I ordered Twelve Tomorrows. I never really liked science fiction (exceptions like The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – not even sure even that would qualify for science fiction). But I wanted re-evaluate my taste.
The twelve futures in summary:
- Instead of getting electronic detention, limiting the freedom of movement, persistent criminals are blinded. as a replacement for their natural eyesight they get electronic glasses through which they can only observe a pre-filtered reality. In this augmented reality, criminals are tagged, or branded, and everyone can see these brands as a warning sign.
- Biological modification of humans, first under “acupuncture anesthesia”, then in next generations through DNA modification.
- Cybercrime 22h century. Electronically (remotely) scanning a person’s digital identity information to get access to a bank account.
- Genetically manipulated life forms start leading their own life and thus become a threat to human life.
- Modification of human behavior through electronics implants in the human brain, also allowing remote control over a person.
- Human life has moved into space, to other planet amongst which Mars and the Moon. Technology like human hibernation made possible. (A bit of 2001 A Space Odyssee, hmm).
- The internet of stuff, a second internet smart devices, unregulated and avoiding dictatorial suppression (already exists).
- Cyborg man is synthesized with his intelligent leg and can survive his body. His personality is transferred to another computer by the soul of the leg.
- Man cures from a hyperactive damaged brain, chemical drugs (SMOOTH TM) is surpassed by a nanotechnology that can enter the body through the skin when wearing a medical t-shirt.
- Talented, intelligent young girl in Afghan invents a new kind of semiconductor in a repressive Afghan society.
- Internet surveillance in hyperconnected world. Secret services can follow everything you see, through your eyes, extract experiences and take over control. Everybody is under this kind of surveillance.
- Gene modification aimed at producing fossil gas, turns out to thrive also in the human body. But not for long, people start exploding
I found it difficult to get through the stories. Most of them sketch a dark, unpleasant future. I am trying to understand why that is. Is it because we generally tend to expect the worst of the future? Or is it maybe simply because of the dramatic needs for a story or book. Also, the science factor was not very original, and the writing not very good.
If you like Science Fiction advanced, find the very latest on MIT’s twelve tomorrows web site.
I decided to not touch Science Fiction for some time.
While I got Frank Schatzing’s Limit as a present. More on that later. That’s a 1000+ pages book.