Most prophetic piece of Science fiction

Wow! How is this illustration not more famous? It should have been on a dozen magazine covers in 2020.

Next, you’ll tell me there’s a line in the story: “And then half the students exclaimed to the professor: ‘Sir, you are mutified!’”

On the other hand, apparently neither of the illustrators, and perhaps not the author, could envision the notion of the images of the students being smaller than life size, and hence the Visiphone as a whole must be the size of an entire lecture hall. I mean, it’s not like the professor could clearly see the faces on the panes clear up in the corner.

Page 50. The issue also has predictions about 2001 from experts on the future such as Sid Caesar and Salvador Dali. Need to look at these!

I’ve read that one - and should have thought of it as an example.

No, but there’s a student who turns up late due to connection issues (hence the one blank screen).

If anything, Nineteen Eighty-Four is a pretty good description of modern-day North Korea - a state perpetually at war with an imaginary enemy, in a constant state of technological and societal decline, where the elite live lives of leisure and the peasantry and workers are subject to the arbitrary rules of a regime that punishes any dissention harshly (when they aren’t being treated like they don’t exist), and a good deal of the state’s propaganda is dedicated to show projects intended to project an illusion of bounty and plenty.

Back to the Future 2 had some good hits like picture-taking drones, Cubs wining the World Series and MLB in Miami, paying with a fingerprint, gigantic flatscreen tvs.

Not to mention that we all know that hoverboards are real, but the government is keeping them locked up in the same warehouse as the Ark of the Covenant.

Granted, it got plenty wrong. Public payphones and print newspapers? Yecch.

I’m still waiting for my ugly rubbery jacket with one arm longer than the other that shrinks to fit me.

And Max Spielberg really did become a film director:

Well, looking at his IMDB filmography, that’s his only credited title as director.

He probably doesn’t want to overshadow his dad.

I’m trying to think about which cli-fi novel was most prophetic. Any proposals? Ballard tends to be too dystopian. Heavy Weather by Sterling?

Had to look this up: “Climate fiction.”

(I thought maybe “clinical fiction,” as in epidemics.)

George R.R. Martin’s Tuf Voyaging is a sf environmental satire, on one level (and one of my favorite sf books ever), but I wouldn’t call it prophetic, as such.

In an odd way, Wyndham’sThe Kraken Wakes. Not because I think AGW is caused by deep sea alien invaders but because a constant theme of the book is the total unwillingness of government and people to face the facts until it’s too late. There’s lots of “Ho ho these theories are all very fanciful Professor but we are practical men” stuff that has obvious parallels.

How exactly did these specimens get born? Artificial wombs?

Presumably unspecified, but since humans are already born “early” (our infants are very helpless), there is no reason that the bulging forehead/giant brain couldn’t grow post-partum.

And why did they all need glasses? It doesn’t seem to be part of the communication system.

In further support of 1984’s predictive powers, we are quite a ways down the path of sending unwanted news down the memory hole.

There are lawyers and Orwellian-sounding “digital risk protection services” helping businesses and individuals hide or delete unfavorable stories and reviews, or minimize the chance of search results turning them up. Some news organizations are proactively purging their websites of crime news to protect or rehabilitate reputations after the fact.

There are still women in the world. But private universities were almost all men-only in 1915.

It was pretty common at the time to assume that because the educated class was no longer doing manual labor that humans would evolve to have big, bulging brains but be physically weak and ineffectual. And reading would ruin eyes.