I Will Fear No Evil I Will Fear No Evil discussion


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The world Heinlein discribed was amazingly prescient

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message 1: by Steve (last edited Mar 13, 2013 11:05AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Steve It's amazing how close to reality the 2015 describes to reality on the points it describes. I had to check a couple of time that the publish date was 1970 than 2000
1. interlinked health DB
2. Chinese competition in biomed tech
3. brain transplant close to reality and heart transplant commonplace (when the first one was only successful 2 years before publish date).
4. Medical ability to keep people alive
5. Separation between the mega-wealthy and everyone else.

Things he missed:
1. cell phone (though it didn't show up in sci-fi till about 2000, star trek doesn't count, that's more military radio than consumer device)
2. dated language (that really can't be helped)
3. decline in crime rate

It's still incredibly accurate compared to the unrealistic world of the 20-teens painted by his contemporaries or even post-contemporaries.


Michael Pearce One of the things that struck me about Friday was a fairly accurate portrait of the internet. In truth though he missed as often as he hit- Mars is much less habitable than he predicted in Stranger in a Strange Land. We still don't have flying cars (thank God- the way people drive...) Video phones are only now taking off, not because we didn't have the tech but because people didn't WANT them. Conveyor belts haven't replaced roads. He didn't foresee the collapse of the American space program, or the corporate takeover of the US government. Talk about prescience- our founding fathers foresaw corporate influence as the greatest threat to democracy more than 200 years ago!

All futurists have a 'hit-and-miss' record. Heinlein called some of the 'biggies,' but others were just as prescient... and just as often wrong.


Steve I guess it's just that it's writing about 2015 and except for the space stuff and regression in sexual mores since 80s so much of it was right.

I guess just so few writers tackle the "near future" that it's hard to compare. but I feel that Heinlein is a bit better than Asimov in that respect. In some ways, he painted a world closer to reality than Stephenson even. I can't think of others that tackled early 21st century much (urban sci-fi fantasy doesn't count).

Another thing I was shocked by was how much China was mentioned vs USSR. This was written in the height of cold war and this predated Nixon China. Although, he doesn't mention it, I'm pretty sure that he thought China would still be socialist-communist instead of the capitalist communist. Ironically, different trajectory to the same destination. During this time, US didn't have that much respect for China or we would not have dealt with Vietnam the way we did.

On a different note, I'm a bit sad that we're as protest-happy and lawsuit-happy as he predicted.


message 4: by Kateblue (last edited Mar 26, 2018 08:29PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kateblue Have any of you read Heinlein's The Day After Tomorrow ? He predicts in the 1940's that China would be the threat to us.


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