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“Real or Fiction? Things I Didn’t Make Up" by Sean Williams


“Real or Fiction? Things I Didn’t Make Up" by Sean Williams

You’d think a novel about teleporters (a.k.a. “d-mat”) would be totally sci-fi, but it’s not, I swear. Just about everything in this book either exists right now or is right around the corner. For instance:
1.     Put “teleportation” into Google, and you’ll find hundreds of links to real science experiments showing that in principle it’s possible. The only thing separating us from d-mat is engineering. (Truly a humungous amount of engineering, but we’ll get there. Trust me.)
2.     One of the truly cool spin-offs of d-mat is fabbing—taking a pattern of something that’s gone through d-mat and re-creating it from that pattern over and over again. This might sound amazing, but again it’s not fundamentally different from 3D printing, which we have right now.

3.     Then there are Clair’s lenses. Contact lenses that work like miniature TVs or telescopes exist today. With a built-in gestural interface, this could give us a Google Glass that works. From there it’s just a short step to using the equivalent of Facebook “likes” to change the world.
4.     What else? Oh yeah, the Skylifter. There’s a company that makes UFO-shaped blimps for cranes, cargo lifters, even palatial passenger transport. I want one. (Hint hint, if anyone from Skylifter is reading.) Then there’s beaming concentrated solar power down to Earth from satellites in space, reading speech directly from the mind, having one time zone for the entire planet, and surveillance drones—all things that are entirely possible, if not happening right now.

6.     Not all the news is good, of course: the Water Wars are obviously one downside of the impending eco-apocalypse, along with higher sea levels and flooded cities. But there really are schemes to relocate endangered species to environments far from where they evolved. Elephants in Australia could happen one day.
7.     Lastly, one of my favorite things in Twinmaker is the Sphinx Observatory, with its Ice Palace and an elevator that goes up the heart of a mountain. It sounds too cool to be true, but I assure you it isn’t. Look it up and marvel, as I often do, at the beauty of all things science.

And don’t miss the D-mat: Everywhere for Everyone video. How long do you think it will be, until these commercials are everywhere?


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