25 Science Fiction Predictions that Actually Came True

Science fiction — a genre filled with fantastical stories about what could one day be. Many Sci-Fi creatives build a future world that mostly reflects the present. Others however, have a very keen eye for what advancements are really to come. Here is a list of 25 predictions that science fiction writers dreamed up that actually came true.

Debit/Credit Cards

Edward Bellamy’s utopian science fiction novel Looking Backward was published in 1888, where citizens received “credit” instead of money for their work, and could use this credit to make purchases. The world’s first debit cards were available for use on networked ATMs some 89 years after the novel.



In 1903, H.G. Wells’ short story “The Land Ironclads” appeared in an issue of Strand Magazine. The ‘land ironclads’ in question were giant metal machines that carried soldiers and had remote-controlled guns. Soon after in 1916, the first real tanks were used in battle. Around the same time, people started calling Wells a “prophet of the future.”


Photo by Tony Hisgett from Flickr Creative Commons

Geostationary Satellite Communications

Author C. Clarke’s paper “The Space-Station: Its Radio Applications,” first made public in 1945, was the first to suggest the idea of using satellites for communication across the globe. Since Clarke was both a physicist and science fiction author, some suggest his goal with the paper was not to predict the future, but to invent it.


While the term ‘android’ has gone through an evolution of meaning over the past 150 years or so, the first to use it in a modern sense — a robot designed to look and act like a human — was French author Augustine Villiers de l’Isle-Adam, who wrote The Future Eve (1886). The idea of the android was further popularized in the move “Metropolis” (1927).

Google Glass

Known as the father of cyberpunk, William Gibson is best known for the novel Neuromancer, published in 1984, which predicted the invention of wearable tech. Here are a few great photos of Gibson trying out Google Glass in 2013.



Arthur C. Clarke’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, published in 1964, speaks of a “Newspad” that Floyd used to scan electronic newspapers. He would click on “postage-sized rectangles” on the screen that expand to fill the screen. That’s like… exactly what the iPad is today, minus Candy Crush.

3D Printing

Philip K. Dick published his one and only children’s book in 1966, called Nick and the Glimmung. It featured an alien who could print copies of anything. The idea was probably no more than fun and games for Dick, but it ended up coming true in recent years!

This 3d Printer is currently printing a turtle. http://www.fablabscarolinas.org/

This 3d Printer is currently printing a turtle.

Photo by Keith Kissel from Flickr Creative Commons

Lexifone App

Any fan of Douglas Adams’ The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy will remember the Bablel fish that sits in your ear and translates any and every language you encounter throughout the galaxy. Little did Adams’ know, the company Lexifone has developed an App that does just that, minus the fish.

World Wide Web

David Brin’s EARTH is a 1990 science fiction novel. In it, he predicted the World Wide Web. Granted, WWW was technically invented in 1989, but Brin’s description was an incredibly accurate picture of the web today; including blogs, videos, forums and news-media outlets.


Star Trek the Original Series was a show before its time, dreaming up many technologies that have become reality today. Though no prediction was as accurate as the Bluetooth earpiece communicator. You can actually buy one of these designed to look like an original Star Trek communicator from ThinkGeek.


Driverless Car

The original Total Recall (1990), a film adaptation of a Philip K. Dick story starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, accurately predicted that the future world would have driverless cars.

Genetic Engineering

Genetic engineering — it’s a thing. But the idea of it has been creeping us out for some time now, since Aldous Huxley dreamed it up in Brave New World, published in 1932. We’re actually ahead of the game, since the book is set in AD 2540.

Voice Activation

Arguably one of the most annoyingly inaccurate technologies out there, but hey we got it done. Arthur C. Clarke knew we would, by creating the character HAL 9000, a voice activated antagonist in 2001: A Space Odyssey (1964). The film was released in 1968.

Plastic Eating Bacteria

In Michael Chrichton’s The Andromeda Strain (1969), an extraterrestrial microbe that eats plastic begins to wreak havoc in Arizona. Today, we rely on microbes like these to eat all the garbage we leave floating in the oceans.

