Elon Musk's Debt To Science Fiction Books

Elon Musk, who developed Tesla Motors, PayPal and SpaceX, has revealed his source of inspiration - science fiction.

During his interview with DnA host Frances Anderton, the SpaceX founder said that science fiction had inspired his wide-ranging career. Naturally, this GalleyCat editor asked what books inspired the entrepreneur. Musk gave a long answer:

In terms of sci-fi books, I think Isaac Asimov is really great. I like the Foundation series, probably one of the all-time best. Robert Heinlein, obviously. I like The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress and I like Stranger in a Strange Land, although it kind of goes off the rails at the end.

Take a look at a few of Musk's projects, and their science fiction antecedents:

  • Private Space Flight At 'Inflection Point'
    Science fiction fans have long been comfortable with the private exploration of space.
  • Tesla Model S Not Your Grandfather's Electric Phaeton
    John Jacob Astor IV set forth a marvelous vision of a national fleet of electric phaetons that would truly revolutionize motor transport in his 1894 story A Journey in Other Worlds.
  • Space Junkyard in North Hollywood
    Robert Heinlein looks for a ship in a whole field full of freighters abandoned on the Moon in his 1941 novel Methuselah's Children.
  • SpaceX Dragon To Land On Any Planet
    I thought I'd mention that this private space craft that can easily take off and then land back on a planetary surface sounds a lot like science fictional space craft like Heinein's Joy-boat Junior.
  • SpaceX Grasshopper Rocket Lands On Its Tail
    For decades, sf fans have dreamed of having rocket ships that can land on their tails, like sf writers intended.
  • Via Media Bistro.

    Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 3/19/2013)

    Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

    | Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

    Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
    Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

    Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )

    Related News Stories - (" Culture ")

    We Could Downgrade Puerto Rico - And Thereby Save It
    'It was cheaper to pay the refugees to go without up-to-the-minute equipment.' - John Brunner, 1976.

    The Neuroon Open Sleep Tracker For Lucid Dreaming
    'Leads trail away from insertion points on her face and wrist... to a lucid dreamer on the bedside shelf.' - Peter Watts, 1999.

    'Do Not Pay' Chatbots To Replace Law Firm Associates?
    'I want my lawyer program.' - David Brin, 1990.

    Translate One2One From IBM's Watson Your Communication Solution
    'It then excretes into the mind of its carrier a telepathic matrix...' - Douglas Adams, 1979.


      Web TechNovelgy.com   

    Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.






    Current News

    A 'Genuine Nanorobotic Production Factory'
    'Microscopic machinery, smaller than ants, smaller than pins, working energetically, purposefully - constructing something...'

    Neuromorphic Computer Offers Non-von Neumann Architecture
    Fires faster than brain at 1/10K energy.

    Evorus Your Crowd-Powered Conversational Assistant
    '...the DS [Daily Schedule] was suddenly transformed into a valued confidante.'

    Mealworms Food Of The Future
    Get your grubs on.

    Alibaba's AI May Read Better Than You
    'Mike ... could accept other languages and was doing technical translating - and reading endlessly.'

    Musk's Boring Flamethrower
    'Skeletons in tatters. Burned by a flesh gun'

    Humanity Star LEO Advertisement?
    'Everyone has noticed those enormous advertisements...'

    Nissan ProPILOT Slippers Are Self-Parking, Autonomous
    Beyond science and fiction.

    Atomristors - Atomic Memristors - Using Thin Nanomaterials
    'I could almost feel those little tunnel junction neuristors working, forming their own interconnections as I operated it.'

    Bigelow Prepares Inflatable Lunar Hotel
    'Suddenly, hitherto unheard-of sums of money became available for investment in civilian orbital stations.'

    Drunk Driver Of Tesla Claims Autopilot Was In Charge
    'Mr. Garden, you are in no condition to drive.'

    Medical Exoskeleton From Cyberdyne Gets FDA Approval
    It's been a long road for HAL-5; I started writing about it in 2005.

    Fungi-Infused Concrete Repairs Itself
    'I noticed that curious mottled knots were forming, indicating where the room had been strained and healed faultily.'

    Shiftwear Display Shoes
    'He unlaced her shoe and glanced at its readout.'

    NASA SEXTANT First With X-Ray Nav In Space
    'You need at least four beacons for an accurate fix.'

    GM Introduces Cruise AV With No Steering Wheel
    'How about the steering wheel?' ... 'I do not need one.'

    More SF in the News Stories

    More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

    Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
    Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

    Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.