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25 Books That Predicted The Future And Were Right

People love predictions, especially when they come true (that is, of course if the predictions are for good). Though predictions are normally associated with mediums and divination, there are other sources. Writers for example.

Throughout history some of the boldest predictions ever made have come from the pages of authors who were eager to tell their stories to the world. While some of these predictions are more impressive than others, these authors nonetheless managed to have a strong sense of the future. From waterbeds to the internet, these are 25 books that predicted the future and were right!

In his book Gulliver’s Travels (1735), Jonathan Swift writes that Mars has two moons. 142 years later in 1872 we discovered that Mars does in fact have two moons.

Solar sails

In 1865 when Jules Verne wrote From The Earth To The Moon he included the idea of solar sails. 145 years later, in 2010, the first solar sail (IKAROS) was successfully used.

Electric submarines

5 years after he wrote From The Earth To The Moon Jules Verne wrote 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea (1870). In this book he writes about the exploits of an electric powered submarine. 90 years later, in the 1960s, electric powered submarines were put into service.

Credit cards

When Edward Bellamy wrote Looking Backwards in 1888 he predicted the use of credit cards. 62 years later, in 1950, they were invented.


Jules Verne’s book In The Year 2889 (1889) includes the concept of planes writing messages in the sky (skywriting). 26 years later, in 1915, this was done for the first time at an airshow in San Francisco.

Automatic motion sensing doors

In 1899 H.G. Wells included automatic motion sensing doors in his novel When The Sleeper Wakes. About 60 years later, in 1960, these types of doors were first invented.


Several years later, in 1903, H.G. Wells wrote a book called The Land Ironclads which is basically about tanks. 13 years after that, during World War I, the first tanks were used.

Lie detector test

In 1910 Edwin Balmer and William MacHarg wrote The Achievements of Luther Trant in which they mention a lie detector test. 14 years later, in 1924, the first polygraph test was used.

Solar energy

It was 1911 when Hugo Gernsback wrote Ralph 124C 41+ (yes, that is the actual name of the book) in which he predicted the use of solar energy. 67 years later, in 1978, the first solar powered calculators were invented.

Atomic bombs

In what is probably one of the more grim predictions on this list, H.G. Wells predicted the use of atomic bombs in his 1914 novel, A World Set Free. 31 years later, in 1945, the first atomic bomb was dropped over Japan.


Nine years after A World Set Free, when he wrote Men Like Gods, H.G. Wells predicted the use of voice mail. It took 57 more years (1980) until voicemail was popularized.

In vitro fertilization

Daedalus; or, Science and the Future was a book written by J.B.S. Haldane in 1924. The story includes the concept of in vitro fertilization. It wasn’t until 53 years later, in 1977, that the first successful in vitro fertilization was performed.

Genetic engineering

In his popular 1932 book A Brave New World Aldous Huxley predicts the use of genetic engineering. 40 years later, in 1972, the first genetic manipulation was performed.

Government spying

In his 1948 book called 1984 (confusing right?), George Orwell predicted widespread government spying. 16 years later, in 2013, the NSA spying scandal made headlines.

In ear headphones

His 1950 book Fahrenheit 451 includes the idea of earbuds, or in ear headphones. 51 years later, in 2001, Apple earbuds were released.

Communication Satellites

In 1951 when Arthur C. Clarke wrote 2001: A Space Odyssey he predicted the use of communication satellites. 14 years later, in 1965, the first communication satellite was launched.

Virtual reality

5 years later Arthur wrote The City And The Stars (1956) which mentions virtual reality video games. 10 years later, in 1966, the first flight simulator was developed.


In 1961 Robert Heinlein wrote the book Stranger in a Strange Land where he mentions the idea of waterbeds. The modern waterbed was patented in 1971, 10 years later.

Space Tourism

In his book A Fall of Moondust (1962) Arthur C. Clarke predicts that people will "tour” space. 39 years later, in 2001, Dennis Tito became the first space tourist.

The European Union

In his 1969 book Stand on Zanzibar, John Brunner mentions the European Union. 24 years later, in 1993, the EU came into existence.

Bionic limbs

In his book Cyborg (1972) Martin Caidin predicts the use of bionic limbs. 41 years later, in 2013, the first bionic leg implant was performed.

Real time audio translation

In the Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy (1980) by Douglas Adam’s, the concept of real time, automatic voice translation is mentioned. 34 years later, in 2014, Google updated its translate app to include this feature.

World Wide Web

In his 1984 book Neuromancer William Gibson predicts cyberspace and hacking. 7 years later, in the early 1990s, the world wide web became extremely popular.

Best human chess player being beat by a computer before 2000

Considering that his book The Age Of Intelligent Machines was written in 1990, Ray Kurzweil only had 10 years for his prediction to be fulfilled but he was right. Only 7 years later, in 1997, IBM’s Deep Blue computer became the world chess champion.

Lunar modules would launch from Florida and then return to Earth as splashdown capsules

A boldly specific prediction, in his book From The Earth To The Moon (1865), Jules Verne wrote about this scenario 104 years before the 1969 Apollo mission did exactly that.

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