Here’s how science fiction novels and movies imagined the year 2023. Science fiction vs reality: what actually happened?
Gemini Rising (2013 American Science Fiction Film)
Also known as Alien Rising, Gemini Rising is a 2013 American Science Fiction Film directed by Dana Schroeder. The film stars Lance Henriksen, Amy Hathaway, John Savage, Brian Krause, and Dave Vescio.
In 2023, an unidentified spacecraft is found orbiting Neptune and an investigation is started. It was discovered that there were two different species of aliens: one small, one larger, with the smaller one (which looks somewhat like an underdeveloped fetus with stereotypical “grey alien” large eyes) controlling the much larger and robust one through telepathy.
“Bad characters” of the movie develop a serum to control people’s minds using the alien’s telepathic technology and sell it to a North Korean billionaire for $4 billion.
Then the aliens help the good character of the movie (ex-homeland security agent named Lisa, played by Amy Hathaway) to defeat the evil people. She manages to free both aliens which are under heavy torture and they escape as the island is set to self-destruct. The aliens thank and warn Lisa to quickly run. They get on their spaceship and escape back into space. Lisa was rescued by a helicopter. One of the good, old happy endings of Hollywood movies.
Year 2023: what really happened?
It is still beyond our technology to send humans to the orbit of the planet Neptune. Neptune is 30 astronomical units away from the Sun (1 astronomical unit is the distance between Earth and Sun, which is about 150 million kilometers, 93 million miles, or 8 light minutes. So Neptune’s average distance from Sun is 2.8 billion miles (4.5 billion kilometers) or 4 light hours.
Even if we could send humans into Neptune orbit, it would be way expensive than 4 billion dollars, so the bad guys sold the technology to the evil billionaire actually for nothing.
Related: The Year 2022 in Science Fiction
Gunbuster (1988-1989 Japan Anime Series)
Gunbuster, known in Japan as Aim for the Top! is a Japanese original video animation (OVA) science-fiction anime series released from 1988 to 1989.
In 2015, a race of huge, insectoid aliens named Uchuu Kaijuu, or Space Monsters are discovered traveling the Milky Way galaxy and getting closer and closer to Earth. Humanity responds by developing battleships and giant fighting robots known as RX-7 (actually an advanced type of fighting suit, piloted by a single occupant).
In the year 2023, six years after the first battles with the aliens (the actual battle started in the year 2015 however due to time dilation, two years went by on Earth by the end of the battle), and centers on young student fighter pilot Noriko Takaya. Although Noriko’s father was a famous admiral in the space fleet who went missing following one of the first battles of the war, compared to other students, her talents as a pilot are questionable.
RX-7s are being used as trainers for a new weapon, the Gunbuster. Only two Gunbuster pilots from each school will be selected for the real mission, and Takaya manages to be chosen as the second Japanese pilot.
When the first true battle between the aliens begins, humans realize how vastly outmaneuvered and outnumbered they are.
Related: The Year 2024 in Science Fiction
- “The Future Is Now (And It Ain’t Pretty): What Sci-Fi Forecast For The 2020s” By Coilin O’Connor on the Radio Free Europe – Radio Liberty website
- List of stories set in the future now past on Wikipedia
- Films set in 2023 on Wikipedia
- Alien Rising (2013) on the Internet Movie Database (IMDB) website
- Gemini Rising on Wikipedia
- Gunbuster on Wikipedia