Many authors use their imagination to pen tales that take the reader on a journey featuring people, places and objects not found in reality. From the deepest oceans to the furthest reaches of space, these books are filled with the weird and the wonderful. However, a few books contained descriptions that, while pure speculation at the time, turned out to become a reality many, many years later. The following seven books all predicted the future in one way or another.
Written by Jules Verne in 1865, From The Earth to The Moon is the tale of the Baltimore Gun Club and their attempts to send men to the moon. The idea of using a "space cannon" is obviously rather impractical, but the book did predict that the launch site for the cannon would be in Florida. This was more than 100 years before the construction of the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
Most people are familiar with the film, but Arthur C. Clarke published the novel version of 2001: A Space Odyssey shortly afterwards in 1968. One of the most startling predictions in the novel is the use of "newspads" that can be used to read the word's major electronic papers. It wasn't until many years later that iPads were invented that enables users to do just that.
Althogh the Internet did exist in 1984 when William Gibson published his novel, Neuromancer, there was no World Wide Web. However, Gibson predicted that thieves would use exotic software in "cyberspace" to hack into corporate systems and steal data. Not only is "cyberspace" still a popular term for the Word Wide Web, invented in 1993, but hacking is a major headache for corporations.
Although released in 1969, Stand on Zanzibar by John Brunner contains numerous startling predictions about the year 2010. Not only is the name of the U.S President "Obomi", but the world is also dealing with regular terrorist attacks and people have access to electric cars. In addition, satellite TV is common and people use avatars to represent themselves on video screens.
In his 1909 novel, author E. M. Forster describes characters talking to each other on screens despite living on opposite sides of the Earth. Of course many years later the invention of the Internet and instant messaging as well as video conferencing software, such as Skype, made this prediction a reality.
Many years before the invention of antidepressants in the 1950s, Brave New World the 1932 novel by Aldous Huxley describes a society dependent on a psychoactive drug that is able to induce calmness while subduing malice and bad tempers. These days it is common for Ritalin to be prescribed to boisterous children while the use of prescription antidepressants have soared amongst adults.
The cigarette-package-sized radios connected to dainty cones plugged into the ears of the users sounded like pure science fiction to readers back in 1953 when it was published, but is instantly recognizable to modern readers. In addition to predicting portable audio devices with earbud designs, the book also offers an accurate description of the current obsession with electronic media for entertainment and information.