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What did Harry Harrison, author of Sci Fi books, know?

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posted on May, 21 2012 @ 11:28 AM
Hi all.

Some years ago I had pleasure in reading some books about a character called the Stainless Steel Rat, by the above author.

In one of his books his character is about to break into a building, when a flying insect talks to him. That book was written in 70's

Last year I read an article about spying insects probably on the BBC website, but I include a link from the Sun UK newspaper, which was easier to find.

So what, I hear you cry? Sci Fi writers are always at the cutting edge of information and ideas.

Very true and had I not found another, remarkable reference in another of his books which I am re-reading, I would have not bothered, but this reference, from another of the series, "The Stainless Steel Rat's Revenge" brought me up short.

"At the same moment I heard the rising rumble of approaching jets......They roared by overhead, TRIANGLES OF DARKNESS AGAINST THE NIGHT SKY" Pub 1970, Chapter 6 page 46

Is this just a co-incidence or did he know something, after all, he was right about the flying insects?

Has anyone else read these books and noticed any forward thinking?

Did he have any inside knowledge?

What do you think of these co-incidences?

I am now reading with a renewed interest, just to see what else he might have known, or imagined about.

posted on May, 21 2012 @ 11:46 AM
Life imitating art again, it's amazing just how closely entwined our imaginations are with the progress of our shared reality, even if it is 40 years down the road.

posted on May, 21 2012 @ 11:53 AM
reply to post by dowot

The reference to triangular shaped jets was not much of a stretch given the number of delta wing aircraft in service prior to 1970.

Examples include the AVRO Vulcan, B-58 Hustler, F-102 Delta Dagger, F-106 Delta Dart, Mirage III, and Mirage IV.

The idea of a flying insect machine being used to somehow spy on people doesn't seem that much of a stretch either. Surely you have heard of the expression "fly on the wall" in reference to a desire to eavesdrop on a conversation without being noticed. The expression dates back to at least the 1920s.
edit on 21/5/12 by erwalker because: comment on insect

posted on May, 21 2012 @ 02:47 PM
reply to post by erwalker

You are right I suppose, I just thought that that passage was so like the descriptions made by people, who have seen modern day triangular aircraft.

Having been lucky enough (?) to have had a trio of Vulcan's fly above me I certainly appreciate the magnificence of the spectacle.

Fly on the wall, is not really the same as a flying insect that talks, but again, thinking like an author, perhaps it is just a stretch of imagination.

I wonder what other Sci Fi writers have dreamed up such ideas?

posted on May, 21 2012 @ 03:28 PM

Originally posted by dowot
Did he have any inside knowledge?

It was his job to write this stuff. He read science literature and stuff like "Popular Mechanics" and extrapolated from them. You can do the same thing, although it's a little harder these days because science fiction has already pushed pretty far into the future with things. But you can still find things that are far out enough to make a story up about them.

Here, off the top of my head. Imagine somebody invents a universal translator. You can communicate with any form of life there is. So what if you hook it up to your own body, and can now communicate with all of your individual cells? They're all individual life forms, right? How would that play out? Would your cells worship you as a god? Would they try to organize and take over so you don't poison yourself with crappy food?

That's what science fiction guys do. Take a concept, run with it, and see how it would cause trouble for some guy. It's not "inside knowledge."

posted on May, 23 2012 @ 03:46 AM
reply to post by Blue Shift

Thanks, BS for putting me right on how authors write. Guess it never occurred to me that they would just read up and embellish.

So I can now go back to reading and just enjoying.

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