Books of the future, by Manel Esteller


Recently I have encouraged myself with a colleague and well-known disseminator, Salvador Macipto write a book called ‘One day the door will open’, formed by tales of imagination and mystery. Somewhat in the tradition of masters like Edgar Allan Poe, HP Lovecraft or my youth idol Italo Calvin. This work has also been labeled as a book of the science fiction genre, being nominated for the 2022 Must-See Awards in Fantasy Literature to my surprise and gratitude to the readers. An alternative word that I also like to define these categories is to call them works of ‘anticipation’. They anticipate what may happen in the future. I think I’ve ever confessed that one of the best EGB classes (I’m a ‘baby boomer’, sorry!) were those of a teacher who made us read the ‘Youth Literary Jewels’ of the Editorial Bruguera. In those early readings I discovered jules verne and since then the adventures he recounted have always accompanied me. Well, these compositions are works of anticipation describing advances and achievements that were not yet fully present and would come to fruition in later years: from the submarine to the plane or from the arrival on the Moon to the missiles. Actually, I only remember one novel that has not been fulfilled: ‘Journey to the Center of the Earth’. In it, the explorers enter the Earth’s crust downstream, when today we still do not have the means to do so and at the same time prevent the pressure from crushing us.

There may be darker futures, some will say they are already here. as in the novel ‘1984’, by George Orwell, where a hierarchical society subject to strict control has destroyed that vain hope of individual freedom. Could it be that a world where overexposure to social networks is that Big Eye that sees everything? Could the internet, a tool initially developed by scientists to talk to each other, have become that great censor and inquisitor instead of giving us the freedom it promised? I do not know. The truth is more and more dystopian novels proliferate where we are shown a different present and an unappetizing future. Perhaps one of the first in this genre was ‘The Man in the High Castle’, by Philip K. Dick, where we are shown that the Second World War ended very differently and the Nazis and the Japanese Empire divided up the world. These dystopian worlds have also been widely treated in the cinema, where surely the saga ‘Terminators’in which the machines created by humanity seek the extinction of the same, or the films of the series ‘Matrix’, where humans live in an artificial dream built by the dominant machines, are the best examples. This idea of how technology will overtake peopleand how a loss of the human condition will make us weaker and more servile, is gaining ground.

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I find novels of fantasy, imagination, mystery, science fiction, anticipation, or whatever you want to call these genres to be particularly appealing if they are written by authors with a scientific background. For example H. G. Wells He studied biology and then wrote ‘The Time Machine’, ‘The Island of Doctor Moreau’ or ‘The Invisible Man’, anticipating space-time paradoxes, genetic manipulation or new military camouflage technologies. the doctor Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of the extraordinary Sherlock Holmes, invented the figure of Professor Challenger, who among other feats visited the deep sea or discovered living fossils in the form of dinosaurs. And the most widely read science fiction author, Issac Asimov, was a remarkable biochemist with great knowledge of science. Another great creator of dystopian worlds like those reflected in the works of the ‘Foundation’ and the laws of robotics. privileged minds.

So read. And if you can, do it in front of your children. Less and less is being read and at the same time the reading comprehension of young people also seems to have decreased. However, surely they have acquired other skills. Will these new properties be what will allow them to survive and succeed in these new dystopian worlds that are guessed? Only the future will tell and the present of this article has already died.


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