I often wonder what science fiction of the future will be like, as we are constantly making scientific breakthroughs and developing more and more advanced technology because of this. Eventually many of the concepts and pieces of technology that are at present considered to be fictional will one day be factual. It’s easy to see present-day examples of this which were once considered Science Fiction even as recent as 10 to 20 years ago.
Take Star Trek for example, in the original series they possessed mobile communication devices and automatic doors which were not around at the time. Nowadays we take both of these things for granted. In Star Trek: The Next Generation they use touch screen computers and tablet computers/e-book readers. Again these are both things we are starting to take for granted in our everyday lives. To see any of these things in a story of any kind these days would not denoted Science Fiction like it would have done in the time of the aforementioned TV programs.
Is it possible then, that science fiction could one day disappear entirely? I think this is doubtful as there will always be new mysteries in the universe to be discovered, and new technology to be developed. As long as these two continue to be true, then people will write stories about them (of course the idea of us reaching that final point of no further development could also be ruminated upon in a story). There is of course also the fact that in story writing, the writer/author will often take liberties in regards to the science.
The genre of science fiction tends to include more than just the exploration of scientific theories and technological development; it is in truth more the consideration of what if. What if this happened or what if this will happen. A more accurate term for Science Fiction is Speculative Fiction as this covers all areas of science fiction regardless of whether it’s heavy on the scientific or the technological or not. This also includes the areas of alternative history, future development, disasters, alien life forms and more.
I love speculative and science fiction stories for this reason, they explore ideas and theoretical concepts, as well as thought exercises in what if, which in turn challenges our minds and our souls. It’s also quite nice to simply escape reality for a period of time and immerse oneself in a world with completely different laws of nature and boundaries.
I don’t consider myself to be a science fiction or speculative fiction writer, I’m simply a writer, it just so happens that what I enjoy writing about and the worlds I enjoy creating are not currently reality. If they happen to become reality within my lifetime, then I guess I’ll just be writing straight up fiction.