Spray on Clothes

If only these had caught on more. Stanislaw Lem thought they might — his 1961 novel Return from the Stars features cans of spray on clothes in sold in hotels and salons everywhere.

Remote Surgery

Arthur C. Clarke does it again, predicting the invention of remote surgery in his 1964 book 2001: A Space Odyssey. In 2001, patients located in Rome were already undergoing virtual surgery by doctors in California.

Ear Buds

Here’s an excerpt from Ray Bradbury’s seminal dystopian novel Fahrenheit 451, written in 1951: “And in her ears the little Seashells, the thimble radios tamped tight, and an electronic ocean of sound, of music and talk and music and talk coming in, coming in on the shore of her unsleeping mind.” Sound familiar? Bradbury calls them ‘Seashells’ but we now know them as earbuds.


Lie Detector Test

Authors Edwin Balmer and William MacHarg worked together on the The Achievements of Luther Trant, published in 1910, following a psychologist-detective who uses the latest technologies to solve crimes, including a “tell whodunit,” AKA a lie detector.

In Vitro Fertilization

Daedalus; or, Science and the Future (1924) is not actually a work of fiction, but the text of a lecture by scientist JBS Haldane. He discusses the limitless possibilities of applied science, and actually suggests that humans might one day gain control over their own evolution by creating test tube babies — or in vitro fertilization. Louise Brown was the first IVF baby, born on July 25 1978.

Virtual Reality Video Games

In 1956, Arthur C. Clarke published The City and the Stars, which takes place a billion years in the future. The city is run by the Central Computer, and Clarke takes the readers through his interpretation of the evolution of information technology with incredible detail. He describes “sagas,” which involve total-immersion virtual entertainment — just like virtual reality today.


Photo by Amber Case from Flickr Creative Commons

Transparent Smartphone

Polytron Technologies developed a prototype for the world’s first transparent smartphone in 2013, but that was old hat for HG Wells, who dreamed up the technology in Things to Come, published in 1936.


Antidepressents are one of those scientific advancements that seems out of this world. Can you really use medicine to affect your mood? Aldous Huxley figured so; in Brave New World (1932) he came up with a drug that brings on calm and happiness, but also keeps people from focusing on the real reasons for their unhappiness. That’s hauntingly familiar.

Search Engines

In 1989, Isaac Asimov published an essay, entitled “Future Fantastic” in Special Reports Magazine. The Internet hadn’t been invented, yet Asimov already knew what the future would bring. He called the library a “clumsy tool” and insisted that “Tomorrow’s technochildren will have a ready means of satiating their curiosity.”

Mars’ Moons

Jonathan Swift’s published Gulliver’s Travels, a satire, way back in 1726. Part 3 refers to the fact that Mars has 2 moons, even though they weren’t discovered until 1877. He didn’t get their orbital distances quite right, but we can forgive him for that.


Image by Cyril Rana from Flickr Creative Commons


In Hugo Gernsback’s Ralph 124c 41+, published in 1911 and set in 2660, people use what’s called a “faceplate” in order to video chat with each other. The fact that the name is so similar to what Apple came up with for FaceTime is more than a little bit eerie. Maybe Steve Jobs was a Gernsback fan?


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10 Awesome Steampunk Creations from the Real World

Steampunk — a fantastical world where industrial steam-powered machinery is still at its prime. The steampunk esthetic has evolved into its own popular literary genre, but its not all make believe. Here are 10 super awesome real world steampunk creations.

Steampunk Goggles

steampunk_goggles_by_asdemeladen-d5mri81A quintessential emblem of steampunk — created and sold by CraftedSteampunk

Steampunk Laptop


laptop3-cdromDesigned by Datamancer. This would draw no attention in class whatsoever.

The Writing Ball that Will Warp and Enchant Your Mind

d38df56dfcThe Mailing-Hansen Writing Ball is the real deal — one of the first commercial typewriters available.

Steampunk Armor

steampunk_golddd_d_by_steampunkoverlord-d32zp3jAn overlord costume like no other.

Steampunk Wall Clock

61Zv0dgVg+L._SY355_Available on Amazon. Perfect for any steampunk collection.

