When Ridley Scott executive produces a cable series focusing on how the visionaries of science fiction helped pave the way for our actual future, you might expect episodes speculating on a world where chest-bursters and replicants run riot. Instead, PROPHETS OF SCIENCE FICTION — debuting on the Science Channel on November 9 — looks into what such fertile minds as Mary Shelly, H.G. Wells, and Isaac Asimov got right and wrong in their predictions (although we’re crossing our fingers that a scheduled episode on Philip K. Dick will take a welcome turn towards the dark).
Participating in the series is Dr. Michio Kaku, who, in the series’ debut episode, will be exploring how the dreams (or nightmares) of Ms. Shelly’s Dr. Frankenstein are coming true in today’s laboratories. I managed to wrangle a few minutes with the good doctor, and the conversation both put the lie to the prevalent contention that no one saw the Internet coming, and gives pause for thought to people who were hoping that recent discoveries at the CERN reactor could pave the way to faster-than-light travel.