Science. Not fiction.

I had a vivid dream the other night. It was recalling a genuine memory of an incident at university, rather than the usual surreal nonsense. This was at a time when only 3% of the young’uns attended college.

My course involved heaps of group projects where you had to work with dozens of other students. I was approaching the onset of finals when – after something far too long to go into here – I was struck by a sudden realisation, a thought at once perfect, genuine, complete, crystalline, and pure.

None of these people I’m working with are particularly imaginative or even bright.

My second was, “In thirty years, this lot are going to be leading politicians and captains of industry.” My third immediate thought was, “Oh %$%^^ and ^%^&*.”

When I woke up, I wondered how I can have forgotten that deep life lesson, until now?

Almost everything good in our lives that has made it materially better has emerged from technology and science moving forward (vaccines, anyone?). All that is largely rubbish has come from bureaucracy, political games, rules for thee and not for me, and very sharp elbows. We often achieve because of the former and in the bitter face of the latter.

I’m certain there’s a good reason my subconscious surfaced this ancient memory.

I will leave you, dear reader, to courageously wade into 2021 with a few chronologically arranged predictions of the future from the great and the good – for I have glimpsed what is to come, and it is very much like the present, only a lot longer.

“The Americans have need of the telephone, but we do not. We have plenty of messenger boys.”
—William Preece, Head of the British Post Office (1876).

“The horse is here to stay, but the automobile is only a novelty, a fad.”
—President of the Michigan Savings Bank (1903).

“I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.”
—Thomas Watson, IBM chairman (1943).

There’s practically no chance communications space satellites will be used to provide better telephone, telegraph, television or radio service.”
—Head of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (1961)

“There’s no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share.”
—Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO (2007).


I am an author of various fantasy, science fiction, crime and other genre books from Gollancz, Hachette and HarperCollins. Some day I hope to grow up and be an astronaut. Exploring Mars would be nice.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.