I grew up reading science fiction, both books as they came out and classic ones that sat on my father’s bookshelf. That’s understandable given that I was named for a Robert Heinlein character. This has led to a number of moments when I’ve recognized when the life I’m living is something out of those science fiction books I’ve read.

My young son was confused over the alphabet books in my father’s house. I explained it was for looking things up. He asked why I didn’t use Google. “Google didn’t exist back then.” “What website did you use?” “The internet didn’t exist then.” He was horrified. “You didn’t even have video games?” I reassured him that my brother had Nintendo and Mario Brothers. He was relieved. “I’ve played that, too.”

There was more than one occasion when I had to drive into work to connect to the network to do my job in IT, because the internet service at my home was too spotty to keep me connected. This was a major inconvenience given that the job site was an hour away. The fact that I could log in remotely was critical to the job, since there’s no way I would otherwise support 2 AM system upgrades on a Sunday morning.

My son asked when we’d have the technology to become a cyborg like the TV show “Labrats”. I said enhancements like that were a long way off, though exo-skeletons that were based on Iron Man existed. He thought that cybernetics and cyborgs were real. I informed him a female friend of his was a cyborg. Her insulin pump was, technically, a cybernetic enhancement. And her mother even had an app for it, keeping her up to date. Then I realized how futuristic that would have sounded if I’d heard that as a use case 20 years ago.

I have lived with advances in medical technology personally. Gall bladder removal surgery used to be a horrific ordeal; I heard it compared to being gutted like a fish and saw others’ scars that resembled exactly that. My own surgery was laparoscopic, the scars far smaller and recovery easier as a result. Robotic surgery is making many procedures faster, easier and, in some cases, merely possible.

The creation of the audio-book version of my sci-fi anthology Humanity’s Edge was an international project. I owned the rights to the book and ended up working with a narrator in the EU before uploading it to Audible. Sales were slow, but it sold better in Australia than the U.S.

I work in tech support and as a freelance writer from home. I’ve worked with clients in India and Indiana. My most exotic project was writing articles on the problems that arose from Indian demonetization for an Indian client to contrast an article series in The Economist. The irony of an Indian hiring an American via crowdsourcing and the internet was not lost on me.

In private conversation with a relative with Alexa, our discussion about Amazon buying Whole Foods led to the device spouting off statistics like Amazon’s stock price and asking if we wanted to buy groceries. We were sometimes interrupted by the children, but a device trying to sell you stuff takes it to a whole new level.


Check out Tamara Wilhite’s Amazon Author Page and see her on Hubpages.

Photo by Jim Linwood