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New Scientist's new digital magazine combines science-fiction and futurology
Friday, 23 March 2012 12:49

When it comes to forecasting the future, science fiction has not been the most precise medium. Arthur C Clarke may have successfully predicted our network of geostationary communications satellites and H G Wells foresaw world wars. But if we lived in Geoffrey Hoyle's vision of today, as predicted in his 1972 children's book, 2010: Living in the Future, then we would all be wearing jumpsuits and have new cars delivered in tubes of liquid.

As climate change, rising fuel prices and the 2008 crash have shown, it is important to imagine what lies ahead. Sci-fi may sometimes not seem up to the job. But Arc, a new digital magazine from the makers of New Scientist, which aims to "explore the future" through "cutting-edge science fiction and forward-looking essays", claims that it is. "Fiction gives us the chance to explore and be eccentric" says Simon Ings, a novelist, science writer and editor of Arc. He argues that science fiction is intrinsically linked to futurology – the practice of attempting to forecast the future. "If one thing is for sure, the future is not going to be agreed by committee. The future is going to be eccentric. And the best way of predicting the future is to make it up."

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