‘Where Silverberg goes today, the rest of science fiction will follow tomorrow’
This month: ‘My Trip to the Future’
I used to be a cutting-edge sort of guy, the sort who likes to fill his life with the newest and most interesting gadgets. I had a VCR when they were considered wildly futuristic. (They are so non-futuristic now that many of you probably don’t know what VCRs were. Well, Google it.) Before that, I had a pocket tape recorder to serve as a notebook for story ideas as I moved about. I had one of the earliest Sony Walkmans. (Another forgotten gadget.) I went shopping for my first computer in 1978. (The salesman told me to wait a couple of years until the hard drive was available, and I did.) And so on and so forth. I wrote about this in much more detail in a 2012 column. But all that happened when I was in my thirties and forties, which was a long time ago. I’m in my eighties now and much less interested in reading instruction manuals. I have opted out of a lot of contemporary gizmos.
For example, I don’t have a cell phone. I can think of just two other SF writers who don’t have one, and one of them is older than I am, and the other one is no youngster. All the rest of the world, so far as I’m aware, has them and uses them constantly . . .
You can read the rest of the column here, and find Robert Silverberg’s eBooks here – including Reflections and Refractions, a collection of his non-fiction columns. Please note: each column will remain on the site for one month only.