The Amazing Adventures of Sara Corel
A novel by Toomey

'Herr Docktor' Stuff
Lisa Binkley

      I think that Heinlen, Clarke, Niven, etc. (with the possible exception of Asimov — who, as I understand it, was a 'chromedome') did pretty much as you have. Take a plausible theory and expand on it. I think the researchers who are now verifying or debunking the hypotheses of those works of fiction were as taken by them as all us sci-fiers have been. Do you think the Moon/Mars missions may have come about because somebody read Wells? I do. Gene Roddenberry was an explorer, trail-blazer. What science has the power to accomplish is first visualized by dreamers.
      So invent away. You may be encouraging a future breakthrough or engage the imagination of a adolescent S. Hawking-to-be. Not to be too strange, but — what the hell, why not? — if we would have imagined things differently would science have taken a different path? Say, instead of Wells, someone like… Ooo! I hate when I can't think of a name. The guy who writes the books where magic is science and science is considered magic. (There are several now, I know.) Anyway. What if his stories had grabbed on earlier? Would we now be levitating payloads instead of space-shuttling? (Probably would be cheaper, I suspect.)
      There is a line in some sci-fi thing (Star Trek, most likely) or other, or several. When the aliens are told that such technologies have been proven impossible by so-and-so's theory of whatever-ism, the aliens respond, "We developed different theories." Which is pretty much my take on things — the one line which has struck my fancy with, as yet, undiscovered ripples.
      All I know is that when I think about it too hard, I get that I've-gotta-stop-doing-drugs feeling. I don't, but that's how I extrapolate the sensation. Besides, who needs drugs when fiction is so potent and life is so weird naturally? Wine, in medicinal quantities, enhances both.

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© Patrick Hill, 2000