Davenport Table

Table_Mine_01By artist Mati Karmin. Made with real mine shells!

Steampunk Pen

PKSPPAFrom Penn State Industries. For some serious signatures.

Steampunk Zippo Lighter

51k+z0Q1CbL._SY355_Fully functioning — available at Amazon

Steampunk Guitar

8749657Tony Cochran has designed an awesome collection of custom guitars.

Steampunk Toilet

All I can say is: finally.

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7 Books that Define the Cyberpunk Genre

Cyperpunk. A sub-genre of science fiction that takes information technology to its limits. Dystopian worlds where cybernetics are the norm and technology has forever altered the social order. Invasive integration of computers into everyday life has drawn people away from the very things that make us human.

Some say that cyberpunk is a genre of the past. With today’s technologies, cyberpunk is no longer serves as a warning about a potential future, but a worst-case assessment of our present. That said, cyberpunk has and still does permeate pop culture in a powerful way.

Here are 7 books that define the “high tech and low life” genre.

1. Neuromancer (1984) by William Gibson

51mgToICE3L._SX301_BO1,204,203,200_Considered by many to be the Bible of Cyberpunk, Neuromancer follows a computer hacker as he plans the ultimate hack. The fact that the book was written before hackers were even a thing just goes to show how much Gibson had his finger on the pulse of our technological future.

Neuromancer was the first story of its kind to feature a dystopian society where the social order has deteriorated due to technology’s dominance in everyday life. This concept is the foundation of the cyberpunk genre.

2. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (1968) by Phillip K. Dick

51ehNNnPpDL._SX359_BO1,204,203,200_This novel served as the basis for the 1982 film Blade Runner. The story follows a bounty hunter living in a post-apocalyptic future ravaged by nuclear war. Dickered’s mission is to “retire” six defunct androids. The story probes into what defines a human versus a machine, in a world where they have become so similar. The question is a defining backdrop of many cyberpunk stories to come.

3. Islands in the Net (1988) by Bruce Sterling

51p1ODqVkRL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_Set in 2023, Islands in the Net takes readers to a word where data pirates hold power in the deregulated Global Communications Network. A few families are protected by the Net, but most face a high-stakes world where information and technology are commodities and corruption runs rampant. Sterling captivates readers with complex tales of nanotechnology, murder and post-millennial voodoo, and makes the point that no one is truly safe from the ugly underbelly the Net. Islands in the Net is a classic demonstration of a high tech/low humanity world characteristic of the best cyberpunk.

4. Snow Crash (1992) by Neal Stephenson

5192EnTxNQL._SX313_BO1,204,203,200_In a future America, Hiro Protagonist is a simple pizza delivery body, but in the Metaverse, he’s a royal warrior, on a mission to search and destroy hackers. Readers follow Hiro in his wild attempt to stop a super villain hell bent on causing an infocalypse. Some consider Snow Crash to be postcyberpunk or even a parody of the genre, because it takes the consequences of information technology to their absolute fathomable limits.

5. Virtual Light (1993) by William Gibson

41vRXbCx21L._SX302_BO1,204,203,200_Virtual Light follows Chevette Washington, an off-the-grid bicycle messenger in a dystopian future, as she gains possession of a pair of glasses that contain a corporate plan to rebuild San Francisco using nanotechnology. The cops, their Russian employees and a powerful corporation are suddenly after her. She ends up on the run with a former cop named Berry Rydell, who realizes the information in the glasses poses an ultimate danger. Virtual Light gives readers a world where wealth and technology are power, and people will do anything to get information.

6. The Diamond Age (1995) by Neal Stephenson

51eDiMq4dsL._SX312_BO1,204,203,200_Neal Stephenson’s The Diamond Age is set in an age where nanotechnology has reached great heights, and now serves as the basis for society to function. Rather than offering an anarchist near future, The Diamond Age world has an intense social order where people are divided into cultural or political groups that can’t exist together. The story follows Nell, a street urchin who gets her hands on an interactive book that teaches her how to lead an interesting life and subvert the status quo. The Diamond Age serves as a commentary on the power of access to technology for education, as well as the limitations of living by cultural divides.

