Friday, December 31, 2010

Remembering the Future

Sometime in the early seventies, I discovered a stash of old comic books in my grandparents' house in Flushing, New York. 

They were all circa 1954-1955, mostly science fiction-themed, and formerly (though in hindsight, still) the property of my Uncle Doug, who at the time was serving as a medical officer in the U.S. Air Force in Austin, Texas. 

But my grandmother said to take them. And take them, I did. To a guy who came to our local library, showed a few episodes of "Star Trek," and offered to buy everyone's old comic books for cash. 

God knows how little I got for them. And how much they'd have fetched today. 

The one I remember best took place on Mars in the distant future of 1974. Men and women in fashionable tights used laser weapons to fight off the various indigenous reptilian creatures that were always trying to make a meal of them. 

Imagine that: 1974 was the far off future. Just like Orwell's 1984. And the 2001 of the Kubrick/Arthur C. Clarke film. 

And here we are, on the eve of the 10th anniversary of 2001. 

What used to be the future is now the past. 

Nobody is using lasers to defend colonies on Mars from invading reptiles. And fortunately, not everyone is wearing fashionable tights. (Although my daughters and their friends have been known to wear a jeans/leggings hybrid called "jeggings.") 

But with the Internet and all it offers, we've certainly achieved many of the dreams of the science fiction writers of yore. And the pace of technological evolution seemingly compounds every day. 

Tomorrow, today will seem like the Iron Age. 

Here's to the future. Starting with tonight. 

Happy New Year, everyone. 

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1 comment:

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