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Monday, February 23rd, 2009

Time Event
Just in Case you have not read Chesterton
If any of you, dear readers, have not heard of G.K. Chesterton, and have not read him, I urge you, to your immense benefit and pleasure, to correct the omission at once. Why have you not heard of him? I cannot find better words than those of Dale Ahlquist President, American Chesterton Society, whose essay I quote here in full, without comment and without further ado:

"Who is this guy and why haven’t I heard of him?"

I’ve heard the question more than once. It is asked by people who have just started to discover G.K. Chesterton. They have begun reading a Chesterton book, or perhaps have seen an issue of Gilbert! Magazine, or maybe they’ve only encountered a series of pithy quotations that marvelously articulate some forgotten bit of common sense. They ask the question with a mixture of wonder, gratitude and . . . resentment. They are amazed by what they have discovered. They are thankful to have discovered it. And they are almost angry that it has taken so long for them to make the discovery.

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Science Fiction and the Power of Prediction
As a courtesy to Mark Shea, who asked me to weigh in on the question of Science Fiction's track record predicting the future, I can think of no more efficient way to answer than to reprint my answer to a similar question posed by the worthies at SFSignal. Here is what I said then. (The answer applies equally to all science fiction, not merely to the Golden Age of SF): 

Science fiction is often accused of being The Great Predictor. Which predictions did Golden Age science fiction get right? Which ones were way off the mark?

The key to this question is to interpret what is meant by the "Golden Age." Rather than straining my brain for the answer, I will simply pull up a convenient list of the top ten science fiction books of all time as compiled by Jim Baen.

Now, your list or mine might differ, but our lists will not have any greater weight of judgment behind them than the one drawn up by one of the most famous and longstanding editors in the field. Let us look at the books and see which predictions came true, shall we?

Let us list the books and their predictions:

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