Trek News Network: Science Fiction to Science Fact
TNN: Science Fiction to Science Fact
For the last month or so, I have been posting semi-regular articles for Trek News Network (TNN) under the header of Science Fiction to Science Fact. With each article in the series, I examine a piece of science fiction technology as seen on television, films, or in books and discuss the work companies, universities, and researchers are done to bring it to fruition. To date, I have written about Holodecks, Augmented Reality, and Prosthetics with several more articles planned for the near future on Quantum Teleportation (Transporters), Exo-Planets, and VISORS that enable the blind to see — look for those soon.
Trek News Network was established by Russ Haslage as the premiere News site for the Federation, one of the oldest and best known Star Trek fan clubs. TNN was just starting up, when my cohost at the G & T Show, Terilynn Shull informed us that Russ had asked the three of us to contribute to TNN. It was an opportunity to get in on the ground floor for this new News site as well as draw attention to the G & T Show and some of our other projects. We agreed to get involved.
I immediately put on my thinking cap, trying to figure out what I wanted to write about for them. I considered writing on a number of topics, including coverage of Star Trek Online, Star Trek books, among others. I also considered resurrecting a column I had written for Priority One Podcast called The Spirit of Trek, in which I examined various subjects in technology, entertainment, society, and more to determine how it was inspired by or continues to build upon the ideals of Star Trek as set forth by Gene Roddenberry.
After some consideration and after examining what TNN was planning to cover with their stories, I decided not to limit myself only to the realm of Star Trek. As a long time Science Fiction fan, I wanted to do something that could potentially encompass the entire genre. With so much science fiction out there, the next step was to figure out what about it did I want to discuss on a fairly regular basis. I considered films, books, television, and a host of other possibilities that could supply an ample amount of content in which to feature. However, it seemed like the other writers involved with TNN were already dancing around those areas. I needed to find something unique in which to leave my mark upon.
I’m technologist by trade and love all things technology. Ultimately, it was a pretty easy decision when I realized that I should write about science fiction technology and the efforts currently underway to turn them into real world products. The decision was made easier when Microsoft announced at a conference that they were creating Holograms with their upcoming HoloLens and Room Alive technologies.
My first thought went straight to Star Trek’s Holodeck. After synthesizing everything I could find from the conference and the other material regarding HoloLens, I realized that there was more there than I needed. In fact, HoloLens, Google Glass, and other similar technologies made Augmented Reality much more accessible. After some consideration, I decided to write up a pair of articles. The first would feature my initial thoughts about Holodecks, while the second would concentrate on Augmented Realty recently in the Marvel Iron Man films and going as far back as Terminator.
The third article in the series, this time on Prosthetics, was inspired by Robocop, The Six Million Dollar Man, Star Wars, and the recent developments being made to help amputees live more normal lives with the aid of robotics. During my research for this particular article, I was blown away to discover that not only are we getting to the point where we can control robotic limbs with our thoughts, but are also working to give people tactile feedback, and dare I say it, feeling and sensation in their cybernetic arms and legs. This is truly amazing stuff and fit perfectly with the science fiction to science fact theme that I was looking for.
My next articles are yet to be written. I’m still trying to narrow down which topic I want to cover next. A recent discussion with a friend and some of the latest developments in quantum teleportation has me considering a piece on transporters as seen in Star Trek, Stargate, and other science fiction series. The discovery of Earth-like planets around distant stars also ranks high on my list, since they are a staple in many sci-fi stories, including Trek, Firefly, Star Wars, and so many others that it almost seems like a no-brainer. Then, there’s the work being done helping the blind gain sight through implants and and glasses, in much the same way Star Trek used the VISOR to give Geordi LaForge sight. One of these articles and others will soon be available over at TNN, so stay on the look out for them soon.
As I mentioned earlier, my cohosts at the G & T Show, Nick and Terry have also been writing articles for Trek News Network. Terry wrote a piece on the shutdown of Massively and WoW Insider, a pair of gaming news sites that covered the Massively Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Gaming Industry. Nick has written a couple of articles with one article discussing his thoughts for Star Trek’s return to television as an Anthology series, and another paying homage to the great Harv Bennett.
Trek News Network is a lot more than just a Star Trek News site. They cover all of the latest genre, entertainment, science, and technology news. If you have not checked them out yet, what are you waiting for? Head on over to Trek News Network right now and get the latest news from the great community of writers.