Moon: Real predictions in sci-fi

Bruce N H

Active Member
Hi all,

I always find it interesting looking at things predicted in sci-fi stories that have since come true, either by coincidence, because the author was a keen observer of developing trends and technology, or maybe in some cases because the real world was influenced by the fictional creation. For instance, in Ender's Game, published in 1985, Peter and Valentine essentially become bloggers, influencing world events through their online essays, with Peter ultimately coming to political power. While there were message boards etc before this, blogging didn't become a real thing until the mid-to-late 90's, and really became a political force in the early 2000's. The immersive virtual reality video game Ender plays at Battle School, and the AI personal assistant Jane introduced in the next book, are other things reflected in current technology. To go to a different sci-fi source, I've always wondered if the flip phones of 15-20 years ago owed part of their design to the communicators from the original Star Trek series. I certainly know when I got my first flip phone I would flip it open and say "Beam me up, Scotty". :)

Okay, on to Moon, published in 1966. This is my first time reading and I'm only through the first few chapters, but one thing that struck me was that Wyoh is a surrogate mother. The first IVF baby was born in 1978, and the first gestational surrogacy (i.e. where the birth mother not biologically related to the child) was in 1985-86. I have no idea how much, if any, Heinlein knew about the ongoing medical research at the time that ultimately led to these developments 10 and 20 years after his book. For instance, I see on a timeline that 1944 was the first time a human egg was fertilized in a lab and 1959 was the first time mammals (rabbits in this case) were born based on IVF and embryo transfer, so there were definitely people working towards that 1978 birth.

Anyway, I'll be interested to see any other instances of either science/tech or sociological changes predicted in this book that later became part of our lives.

Bruce / Bricktales
I've not read Heinlein, but I did certainly have a similar experience reading Jules Verne's From the Earth to the Moon. Considering he was writing this based on *Civil War* era technology, it was really impressive how much was already known about what would be required to launch a rocket to the moon. For instance...a launch from US soil would have to be from either Texas or Florida based on latitude, and choosing the location is an element of the story. They choose a location in Florida. . .
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