Magazine article Foreign Policy

The Futurist

Magazine article Foreign Policy

The Futurist

Article excerpt

Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury's 1953 classic, describes small devices worn directly in ears that play "an electronic ocean of sound, of music and talk."

Published in 1903--more than 10 years before tanks were deployed on a battlefield--H.G. Wells's short story, "The Land Ironclads," imagines a nearly 100-foot-long weapon built on "very strong steel frameworks carrying the engines, and borne upon eight pairs of big pedrail wheels."

John Brunner's 1968 novel, Stand on Zanzibar, paints a dystopian, but eerily prescient picture of the future in 2010. In this world, drugs to improve sexual performance are on the market and electric cars dot the roads.

William Gibson is often credited with being one of the minds behind wearable computers. In his 1984 novel, Neuromancer, characters can access cyberspace through electrodes, known as "dermatrodes," that are applied directly to their skin.

Isaac Asimov, in his 1954 short story, "It's Such a Beautiful Day," portrays District A-3, a suburb of San Francisco, whose citizens use a teleportation device, known as "Doors," to move from place to place. …

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