Secret Science Fiction


T here are massive collections of amazing science fiction stories that you’ll most likely never be allowed to read. The creators of these stories range from best-selling The New York Times authors to emerging talents and even some purposely anonymous imagineers. This secret science fiction explores space travel, biotechnology, quantum computers, and even time travel, and the tales are filled with heroes and villains, exotic locales, and cliff-hanger endings. But few people will ever be allowed to read these tantalizingly taboo stories because they’re science fiction prototypes written for global corporations, governments, the military, and other organizations to explore key strategies, technologies, and products that are as valuable as patents, state secrets, and intellectual property. Welcome to the world of secret science fiction prototyping. These researchers use science fiction based on science fact to create science fiction prototypes that explore the human, cultural, ethical, and legal impact of technology and science. For some time now, organizations have been using these prototypes as a tool both to explore the implications of these factors and as an internal communications vehicle to capture concepts so that a wider audience can discuss them. Science fiction prototyping is far more interesting as a communications tool than an interoffice memo or a product specification. It also captures the human experience with science and technology—something neither memos nor specifications can do effectively.

DOI: 10.1109/MC.2013.180

Cite this paper

@article{Johnson2013SecretSF, title={Secret Science Fiction}, author={Brian David Johnson}, journal={IEEE Computer}, year={2013}, volume={46}, pages={105-107} }