It appears to me, an uneducated sci-fi geek wannabe, that if the human mind can conceive of it, eventually we can bring it to fruition. What was fiction in the early part of the last century is the reality of today.
I’ve just been watching a TV program which included robotic limbs, both as human limb replacements and as human limb extensions (for remote use in dangerous locations). Limbs controlled by tiny electrical impulses from muscles, or by thought alone. Semi-realistic limbs, with 4 or 5 mobile and flexible fingers. Rather than guessing where we’ll be in 10 years, it’s easier to look back at where we were 10 years ago and imagine if we make the same rate of progress.
The same is true in so many areas of traditional sci-fi topics such as robotics, space travel, energy, communication. I remember watching the black and white Flash Gordon and thinking how awesome it would be, to be able to see the person you were talking to on the phone.
Now video conferencing and videophone technology is increasingly commonplace.
It appears that at all scales (from space travel to the moon to the tiny elements of motors and computers), if sci-fi authors have imagined it, then science practitioners have brought it about and made it a reality.
I am sure that people more clever than me debate this all the time. Asking questions about whether we make our own reality and hence anything we imagine can be made real, or that since sci-fi is based on a kernel of reality it’s bound to be possible to develop the ideas into real stuff. But for me, I just like thinking about it. Does sci-fi drive science research? If you spent your youth watching C3-PO does that in turn result in your Robotics research taking the form of a large golden humanoid with a personality disorder?
Is it inevitable that most of the inventions of science fiction will become reality?