It has been reported in a very respectable New York Science fiction magazine that Ray Bradbury left the world with one final prophecy before he went to join the big book club in the sky.
He is said to have told the editor of the journal that one day people will become bored with the internet and return to normal life. He said that people will realise they have been held prisoner by their own computer, and rebel by going for trips to the zoo again, and they might even venture out to enjoy the sunshine and the internet will become a graveyard of people's past electric lives.
The Facebook pages will be left where they are, and news updates and music will be left on those sites to become outdated and stuck in time. The editor said that this was impossible. This could never happen. But then he began to explore the internet for such a graveyard and he found it. He logged on to his old Myspace site and saw that he hadn't been there for 3 whole years. The playlist was stuck in 2009, and no comments by any real people had been made since a "happy New Year" wish in 2008.
The only thing left on that site were the weeds of computerized commercial advertising. Automated computer programmes still choking up the pages like Japanese bindweed, churning out automated messages for musicians that no one has heard of since 2006. He said it reminded him of traffic lights in the middle of the night going through their programme with nobody there to see it.
It made the editor wonder if Bradbury had indeed predicted the future. Or if he had just noticed that everything we ever created has a sell by date and will eventually become obsolete. We'll never know. RIP, Mr Bradbury. You will be missed, and your stories will ironically always be preserved on the thing that will eventually murder the book. The Kindle. What was the burning point of paper again?
By Katarina Frogpond.