideas written in fiction by non-scientists in Star Trek, one of the best know examples of Science Fiction. 

Centuries ago many of the things Galileo wrote and drew pictures of would have been called science fiction, had the term existed then. Look at all the things Jules Vern wrote about: trips to outer space before they even had planes or Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea and his submarine. To quote, “Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve,” W. Clement Stone. He was a businessman and author, not a scientist, but the same thing applies. Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Men love to wonder, and that is the seed of science,” and “Science does not know its debt to imagination.” What does a scientist think? “The process of scientific discovery is, in effect, a continual flight from wonder,” Albert Einstein. Did Einstein read something and then wonder? I have no idea, but such wondrous possibilities are out there, and I like wondering, imagining, and writing about it. However, when it comes right down to it, the story is the people and what they might be able to do, not the science or science fiction. The last is the background, but it has to be believable. For Looking Glass Portal I asked the question, “Do like minds reach out over vast distances, even that of space with what is reality on one world legends in another?” to explain the existence of a Pegasus. Do you think I’m mixing apples with oranges now, going from technology to ESP? No, scientists have researched ESP for decades at least. And why not a Pegasus as well as space travel? In The Eternal Search the story is based on time travel and immortality. I won’t bore you with Einstein theories that make the former at least plausible, but haven’t people dreamed of a ‘fountain of youth’ for centuries? What about Lacrezia Borgia’s attempts to stay young by bathing in virgin’s blood, earning herself the title of vampire or so some say? No, I won’t go into possibilities of vamps and weres. That’s a whole other kettle of fish as far as I’m concerned. But think about what’s possible or plausible and how much the imagination of writers through the centuries has contributed to science. for more excerpts and info on all my books, historical, contemporaries, fantasy and science fiction.


  1. Thanks for stopping by, Larriane. A great post!

  2. Nice blog Larriane

  3. Larriane, great post. I've oftened wished someone would invent the Star Trek replicator so I don't have to cook! And so true, Star Trek had the first communicator/cell phone. Best wishes with your writing!

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