In the early '80s, I happened to find myself in the vicinity of people who would work for Microsoft five years later.
I watch for emergent technologies and pay attention to what people say they'll be good for, then see what we actually use them for. It never occurred to me that a tiny telephone with a wireless transceiver would do whatever it is that it's done to us.
I grew up in southwestern Virginia. I was born in South Carolina, but only because my parents had a vacation cabin or something there on the beach. I was like a summer baby. But I did grow up in the South. I grew up in serious, serious Appalachia, in a very small town.
All my life I've encountered people who were obsessed with one particular class of object or experience, who were constantly pursuing that thing. Since I was a little kid, I hadn't afforded myself the opportunity, I guess, to have a hobby.
I don't think nostalgia is a healthy modality. But nostalgia and a sense of history are not the same thing. Nostalgia is a dysfunction of the historical impulse, or a corruption of the historical impulse.
As a writer of fiction who deals with technology, I necessarily deal with the history of technology and the history of technologically induced social change. I roam up and down it in a kind of special way because I roam down it into history, which is invariably itself a speculative affair.
If you've read a lot of vintage science fiction, as I have at one time or another in my life, you can't help but realise how wrong we get it. I have gotten it wrong more times than I've gotten it right. But I knew that when I started; I knew that before I wrote a word of science fiction.
The history of the past, a hundred years from now, won't be the history of the past that we learned in school because much more will have been revealed, and adjectives we can't even imagine will have been brought to bear on what we did learn in school.