Friday, April 10, 2009

Checking My Memory

I was just reading the Wired article on memory altering drugs when I had to stop and deliberately recall which of my stories with similar drugs, and similar ethical issues, were already published. Hmm, yes, Roswell or Bust with the MIB's rollback drug was published last year, as was Extreme Makeover, with the characters debating whether to remove a friend's memory of torture. Good. While I can't claim that I predicted the future, because my versions were simply rehashes of themes others had used long ago, I still hate to appear to be someone that jumps on a bandwagon.

It is interesting to observe real-world versions of something you wrote about in a fictional context. And it's definitely better when you did it years ago. The worst kind of prediction is in an unpublished manuscript. Then you're faced with the question, do I re-write it to make it closer to what's in the news, or do I abandon the whole thing? If it's published, then you get Writer Bonus Points for futurism, but even if you wrote it twenty years ago, unpublished predictions don't count.

There's no big official scoring system for making good science fiction predictions, and even if there were, I'd never be able to compete with Clarke's geostationary satellites or Heinlein's waterbed, but is fun to be right. I've had my share. Catacomb, a short story published in Dragon magazine back in 1985 racked up a few WRB's for real-world money in online games, and Forget It! from 1977 was all about PDA's and copyright issues. You can go read these on my website. They're free.

1 comment:

Chris said...

I loved Catacomb! When I read it back in the day I really wanted to play it. That was before I even met you.