Imaginative Authors Foresee the Future

Gulliver in Brobdingnag by Richard Redgraven (1804-1888)In Gulliver’s Travels, Jonathan Swift wrote of the two moons of Mars. Of course, it was 1735, and the two moons weren’t discovered until 1877.  In 1870, in Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, Jules Verne described an electric submarine, which wasn’t invented until the 1960s. Many of the most interesting inventions and discoveries of the past few centuries were foreseen by imaginative writers such as H. G. Wells, Aldous Huxley, Ray Bradbury, Douglas Adams, and others less famous. I wouldn’t be at all surprised to learn that their work inspired the scientists behind many of these discoveries.

I haven’t read all the books recorded in this fascinating infographic by, but there are several I consider to be foundational reading in this genre (almost every genre develops its own list of great books). If you haven’t read much such science fiction, I recommend the following books in addition to the Swift and Verne novels already mentioned:

These aren’t always happy reading, but they are thought-provoking. If you want more, after these, books by H. G. Wells, Aldous Huxley, Ray Bradbury, Douglas Adams, Arthur C. Clarke, and Frank Herbert may appeal to you. Just remember they are modern books, and read with care.

[Book links are affiliate links to Amazon. Thank you!]

Fiction books that accurately predicted the future.

2 Responses

  1. Vanessa says:

    Hi Janice,

    I just wanted to say you were among my top 2 favorite speakers at the Midwest convention. I was an English Literature major in college. But TEACHING what I love is sometimes puzzling. You gave such great examples, if you could email me your slides, I would love it. I feel so excited for the third grade because do you!

    • Thank you, Vanessa! I’m so glad you enjoyed the talks, and I’d be happy to e-mail the slides. Which sessions did want?

      May you and your student enjoy third grade!

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