There’s a thin line between science-fiction and simply fiction, and that line moves every time we develop new technologies. Technologies that seemed futuristic fifty years ago — or sometimes ten years ago — are commonplace today. The inclusion of a super-powerful, pocket computer with GPS and video communication no longer means a story is science-fiction; it just means the character has a phone.
The two stories that we have for you today both flirt with that thin line between science-fiction and current technology. In the first story, a mother has lost her ten-year-old daughter and must search for her in the virtual world. All of the technology in this story is available today, but we’re still seeing how its absorption into culture affects us. That’s what stories like The Most Complicated Avatar are for — not predicting the invention of new technologies but examining where they’ll take us once we have them.
Our second story falls on the other side of that thin line of technology. A Second Enchanted Evening is about a memory drug that can erase specific memories, and when it was written, the drug in the story seemed far-fetched at best, if not outright hand-wavey. Yet, only two years after the story was published, Wired released an article called, The Forgetting Pill Erases Painful Memories Forever, that explains how scientists are able to manipulate memories in exactly the way described by “A Second Enchanted Evening.” Of course, memory-erasing drugs haven’t exactly become commonplace yet, but you never know, some day they may be.
Don’t forget to check back tomorrow for two new stories!