Our imagined moon has long inspired fear, excitement, hubris, and political ambition – fact and myth, science and science fiction have always intertwined.
Some of the engineers who advised Fritz Lang on his 1929 film, Frau im Mond went on to develop the first rocket capable of reaching space, Germany’s V-2. When they later moved to Huntsville, they took with them not just their know‑how but also Lang’s anticipation-quickening innovation of counting down the seconds before the rocket’s launch.
Science fiction is often seen as anticipation – a fiction peculiarly expected to graduate into fact. But if technologies once found only in SF do sometimes become real they do not, in so doing, always cease to be science fictional.
SF is not, after all, simply a literature about the future; it is a literature about the shock of new capacities and new perspectives, about transcendence, estrangement and resistance in the face of the inhuman. Its ideas shape and constrain the ways in which technological possibilities are seen, understood, and experienced long after those possibilities are first tentatively realised.
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