Science is awesome—until it crushes our dreams of planets full of incredible civilizations and turns fantastic inventions into impossible dreams. Here are nine examples on how nine scientific breakthroughs destroyed nine classic sci-fi themes.
Science fiction looks to the future — but sometimes the future catches up to you. Sometimes, an idea generates tons of great science fiction stories — until science reveals the truth, and kills it dead. Or technology surpasses it. Here are nine scientific breakthroughs that destroyed science fiction subgenres.
Top image: Barsoom Art by Michael Whelan.
1) No Martian Civilization
Just over 100 years ago, many people still believed there might be intelligent life on Mars — with Percival Lowell claiming there were "canals" on Mars that were created by intelligent creatures, based on a mis-translation of the Italian word "canali" in astronomer Giovanni Schiaparelli's writing. Soon, H.G. Wells, Edgar Rice Burroughs and a ton of other authors were writing about Martian civilizations.