Years ago, I remember reading about the visionary insights of science fiction writers. One particular comparison of such an insight was the novel, ‘From the Earth to the Moon’ by Jules Verne, first published in 1865 and the real-life NASA Apollo program, started almost a hundred years later, in 1961. There were many similarities between the story and the Apollo program; the location of the blast off, in Florida; the recovery of the spacecraft, by US Navy ships; the spacecraft crew, consisted of three….. just to mention a few!
If you look back to some old Sci-Fi flicks you will find many similarities to real-life progress, or as the case may be, horror stories. One such Sci-Fi book and flick that had a profound impact on me at the time, was ‘Soylent Green’ by Harry Harrison. The film was released in 1973 and the basis of the plot was, ‘The starving masses depend upon a government manufactured food item called Soylent Green, to exist and the source of the Soylent Green is, the starving masses’!
What disturbed me most about this story is that humanity could stoop so low. That greed could consume the rich and powerful to plunder their environment to the point, that it could not sustain all the inhabitants. And what of the inhabitants, the unprivileged masses, are they just vermin? Well in the story, that is all that they are and the solution to feeding the vermin is to let them feed themselves….. literally!
In the eighties, when the headline news reported on the contamination of our beef with the Mad-Cow Disease, it brought back memories of the book, Soylent Green. Although in real-life the concept of the plot was not applied to humans, but to cattle. Cattle are normally herbivores and it is disturbing to think, that the industry, would stoop so low, as to recycle waste from the slaughtering process of cattle and produce stock feed to feed the cattle. This included the use of corpses of sick and injured animals, which is how the Mad-Cow Disease was transmitted to cattle, through the stock feed.
This raises the question, is fiction really fiction or is it a visionary insight into our future? Either way, if reality is just drawing inspiration from fiction, than the outcome is still the same, a glimpse into the future!
As such, we should all be on guard and ensure that the future the science fiction writers predict, is the future that we want for humanity and that some science fiction….. remains science fiction!
Until next time,
Laugh, Love & Live!