When did Science Fiction become a genre? I was thinking of the novel Gulliver's Travels not so long ago. It was written in 1726, and is considered early science fiction. Jules Verne's explorations of the seas and oceans - Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea was written in 1870. And in between was Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. I found the timeline of everything science fiction to fact HERE.
These random thoughts made me aware that there has been social conscious development wherein a social population accepted the idea of making up science - as entertainment - rather than it being wrong and subject to punishment. This would be remarkable - to move from the fear of the gods/God and superstition to facts of the world and the freedom of the imagination.
This is known as The Age of Reason, also called the Age of Enlightenment. French historians place the Enlightenment between 1715 and 1789 and others place it at the start of the scientific revolution. The attitude of the age is captured by the phrase "Dare to know".
Shmoop.com tells us about the timeline from fiction to reality: bionic limbs, real-time audio translation, space tourism, and glow in the dark ice cream." More at shmoop.com
Where are we now in the science fiction to fact timeline? Technology discoveries occur so quickly that things seem to 'pop' from science fiction to science fact. Look at these items from a buzzfeed article. They include:
Person remotely moves objects with hands
Matrix-esque artificial womb
Fully mind-controlled synthetic leg
Replacing part of a patient's skull with 3D implant
Our first image today invites us into the science fiction realm - to explore new and novel ideas. That's Baxter responding to technology.