Gray Goo Can't Do All The Things You Say It Can Do

Science fiction authors give too much credit to nanotech, which hasn't achieved all that much in real life (besides giving us pretty pictures) so far. But science fiction authors claim it can do everything, from destroying the world to turning you into a superhuman. Complains Santa Cruz SF writer Christopher Bradley:

Never before has a technology that's done so little gone so far in literature. We can basically do almost nothing useful with nanotechnology, but sci-fi writers dream up these magical scenarios where nanotechnology can do anything and everything. It can make people gods or destroy the world in a variety of gray goo scenarios. Mind you, we can do basically nothing with it right now. But discussions of gray goo scenarios give a fictional depth to a book. There happens a lot in modern sci-fi literature, I feel.


He also explains why Charles Stross' vision of the future in books lke Glasshouse and Accelerando is entirely based on Dungeons & Dragons, which is an argument I hadn't heard before. [cpxprex]

Share This Story

Get our newsletter