Differences Between Reality and Science Fiction

So, reading science fiction novels, watching science fiction films, I think it’s fairly common practice to compare our own technologies to the ones in these fictions. And when I make these comparisons, what I interesting is that although some of our real technologies have advanced far beyond those available, there is still a very wide gap between our real technologies and the imagined ones of SF.

Real hoverboards don’t work over water
Real hoverboards are a little bulkier, use electromagnetism,  and require a hover surface to work
Real hoverboards are a little bulkier, use electromagnetism, and require a hover surface to work

For more info on real life hoverboards:


Differences between SF and reality are fairly self-explanatory, but that won’t stop me from explaining them.

We don’t have these… yet

The physical appearance of the technology common in science fiction, and especially in dystopian SF, differs starkly from our own.  Often in SF everything is polished, shiny, round, seemingly never dirty, and extremely expensive looking. In reality however, we have yet to develop a cheap form of reproducing the sorts of surfaces and architecture which characterize SF.

Me appreciating SF

Also differing from SF,  reality is subject to the laws of entropy, and since we have yet to create a race of maid-droids capable of doing all of the chores, it is up to us sorry humans to do them. The quality of technology in SF versus reality is also vastly different. For example, space travel, though possible in real life, differs vastly from SF in the ease at which spacecraft navigate the cosmos in SF. SF, much more than reality, is much more capable of satisfying Clarke’s third law – that any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

Not magical, cannot remove dust from the top of the refrigerator, cannot experience love

And so, quite sadly, the lack of accessibility to such advanced technologies, and the expense of creating them, are major preventative force which works against creating the magical, iPod-esque world that SF sometimes seems to aspire to.

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