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I just came out of a screening of Lo and Behold: Reveries of the connected world , a documentary by Werner Herzog about the past, present and future of the internet (very recommended indeed.) One of the interviewees is Lawrence Krauss who remarks how eerie is that, among all the things predicted by science fiction, internet was missing. I think he meant to say that internet didn't became a staple of science fiction as other futuristic inventions like humanoid robots, flying cars and interstellar vehicles did. There are a couple of stories that mention inventions that convincingly mimic today's internet (see this other post), but they are relatively spare. I cannot think of a single well-known story in which an internet-like technology is central to the plot.

Is there a good reason why the community of science fiction writers never saw the advent of the internet or at least never grew interested on it? What about writers that deal with more psychological or philosophical question in their science fiction? Quotations and specific references are highly appreciated.

Note: You can also disproves Krauss's claim, but, please, support appropriately your answer.

  • I was going to go straight for "The Machine Stops", which is addressed in the post you link to- but would you accept Sci-fi from the late 70's to the very early 90's as counter-examples, or are you specifically looking for works that predict the internet? Because many of them deal with the future of the internet in considerable depth. – VapedCrusader Sep 25 '16 at 21:48
  • I feel like this is pretty opinion-based. Not only would there be many reasons that this would be the case, most of which will be speculation, but either side could be true depending on how you look at it. – Adamant Sep 25 '16 at 21:50
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    "A Logic Named Joe" by Murray Leinster. See also this SFE article. – user14111 Sep 25 '16 at 22:44
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    I think the short answer is that it simply wasn't nearly as obvious how much such technology would affect society as it seems to be in hindsight. Certainly a number of stories included internet-like technology, just without predicting the manner and extent to which it would be used. – Harry Johnston Sep 25 '16 at 23:17
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    IMHO, SFF in general tends to do poorly when it comes to predicting social side effects of technology. Personal Computers, internet, cell phones, cheap mini video cameras in everybody's hands - they've all had profound social implications which SFF overlooked. Hard SF tends to look at society as a machine when it's really more like an ecosystem, where unintended consequences can multiply faster than rabbits in Australia. – Joe L. Sep 26 '16 at 14:57