All I Want for Christmas...from Across the Universe

Here at the League, all of our books are set in the future. Some are near-future, some are far-off, but either way, it's the future...and the future, as we all know, is filled with cool stuff like jet packs and flying cars.

Or not.

We are talking dystopian lit here. Even so, there are some cool things we've featured in our books, and all this week, we're going to tell you about one of the things we made up in our books that we wish was real.

My book, ACROSS THE UNIVERSE, is a sci-fi set on a space ship. And while I think interstellar space travel would be cool, the thing I really want is...


Yup! I want floppies! Floppies are these cool, paper-thin, touch-screen computer-like things that everyone on the ship uses. They have all the digital information from the ship stored, and are as plentiful as notepads are here on Earth. 

Here's how I describe them for the first time in the book:

“There are things you should know,” he says. He picks up a floppy—a digital membrane screen nicknamed for its, er, floppiness—from the table and runs his finger over it, turning it on. When the screen lights up, he scans his thumb over the ID box.
“Eldest/Elder access granted,” the floppy chirps. Eldest taps something onto the screen, then slides the floppy over to me. I can almost see the wood grain through the thin membrane, but then I grow distracted by what Eldest is showing me.

Wouldn't that be cool to have?! It's basically a computer that's as thin as a piece of paper--and practically as disposable as one. The people on the ship treat the floppies as casually as we treat paper--they're plentiful and lie around on tables all over the place.

I got the idea for floppies in part because at the time I was writing the story, the husband had gotten me an iPad Touch. The ease of the touchscreen (and swiping across the screen to manipulate it and such) was something I could definitely see being used in the future.

I'm not the only person who's written about such things in the future. My all-time-love-it-hardcore sci fi show, FIREFLY, used something similar, too, but the more famous example is from CAPRICA.

(PS: I'm in the midst of watching BATTLESTAR GALLACTICA right now, and dudes! All y'all who told me to go see it: you were RIGHT!)

Also--and this is so exciting--but it looks like floppies and things like them aren't that far into the future. As this article points out:

It’s pretty easy to look at tablet computers and flexible thin video screens and realize that it won’t take long to combine these two technologies into a single product that will work just like the science fiction we see in Caprica.

Who needs a jetpack with stuff like this?!


lotusgirl said...

The floppies are so cool. I wouldn't mind having one of those. What I really want is a transporter.

Matthew MacNish said...

You're right, that kind of technology isn't that far off. Being commercially viable and affordable ... well, we'll see.

Still, awesome idea, and very well described. I still want my flying car though!

Angie Smibert said...

So glad you've seen the light about BSG. Too bad Caprica got unceremoniously canceled.

Tere Kirkland said...

LOL, I need a transporter, too. I didn't watch much of Caprica, but I was loving the computer sheets from the show. Very cool post!

Lauren M said...

The floppies sound so cool! I wouldn't mind finding one of them under the tree. :)

Shannon O'Donnell said...

When I read about your floppies, I immediately wanted one. I love the way they just toss them around and it doesn't even hurt them. :-)

Elana Johnson said...

Dude, I so need a floppie. Floppy? Singular with a y? Anyway, needz it.

Riv Re said...

You said floppy and my mind went straight to floppy disks. You know? Those old black things you probably threw out long ago? My favorite memory of them is playing with the silver slide-y thing on my father's...Not knowing I was erasing all his work ><
My first thought was actually "I'll trade you! Some floppy disks for Across the Universe!

mariska said...

The floppies are so Kewl !!!

i hope i could get one soon :)

Jemi Fraser said...

Awesome idea!! And pretty realistic too - sounds like they're coming soon! :)