They say life imitates art, and in the case of technology, it’s definitely true. I guess we human beings need to envision a fantastical future before we can create it! True, we don’t yet jet to work in flying cars or employ personal robots YET, but we do have Siri, GPS, Wifi, and the iPad!


So what inventions has science fiction predicted, and what innovations are in store for our generation? We’ve added a handy infographic to answer these questions after the jump.  Our animated guide will give you the rundown on sci-fi gadgets come to life.


In addition, we’re going to discuss ways our favorite science fiction pieces deal with the idea of technology! So whether you’re a total Sci-Fi nerd or a tech geek, this one’s for you! Ready? Beam us up, Scotty!


War of the Worlds


H.G. Wells was a profoundly influential character. Not only was he a widely read author of science fiction, but he was also a historian, zoologist, and proponent of Darwinist theory. In his most important text, War of the Worlds, Wells describes a future dystopia where Martians invade earth and terrorize humans using a deadly Heat Ray and Black Smoke. However, in his novel, Wells wasn’t concerned with explaining Martian technology so much as analyzing its effects on the human race. The book details ways humans are forced to cope with the aliens’ unfair technological advantages. In their efforts to survive, the British people are forced to confront their own animal instincts, analyze Imperialism, and consider a bleak future.


Martian technology isn’t the only advancement described in the novel. Again and again, trains and bikes are mentioned in the narrative. This may seem trivial to modern readers, but at the time of the book’s publication, these transportation advancements were fairly cutting edge, and audiences compared Martian technology to the new, industrial advancements of the age.


Ultimately, Wells’ novel was an attempt to enlighten readers of social injustice, prejudice, and waning empathy in society.  And he used economic, unsympathetic aliens and their technology as a lens through which we could view our own foibles.


Ray Bradbury and his Martian Chronicles


The Martian Chronicles really put Ray Bradbury on the map. And though most of the author’s scientific predictions didn’t come to pass (the novel is set in 1999), his prose was so influential that the acclaimed writer had an asteroid, lunar crater, and moon landing named after him! Not too shabby for a regular genius from Illinois! Like Wells, Bradbury also explores issues like human prejudice, colonization, and social evolution in his fiction! And though there is no known conscious life on Mars, the technology in the novel isn’t outrageous, the theme of change, both mechanical and existential is a predominant theme!


So what do you think, readers? Did any of these novels have a profound effect on you? Furthermore, do you ultimately see technological advancement as a positive tool for humankind, or do you view it as a source of conflict? Leave your comments below and check out our infographic on technology in pop culture! “Live long and prosper!”