[SIGCIS-Members] Literature on the place of science fiction (and its fandom) in the history of technology

Janet Abbate abbate at fastmail.com
Fri Aug 17 15:21:48 PDT 2018

David Ferro and Eric Swedin edited a volume called "Science Fiction and Computing: Essays on Interlinked Domains” (McFarland & Company, 2011).  I have an essay in there on Vernor Vinge and the Internet. 

I used to assign SF in an undergrad history of technology course as a way for students to grasp both cultural meanings of technology and the fact that assumptions about how technology will evolve are often wrong. For example, Isaac Asimov’s 1956 story “The Last Question” (which students love) assumes that as computers get more powerful they must become physically larger, culminating with planet-sized supercomputers. Miniaturization was not a self-evident trend. Then I ask students what current conventional wisdom about computers might be wrong.


> On Aug 17, 2018, at 11:48 AM, David C. Brock <dcb at dcbrock.net> wrote:
> Dear All,
> I would be very grateful to learn of your favorite pieces that you’ve read on this topic: the place, role, and function of science fiction and science fiction fandom in the history of technology, and especially the history of computing. I’m wholly ignorant about it, bibliographically.
> Thanks as ever,
> David
> +++++++++++++++
> David C. Brock
> dcb at dcbrock.net
> 40 Russell Street, Greenfield, MA 01301 
> Mobile: 413-522-3578 
> Skype: dcbrock 
> Twitter: @dcbrock
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