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Wanted: Robot Mechanic, must eventually betray crew.

4 January 2012

I mean, this is how I got to work this morning.

The current Twitter Novel takes place in the year 2098, and that’s a fun time to write in. Not only can I play around with where society will be in 86 years, I get to design and play with all sorts of future technology.

That last bit — the future tech — is a tricky thing to mess with. Very rarely does any sci-fi writer get it right, but, as in the picture above, we often get it laughably wrong. So how do you go about designing and using technology that hasn’t even been thought of yet? I mean, the stuff in the 47 Echo universe is easy, but that’s only a decade or so off. One can look at the current state of military technology and make a few assumptions and educated guesses. 86 years? 128? That’s a lot harder.

Think about it this way — knowing what you know about technology now, travel back to 1926 and take a poll of the most educated scientists and futurists of the time as to what the technology of 2012 will look like. You’ll get a lot of flying automobiles and jet packs and rockets like the one above, but I doubt one of them is going to tell you about the Internet or smartphones. Their idea of what 2012 is going to be like will be about as laughable to you as the robot crewmen we’re all supposed to have on our rocketships by now, or the Martians we were supposed to have been fighting since the 50s.

So, what, to you, seems like the most realistic future tech you’ve seen in science-fiction? What was the worst?

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