Wednesday, December 19, 2012

When Does Fiction Become Reality?

I follow Media Bistro's RSS feed, Galley Cat. They recently released a list of TED Talks that were made by writers. John Green talked about learning communities and his experience with them online. However, the most interesting aspect of his speech was the idea for something immaterial to become material. His example was Agloe, New York. Agloe was a town that only existed on a map as a matter of copyright. However, because the town was printed on so many maps people started to visit the area. Eventually a general store was set up and the town became real.

The idea that what we write or draw may become real someday is not foreign. We have been seeing science fiction become part of our everyday life for years with things like holograms, small computers, better space technology, and medicine. 

I can imagine in a few years a couple fantasy creatures coming to life with the use of biotechnology. The movie Splice really pushed the boundaries of what biotechnology could create, even if it did have a dark twist. We already have glowing cats and rabbits that have been created in labs by taking the genes from luminescent jelly fish. Spider silk is being harvested from the milk of goats who've had spider DNA injected into their code. I imagine eventually you will be able to pick up your very own norwegian ridgeback dragon in the store. Of course it would have a better temperament than the one of J.K. Rowling's imagination and come in toy size, like poodles.

What we create in fiction in any way has the possibility of coming to life. Especially if we find people who have an interest in that fiction. Agloe, New York became a real place because there was business driving through trying to find the town. It made sense to set up shop at the crossroads. There would be a market for dragons I'm sure. Though not ones that could breathe fire! Think of all of the lawsuits that would bring.

I will be curious to see what future minds will imagine for their science fiction stories, and what pieces of fiction will make their way into reality. 

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