Sorry for the dearth of new blog posts. Have been on the road and am now back!
First up, a fascinating look back -and forward!- by noted sci-fi author Isaac Asimov. Way back in 1964 he wrote an article making predictions about the technologies available to us fifty years later…in the far flung year of 2014:
Pretty fascinating, and at times eerily prescient, stuff. There were a few misses along with the hits, naturally, but given the time frame and the years between, one has to respect Mr. Asimov’s thoughts.
Before getting into the next article, a little side note: Is it me or are many of yesterdays “big” sci-fi authors slowly being forgotten? Sure, while many hardcore sci-fi fans are familiar with either Isaac Asimov or Robert Heinlein (to take two of the bigger names), it just seems like their individual stars have faded with the passage of time. When I was younger, you couldn’t mention sci-fi literature without mentioning either individual yet today I wonder how many casual fans of sci-fi literature know about Mr. Asimov beyond his Robot stories -and the rules- or the Foundation series. These books and stories, while arguably the cream of Mr. Asimov’s literary crop, are a small fraction of the over 500 books he’s listed as having written. As for Mr. Heinlein, perhaps he’s mostly known today for Starship Troopers, and that may be more because of the cult film that deviated a good deal from his actual story. While I wasn’t a big fan of either books, Mr. Heinlein’s Stranger in a Strange Land and The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress were at one time considered absolute must reads for sci-fi fans yet today I hardly hear mention of either. Were the novels too much “of their time”? Did they not translate well for modern audiences?
As always, getting older brings new wisdom. Things that were very popular at one time don’t necessarily retain that popularity forever, while others that might have slipped “under the radar” sometimes come back strong. You can never tell what audiences will flock to over time.
Next article is about a fragment of a letter discovered stuffed in the wall of Abraham Lincoln’s Springfield home. It would appear that researchers have discovered who the author of this letter was, and what it was about. Very fascinating stuff so give it a look: