What piece of technology most makes you feel like you’re “living in the future”? Laptop Magazine asked a number of speculative-fiction writers that question, including Jeffrey A. Carver, John Scalzi, Charlie Stross, and Tobias Buckell.

Interestingly, most of them responded the iPhone (or in Scalzi’s case, the iPod Touch).

Jeffrey Carver said, after the Star Trek-inspired nature of his flip-to-open cellphone:

My second thought was eBook reader. I love reading on my Sony Reader and also on my Dell PDA, which I keep almost for the sole purpose of using as a book reader, especially for reading in the dark. And the new iPad looks about as much like the electronic reading slates on Next Generation as you can get.

I agree with Scalzi: the iPod Touch epitomizes “futuristic tech” for me. If only Douglas Adams were still alive, he would be amazed at how completely his vision has been realized in this little pocket-portable information appliance. Even more so the iPhone (though I don’t have one of those yet).

What gadget says “I’m living in the future” to you?


  1. To me, pretty much any smartphone says “living in the future.” With worldwide communication availability, web access, audio/visual recording ability, entertainment in multiple media, organizer functions and the ability to carry around (and edit) documents and files… and not to mention expandability through other apps and connected hardware… about the only thing you can’t do with one is to reverse the polarity on a warp field generator.

  2. If it lasts longer than 2 years, my 52″ plasma TV that cost the same as the 36″ tube TV I bought 2 years before. I don’t hear anyone in science fiction complaining about the service fees on their Hitchhiker’s Guides or Communicators and until I can get a phone/computer and data plan for under $500 a year, I call foul.

    The Kindle is the closest thing to that… but the device is hardly futuristic looking!

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