7. Mirrorshades: The Cyberpunk Anthology (1986) edited by Bruce Sterling

51VFZYSPPFL._SX286_BO1,204,203,200_If you still have difficulty understanding what makes cyberpunk cyberpunk, then read the Mirrorshades short story collection. With contributions by William Gibson, Tom Maddox and Sterling himself, the anthology offers 12 unique scenarios of a future adversely dominated by technology. As today’s world becomes more reminiscent of the cyberpunk message, these stories will be seen as subtle warnings of what happens when information and technical tools become more valuable than people.

Did you agree with our list of books that defined cyberpunk? Can you think of something we missed? Tell us in the comments and well add your suggestions.

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Top 17 Harry Potter Places that Keep the Magic Alive

Any diehard Harry Potter fan knows the familiar pangs of longing when they think about the Wizarding World. We’d trade our boring non-magic jobs to be on the boat of 11-year-old crossing the lake to Hogwarts in a heartbeat. So many of us are still waiting for our long-overdue school acceptance letter, but there are […]

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12 Must-Follow Speculative Fiction Authors

We made a list of authors every speculative fiction lover should follow on Twitter. They’re on, they’re active and they have something interesting to say. Scroll down and see for yourself. Margaret Atwood @MargaretAtwood Author of The Handmaid’s Tale and Oryx and Crake, Margaret Atwood is considered one of the best dystopian authors. As a […]

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CD Malcom

REVIEW: Wool Part 1 by Hugh Howey 4 Moons

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Interview With Author And Filmmaker, Greg Sisco

When you wrote Thicker Than Water and created your characters, did you envision it as a series of books from the start? Not at all. The catalyst for Blood Brothers was in May of 2006. I was working as an extra on a movie set with a friend. We were both dressed as gumshoes, wearing […]

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Broken Realms

Interview With Fantasy Author D. W. Moneypenny

Connie Brentford: Can you tell me who your ideal reader is for the Chronicles of Mara Lantern series? D. W. Moneypenny:  To be honest with you, I didn’t have a particular kind of reader in mind when I wrote Broken Realms. Now, since the book has been completed and has gone through the editing and […]

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Interview With Author Karly Kirkpatrick

Karly Kirkpatrick and I have been social media friends for several years. After being impressed with her humor and several other things she discussed, I bought some of her books. I fell in love with her Bloody Little Secrets series. Her teen heroine, Vicki Hernandez, is a funny, quirky, authentic teenager. In the first few […]

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Interview With Thriller Author Martha Carr

I’m impressed with author, Martha Carr. I’m impressed with the quality of her writing and her reasons for creating the Wallis Jones series of books which includes, THE LIST and the newly released follow-up book, THE KEEPER. Besides being a political thriller author, she writes a nationally syndicated column on politics, is a cancer survivor, […]

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Want to travel the world as a writer? Meet Author Teresa Roberts

Teresa Roberts is an author I admire. I can’t remember where on the internet we met,  but as a traveler and a writer, I found her to be not only a kindred spirit but a person who lives an examined life.  There’s a lot to admire about the writer’s life she has created and to […]

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March To A Bestseller

If you’re a writer like I am, you read a lot a of blogs related to the craft of writing and you buy books on craft, publishing and book marketing. A bunch of us have banded together and on the last day of February we will lower our Writing, Publishing, Book Marketing and Entrepreneurship books […]

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Pattaya, Thailand

A Fabulous Year And A New One To Come

This year went fast! I didn’t really take stock until Facebook sent me the link to my 2013 Year In Review. Thank goodness Facebook tracks where I’m going and what I’m doing because I don’t. In the interest of explaining this writer’s life, I’d like to share some of the highlights of the year with […]

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My Best Advice For Authors In The Coming Year

Make Your Own Rules You can change your mind anytime, about anything. You don’t have to do the same things in 2014 that you did in 2013. Take stock of what worked, what didn’t and clear the table. Give yourself permission to write a different book, in a different genre. Just try it! If you’re […]

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