Top 5 Science Fiction Books That Predicted the Future

Science fiction is aliterary and cinematographic genre that tries to capture hypotheses about scientific and technological situations; that is, the possibilities if x or y event occurs. But how much remains in pure fiction?

Surprisingly, science fiction has been able to predict future events in detail long before they actually occur. Books that were seen as imaginative ended up being visionaries if we talk about achievements, misfortunes and inventions. Discover the 5 most striking science fiction books that predicted the future and were right.

#1 Looking Backward from Edward Bellamy (1888)

Looking Backward is a utopian science fiction novel written by Edward Bellamy, journalist and writer from Massachusetts. This author in his work talks about how society would be at the beginning of the s.xxi in an attempt to predict the future. 

Embodying a welfare state, where people are rewarded according to the work they do and with full rights, was the third biggest sales success of its time, creating a mass political movement.

But what surprised his science fiction book was the prediction of the use of credit cards in the future, something incomprehensible for the time, when describing the concept of asking for money from the central bank and not needing physical money. Years later, in 1950 it was invented, leaving with open mouth all those who labeled this idea too unrealistic.

Looking Back from Edward Bellamy - Science fiction book that predicts credit cards creation

#2 The world set free from H.G. Wells (1914)

H.G. Wells is a pioneer in science fiction. And his novel The World Sets Free, is based on the prediction of the most destructive and uncontrollable weapon. Speaking about atomic bombs, in 1945 this fact becomes reality in Japan's future with the events of Hiroshima and Nagasaki that we all know.

The most striking thing is that it describes in detail its use for military purposes and how this would provoke a new world order based on superpower blocs, a fact that undoubtedly refers to the Second World War.  

Has H.G. Wells known anything to get him to write about this deadly weapon? Or was it all simple literary science fiction speculation?

#2 The world set free from H.G. Wells (1914) - Book that predicts atomic bombs of  Hiroshima and Nagasaki

#3 Stand on Zanzibar from John Brunner (1968)

John Brunner was one of the most productive science fiction authors, writing 5000 words in his good days. His science fiction novel tells a story about the future of humanity, where in 2010 there is overpopulation, intelligent computers, video calls and hallucinogens marketed en masse.  

Undoubtedly a great reflection and the scariest thing is the number of future events, such as the creation of the European Union, that could predict almost perfectly:

  • The main rival of the United States is China in terms of economy, trade and technology. 
  • Terrorism invades the US, even attacking buildings in the interior of the country.
  • Prices in North America have increased sixfold between 1960 and 2010.
  • Spontaneous acts of violence often occur in schools.
  • Europeans have formed a union to improve their economy and influence. 
  • Decades of struggle have brought people of color into positions of power, although discrimination continues to exist.
  • There are electric vehicles.
  • In airplanes, each passenger has their own entertainment screen.

Stand on Zanzibar - Science fiction book that predicts the future

Surprising amount of information. What do you think of John’s predictions in his science fiction book?

#4 The Eyes of Darkness by Dean Koontz (1981)

This science fiction book has caused great controversy in recent years for its accurate prediction of the coronavirus and the global pandemic in the future.  

Written in 1981, it talks about a virus that emerges in Wuhan (Wuhan-400) in the year 2020. This virus is very lethal, as it kills in 24 hours 100% of those infected. Although the covid appears in 2019 and is much less lethal, the year and the city are quite accurate.

Also, this science fiction book explains that this virus was created by Chinese military for a bacteriological war. A fact that has come to light among so many conspiracy theories about the beginning of the pandemic and the reason why this book has fascinated many.

Science fiction book that talks about the covid 19 pandemic - The Eyes of Darkness by Dean Koontz (1981)

#5 124C 41+ by Hugo Gernsback (1911)

Hugo Gernsback was a Luxembourg-born inventor, publisher and science fiction writer. Although his science fiction book, 124C 41+ refers to the year 2660, it talks about spectacular inventions and a creative vision of the future. He predicted the use of solar energy, which in the future, 67 years later, in 1978, became a reality with the creation of the first solar calculators.


Conclusion on books and science fiction

Science fiction has been created to seek out truths about the world, imagine the unimaginable and design fantastic alternate realities. Although everything written emerges from the writers' minds, it is impressive and shocking to see how something published years ago actually comes to life in the future.  

Which book impacted you the most from the list? Mine the coronavirus one, the accuracy is chilling.

If you were interested in this topic, continue reading:

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