Stanislav Lem predicted the future to the smallest detail (4 photos)
Perhaps the key test for all science fiction writers is the way in which they show us the faces of an unknown, not at all-necessarily-beautiful far away, or rather, how these “faces” correspond to the real future, at least as we see it see.
In this case, however, it is not difficult to notice a completely unique example of a “sniper shot into the future”, moreover, in a “zigzag” way: at first, all this seemed to us a matter of the near future, then something unimaginably far from reality, poking a “finger into the sky”, but now – this is again “a matter of the near future”, moreover – exactly like that and absolutely exactly.
And I will talk, of course, about ” Tales of Pilot Pirks “.
What did Lem draw for us?
Yes, in fact … The world of the near future, and the “nearest” – from our time, and not from the date of writing. That is, with the same success, to the last line, all this could be written today, and would not even look close to retrofuturism.
A world in which powerful computers have long been miniaturized and become commonplace, and space is slowly but surely mastered by private companies (and now find me at least one science fiction writer of the fifties who had both).
And this is – and there is an important remark: in this world, space is commercialized “from and to”.
Paying attention to current trends – even far from brave astronauts from NASA will be the first to reach Mars.
Transport, resource extraction and even colonization are put on the grand scale of the subordinate atom, and the pace of development is only growing.
So, wait… Atom?
Yes, the vast majority of the local “space” depends on nuclear reactors and nuclear engines. And this, if you think about it, is absolutely predictable: you can’t break through a wall with your head, and chemical engines and solar panels have their own, clear ceiling (including the economic one).
At this point, there are no questions.
Society of the “future”
And again, you can not pay attention to this (since we already live in the 21st century), but Lem seems to have copied society from our modern one. At that time, officialdom was still going wild, and in some places direct inequality in communication was preserved, but his heroes communicate easily, simply and without ranks. Yes, and where the environment is casually presented, there are no questions from the word “generally”.
By the way, “we” got rid of this by the end of the sixties, in the English-speaking world – by about the nineties, and even then – not always and not everywhere (although already “almost”).
Clear examples of what happens if you fail in this matter are Efremov and Azimov. For the first one, everything is so bad that, by our standards, others are already ready to call it a regulated dystopia, and for the second, it is now (again) extremely successful from the technical side, but, again, the dialogues are pathos and laughter (with the fact that the translators also smoothed out the heat).
By the way, if you are interested, you can look at the review of the “stories”. Or just start reading . Or buy “in paper”, if you like it that way, since it costs a penny.
He predicted both mass distribution and miniaturization. He did not predict only such an increased reliability of modern computer technology, but in conditions when the average time until the next failure of the computers of those years was calculated at intervals from minutes to hours, this is excusable.
It follows from this that “there is a person behind every machine”, and manual backup mechanisms are fitted to all electronics, up to mechanics, electromechanics and the pilot’s brains, which should be able to calculate the trajectory correction “by hand”.
But from this, paradoxically, such a phenomenon as accounting for “bugs” turned out:
He did not hear a word of what Burst was saying – he was drawing curves on the board, and Donkey Meadow, as usual, muffled the answers of the electronic Calculator, so that the answerer eventually got confused in the calculations.
The charter allowed to resort to the help of the Calculator, but Donkey Meadow had his own theory on this matter: “The Calculator is the same person,” he said, “and can blunder.”
And in the end?
And as a result, we get “our time + 20” with minor deviations from what is already being predicted. In any case, of all the science fiction writers of those years, I don’t know those who would “hit” more precisely (except for Asimov in some aspects, but more on that some other time).
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