Isaac Asimov on Science Fiction: the Reaction, not the Action

In “Future? Tense!” in his essay collection From Earth to Heaven (1965), Isaac Asimov wrote about the nature of science fiction. He noted that science-fictioneers are stereotyped either as indulgers in weird fantasies or as farsighted predictors of the future. After discussing some SFers’ successful, if limited, predictions, he notes:

Do you see, then, that the important prediction is not the automobile, but the parking problem; not radio, but the soap-opera; not the income tax but the expense account; not the Bomb but the nuclear stalemate? Not the action, in short, but the reaction?

Not the technological advance, but what would happen if it became common.

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