Friday, February 21, 2014

The Old and the New

When I'm writing I almost always have a movie or TV show playing, mostly as background noise. I grew up in a large family and have six children myself so quiet is too strange for me. Anyway, yesterday I had Star Trek playing on the DVD. Stargate, the movie or the show, Firefly are also among my favorite noises. Since my WIP is the last book in my Recon Marines science fiction series, the futuristic nature of those flicks hit the right note.

One can't help but think of how fictional a lot of science fiction is or for how long it will be fiction. Smart phones and 4G tablets, genetic engineering ... how long until we have transporters and wormhole travel? If you're old enough to do so, compare the technology of fifteen or twenty years ago to now.

But as I sit here preparing this I'm battling a sore throat. At my right hand is a cup of hot tea with honey and lemon in. The same thing my mother would give me when I was a child and her mother before her. For lunch, I'll probably have some chicken noodle soup, also the traditional remedy for flu-like symptoms.

Fifty years from now, I expect my children will give their grandchildren hot tea or soup when they're sick. The treatment will be just as effective and never go out of fashion. The only difference is they might use a hover cycle or maybe one of those transporters to go get the soup.

Can you think of anything you would have thought of as science fiction years ago that is now available? Do you have family non-medicinal remedies for illnesses? Do you think a genetically-engineered guy like Kahn would develop a god complex or would he be a super efficient, duty-bound soldier like my Recon Marines?


  1. Wow, I never thought of things like this before. It's nice to know that the old and new can co-exist like that!

  2. You think deep thoughts when you are sick!
    It would depend on how someone is raised whether they would develop a god complex. Seems a lot of super smart people don't believe in God, so maybe that person would develop that complex.
    Your taste in shows in awesome. And I like having something going in the background as well.
    The first thing that comes to mind are iPads. The old Star Trek had little computer tablets and now they are real.

  3. Seeing the person on the other end of the telephone was once science fiction. Now we can do it through our computers.

  4. I'd say it could go either way, Susan, depending on whether the character has had emotion settings as part of his design. Super smart may mean super analytical, too. Analysts, like mentats in Herbert's DUNE, don't have time for things that can't be proven. . .

  5. I almost always have a tv show or movie playing when I write too. Like you, I need the background noise.

    Video chats still weird me out. Maybe they'll always be science fiction to me.

  6. I never thought I would enjoy writing with ANY noise. Now, I sometimes listen to my IPod. Music, if it is low, is comforting.

    As for technology advances... I just went with my mom earlier this week while she visited a distant cousin. They used to spend summers together when my mom was a kid. The cousins lived on a farm, so it was a big change for my mom.

    They reminisced over what it was like not having indoor plumbing, spending all of your time doing chores (with some goofing off thrown in), no distractions like TV or phones, walking most everywhere you went. It is difficult for even my generation to fathom a life without indoor plumbing, no TV, no phone, etc. When I was a kid there were three channels on the TV, one TV in the house, and my dad usually decided what we watched, but still... And I thought the push button phone was a HUGE improvement over the rotary dial. Seemed like I always grabbed the wrong number at the end and had to start over.

    When I was a kid the idea of a cell phone... inconceivable. The idea of computers and the internet... inconceivable. Even handheld phones (wireless) were outside the imaginings. I remember how excited my parents got over the microwave oven.

    That is a very long way of saying that I can't envision what 20 years from now will look like... more less 50 or 100.

  7. Heather, I hope some of the old sticks round for a long time.
    Alex, I wonder what it says about my intelligence when you mention a lot of really smart people don't believe in God. LOL
    L. Diane, I still feel amazed using Facetime.
    DG, good points about the analytical.
    MJ, yeah the video talks are like sf to me too.
    Robin, my one grandmother didn't have indoor plumbing when I was very little. I remember my dad and uncles hand digging the lines to put it in for her.

  8. very intriguing how you like things playing while you write--i don't like any noise when i write----i hope you are feeling better--yeah i drank so much hot tea over my recent flu that now i am into it just for the heck of it---great thoughts here!

  9. i try not to have anything on as it can be distracting to me. Not sure technology will get that far or not, I mean the little things like phones and computers have come a long long way. Everything else is pretty much the same, cars, medicine, etc. Not much has changed.

  10. I'm one of those folks that likes complete silence while I'm in writer-mode. I don't like music or TV. Just the hums of the house. I love watching old Hawaii Five-Os and seeing what they thought was such advanced technology. I tell my kids that when I was in high school, computer "brains" took up entire rooms!

  11. Although I can't write with music - it distracts me, especially if it's danceable! - I can write with television and probably for the same reason; it feels like the noise of a big family in the background, comforting but easy to tune out. And I'd love to be around a hundred years from now to see what things look like.

  12. My theory is anything that can be imagined, can ultimately become real. Last night, husband, daughter and I were thinking replicators would be good. All we'd have to do is walk up to a computer and say: "Ice cream, with fudge!" Since they currently have "copy" machines that make 3D shapes, how far away can replicators be?

  13. I love watching the original Star Trek series and spotting all the tech gadgets we've borrowed from them and made real!

    Hope you're feeling better soon!

  14. Where is my robot butler? Obviously they will end up killing us all, but all the tea and soup you want (until they murder us in our sleep).

    Moody Writing

  15. I'm sorry to hear about your sore throat. They drive me insane.

    I agree about the microwave. We take it for granted today, but it was a pretty spiffy machine back in the day.

    As for the future, I'll be happy if they can help the blind and paralyzed, walk and see again.

  16. How I wish I could write with the distraction of noise, I'd get so much work done.
    I hope your throat is feeling better.

  17. Wonderful post. I do think things have changed drastically. I can't imagine what it'll be like when my son is an adult. I hope you're feeling better. Sickness went through our house this week too. Rest, soup, and toast. As it's always been. :)

  18. I'm sitting here with a cup of hot tea, too. I was too warm last night, so I opened the window, and I think the cold air gave me a sore throat. I hope you're feeling better today.

  19. For me it's the cellphone which hit the right scifi note. When I was in my late teens, I left home to go to university. There were no cellphones then. We did have phones on campus, but my parents only had access to phones at work. So I wrote them letters on a regular basis, telling them about life at university and what I was studying and how it was going. Phone calls were for emergencies then... like if I was bleeding to death. To this day, I'm still uneasy about picking up a phone to just chat. Probably explains why I prefer emails. To me, writing a letter, however you send it, is a much more familiar method of communicating with people who are not in the same location as me.