The real 2020 as a 1980s science fiction story?

In summary, a good science fiction writer in the 1980s could have created a story with technology and broad events that were similar to what's happening in 2020, but with characters and drama that would have been very entertaining to read.
  • #1
The Bill
374
146
What could a good science fiction writer of the 1980s have made with details consistent with the real world of 2020? So, fictional cahracters, but with technology and broad events the same as what's happened this year?

Which author would you think would have made the most entertaining stories with these sorts of... limitations? The closest examples of something close I can think of are from the 1990s, not the 80s. William Gibson's Bridge trilogy publication history starts in 1993 with Virtual Light. It's definitely different than what reality gave us, but the scope is similar enough. Would a similar novel or series of novels have done well enough in the 80s for an author to survive on?

Obviuously writing good characters and drama is the most important part. But given that, how well might such creations have fared in the marketplace?

If one were writing a story today about such an author in the 1980s, what would be a good way to frame it? The fictional author gets the ideas in dreams? They are or think they are reincarnated into their past? Some flavor of time travel? In such a story, in what ways might one set up good drama? Some idea of the types of scenarios I outlined above would probably be good to nail down as part of the setting.
 
Physics news on Phys.org
  • #2
I guess if any author got it exactly right, we'd think he/she was either a time traveler, a mystic or worse a cabal who had the wherewithal to make it happen.

Your question is somewhat vague as any sci-fi author have the possibility of describing today's events. Orson Scott Card and his Ender Games could well have imagined such a future although I think his writing went much farther into the future with Ender.

Another author like Richard Matheson, writer of I Am Legend would also qualify. Legend has a plague that strikes much of humanity. He wrote A Stir of Echoes which predicts the rise of robotics as we see it today at Boston Dynamics.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Matheson

Asimov also could have predicted current events in one form or another as reflected in his Robot stories. He was a Prof of Biochemistry and great sci-fi writer with an incredible imagination. His merging of all his trilogies into a great sequence of many books was just astounding.
 
  • Informative
Likes Klystron
  • #3
The Bill said:
What could a good science fiction writer of the 1980s have made with details consistent with the real world of 2020? So, fictional cahracters, but with technology and broad events the same as what's happened this year?

Which author would you think would have made the most entertaining stories with these sorts of... limitations? The closest examples of something close I can think of are from the 1990s, not the 80s. William Gibson's Bridge trilogy publication history starts in 1993 with Virtual Light. It's definitely different than what reality gave us, but the scope is similar enough. Would a similar novel or series of novels have done well enough in the 80s for an author to survive on?

Obviuously writing good characters and drama is the most important part. But given that, how well might such creations have fared in the marketplace?

If one were writing a story today about such an author in the 1980s, what would be a good way to frame it? The fictional author gets the ideas in dreams? They are or think they are reincarnated into their past? Some flavor of time travel? In such a story, in what ways might one set up good drama? Some idea of the types of scenarios I outlined above would probably be good to nail down as part of the setting.

My story is actually like yours, but is opposite. An alien civilization called the Wastelanders have to deal with a virus in 1952-1954, and they have mid-1970s equivalent level technology. Biodiesel trains that crank up the heat at night to 60°C (to destroy virus on surfaces) before taking passengers, cars with cruise control and CB radio technology + ordering groceries via teleshopping on a TV connected to a phone line. Also, no internet or WWW existed back then.

So, for your 1980s vision of our 2020s pandemic plot, you might want to implement an advanced version of 1980s technology in the 2020s. Have electric cars powered by nickel cadmium batteries (similar to Tesla, but not lithium), teleshopping via a game console connected to the phone lines (basically Amazon), portable computers that are powered by a Ni-Cd battery and can be used with a stylus (an iPad basically) and masks that are made from activated carbon with a built in cellular telephone in the mouthpiece connected to a transmitter in a backpack for calling people.

Star Trek TNG from 1987 had PADDS that could be used as an iPad. So, authors and television producers from the 1980s kinda knew what the future would have. Back to the Future had a device that could change trash into fuel, similar to a biomatter processor that exists nowadays, albeit without nuclear fusion.
 
  • #4
George Orwell's 1984 is a stunningly accurate prediction of today's world. George said it was a "parody." Little did he know...
 
  • Haha
Likes jedishrfu

Related to The real 2020 as a 1980s science fiction story?

1. What would the technology in the 1980s science fiction version of 2020 look like?

In the 1980s science fiction version of 2020, technology would be much more advanced than what we have today. There would be flying cars, robots, and advanced virtual reality systems. People would also have access to advanced medical technology, such as cloning and genetic engineering.

2. How would society be different in the 1980s science fiction version of 2020?

Society in the 1980s science fiction version of 2020 would be highly advanced and futuristic. There would be a greater focus on technology and its integration into everyday life. Cities would be filled with towering skyscrapers and people would have access to advanced forms of communication and transportation.

3. What kind of political and social issues would be present in the 1980s science fiction version of 2020?

In the 1980s science fiction version of 2020, there would likely be issues surrounding the use and regulation of advanced technology. There may also be conflicts between different nations or groups over access to resources and power. Social issues such as inequality and discrimination may still exist, but in a more technologically advanced and complex form.

4. How would the environment be portrayed in the 1980s science fiction version of 2020?

The environment in the 1980s science fiction version of 2020 would likely be depicted as heavily polluted and damaged due to the overuse of technology and lack of sustainability practices. There may also be a focus on the consequences of climate change and efforts to find solutions to save the planet.

5. What kind of advancements in space exploration would be featured in the 1980s science fiction version of 2020?

In the 1980s science fiction version of 2020, there would be significant advancements in space exploration. Humans may have established colonies on other planets or even discovered new forms of life in the universe. There may also be advanced forms of space travel, such as warp drives or teleportation.

Similar threads

  • Sci-Fi Writing and World Building
Replies
5
Views
2K
Replies
1
Views
152
  • Sci-Fi Writing and World Building
Replies
5
Views
2K
  • Science Fiction and Fantasy Media
Replies
3
Views
289
  • Sci-Fi Writing and World Building
Replies
14
Views
2K
  • Sci-Fi Writing and World Building
Replies
22
Views
3K
Replies
1
Views
965
Replies
20
Views
2K
  • Sci-Fi Writing and World Building
Replies
10
Views
4K
  • Sci-Fi Writing and World Building
Replies
19
Views
2K
Back
Top