All tagged eureka

I'm not all that old, and yet I grew up in a completely different world. The Internet was something we began to hear about as I neared my teenage years and even then it was not anything common. Computers still had floppy disks and monochrome monitors. Now you can see the rumblings of the first real cyberwar, cars that drive themselves, corporations going into space and planets outside of our solar system, and NASA is making announcements about finding new types of life based on arsenic. All of this makes me ask the question, is science fiction redundant? Has the world become the world from the old science fiction? The examples of technology are everywhere and often mentioned but they are so common that we sometimes forget. We don't just have cell phones anymore we have computers in our pockets that let us talk to people and augmented reality won't be long. The Kinect from Microsoft is of course as close to science fiction as we have gotten so far and people are still working on improving it so that now it can actually recognize voices far better and see individual finger movements. My real question though is where does this leave science fiction? There is of course plenty of things we have not done. Star Trek and Star Wars are still well out of our reach, but that does not seem to be the type of science fiction that is popular either. Shows like Fringe and Eureka for example are extrapolating technology and while they can sometimes be absurd the science is often thing that might happen and sooner than we would assume when you eliminate the magical elements that show up. And that is my question, have we began to advance so quickly that the enjoyment of imagining the future has been lost. After all if you can't keep up with today's technology what is the point of imagining tomorrows, which is what a lot of science fiction does and as shows like Fringe and Eureka show often the easiest way to do that now is to ignore the science and just do what you want which is effectively fantasy with technology rather than wands. What science fiction does though is not just have weird adventures with laser guns or examine technology. This is setting and in that setting you can have any other genre and any story, but limiting it to that is a mistake as well because that setting lets you put humans into new situations and imagine how they might react and change and that will always be important, unless we are no longer human.
I was thinking about the science fiction that is currently on TV last night, and I have been unable to come up with one show that is set in the future. There is some good stuff on, but it seems that it is all set in modern day. Fringe, Lost, Chuck, Eureka, and the new Star gate for example. Dr. Who is of course occasionally set in the future, but it's also set in the past, and the present and it's hardly on the air this year. So why is this? I like these shows and I'm not complaining about any of them, but why? One simple explanation is that TV networks are all basically copying themselves. If there was a futuristic science fiction show on that worked they would copy it. This alone helps you understand why the science fiction genre has so much trouble on TV since the heart of science fiction is uniqueness but I don't think that's all of it. I suspect a second reason is the same reason that Star Trek always time travels to our time period or close to it. The sets are already built. It is cheaper to have a show that is set in our modern world because it already exists. Third, they aren't science fiction, most of these are police dramas with science fiction elements. Fringe, Chuck and Eureka are all examples of this and while some have more science fiction than others they are still following the police drama trend. I don't suspect that there is a lot that can be done about this. There has to be someone in Hollywood who is making the pitches for epic science fiction and they are being turned down. Perhaps the new Star Trek movie will trigger some ideas at least though I suspect that they will simply dismiss that. Here is my pitch for a futuristic science fiction drama. Set in 2112 humans have continued to develop technology, but the most major breakthrough in human history has just occurred. A brilliant scientist has discovered a way to bypass the speed of light. In a rush to begin to explore NASA retrofits one of its shuttles with the technology. This shuttle is roughly 3 times the size of the modern shuttle with far better air recycling and artificial gravity(just because of the cost). This means that there is only room for 7 crew members comfortably. The scientist who developed the technology is the first, the rest are made up of the best on earth. With every member of the crew important and the ship with little in the way of defenses they begin to explore.