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“Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn’t.” — Pudd’nhead Wilson’s New Calendar, Mark Twain
Ain’t it the truth. All you have to do is look at the news today. If in 1960 someone had written a science fiction novel about the 2020s with even half the things that are going on today his editors would have laughed at the draft when they encountered it on the slush pile. The world would lock down for a respiratory virus with a 1% fatality rate? Get outta here! That will never happen. The FBI would be colluding with a major political party and the New York Times to subvert justice? That’s wacko conspiracy theory territory. Big Brother would not come from the government but rather from public sector technology companies? That idea’s kinda out there, isn’t it?
For that matter, if you had written a novel about a world that had largely conquered poverty, pollution, and disease, and was a utopia where you could talk to anyone, anywhere in the world, and order goods from anywhere and get them quickly, but everyone was still obsessed that disaster was around the corner – it would have been flagged as unbelievable.
Yet here we are. All of those things are true. Mark Twain was right.Published in