Friday, March 6, 2009

Why I don't write science fiction

I love science. I really do. I took more science courses as an undergrad than humanities courses, and I was good at them. (Except for physics. Physics was the bane of my existence. I have rage against Sir Isaac Newton.) I even seriously considered attempting graduate research in microbiology.

Then I realized that I didn't have the ability to take the next step. I could understand the field as it was, but couldn't make the leap into asking what happens next, didn't have the crystal ball to predict the scientific future.

When I was in San Francisco recently, I went with some friends to Golden Gate Park. We saw the Yves Saint Laurent  exhibit, and walked through the sculpture garden. We walked to the conservatory. We walked very far from where we had parked. When it came time to go back to the car, Megan and I realized that we knew where the car was, and we knew where we were, but not how to get from one to the other.

I got an iPhone for Christmas. Standing on a path in the park, we called up this map. Then zoomed in until we could see the streets. There was a blinking blue dot that was us. As we started walking, we could watch the amazing blue dot track our progress toward our car, which we then found with no difficulty.

I have a fairly good imagination. But even having lived through that story, part of me still shakes my head in disbelief that such things are possible. We are living in a future more astounding than any I could ever write.

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