Science Fiction or Future Fact?

Historical fiction and science fiction both use literary time-travel as a means to convey universal truths. We can put ourselves in the shoes of a Civil War soldier about to march into the Battle of Gettysburg and relate to his fear and his patriotism. And we can imagine the excitement and trepidation Ender experiences as he embarks on anti-gravity training in the sci-fi novel, Ender’s Game.

Things to Come movie poster
H.G. Wells’ Things to Come is a 1936 film that explored space travel.

What sets science fiction apart is that it can drive real future innovation. Did you know that Star Wars-inspired lightsabers are now a reality? Did you know that Orson Scott Card predicted the Internet, interactive video games and tablets in the now-Hollywood blockbuster Ender’s Game, which was published almost 30 years ago?

There are many examples of prescient predictions in the sci-fi genre. Why? Perhaps because the writers’ visions of the future helped spark an idea – one that seemed impossible, but inspired our imagination. The various fiction versions of the future seem to infiltrate our consciousness and color the way we innovate for generations. 

We know the world needs more scientists to concretize those works of fiction, but what about the people who ignite the spark? The literary, poetic, and cinematic dreamers who think, ”What if?” We need more of them, too. Most importantly, we need them to apply their creative imaginings to make the future world a better place.

That’s why Intel has partnered with Arizona State University’s Center for Science and the Imagination, as well as Society for Science and the Public, to hold the Future Powered by Fiction contest. The contest is accepting submissions of science fiction stories, essays, comics, graphic novels and videos from 13- to 25-year-olds worldwide. The prizes? Ten entries will win $1,000 each and have their works featured in the Tomorrow Project Anthology and website – and the bragging rights aren’t too shabby.

Visit the Future Powered by Fiction website for contest entry information. The deadline for entries is November 14.

Follow @IntelFuturist on Twitter for up-to-date information. Visit Society for Science and the Public to learn more about the understanding and appreciation of science.

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