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National Sci-Fi Day: How to Celebrate the Day + Bonus Movie Recs!

by Ann Ferguson

Whether it's a story about time travel, aliens, space battles, or superheroes, there's something in science fiction for everyone. And today on Jan. 2nd, in honor of one of the Sci-Fi greats, Isaac Asimov, we celebrate this exciting genre that challenges people to explore the unknown and the possibilities of science!

So, how can you celebrate this amazing foray into the human mind? Reading up on the history and, of course, watching some stellar films!

The History of Sci-Fi

Frankenstein’s bride

You might not think it, but science fiction has been around for a long time. How long, however, depends on your school of thinking. Some believe it started with the Epic of Gilgamesh and its fantastical elements. In contrast, others believe science fiction was only possible between the 17th and 19th centuries with the expansion of the scientific revolution. Regardless of which camp you favor, these historical facts can't be denied:

  • 1726: Gulliver's Travels introduced a proto-science fiction through the use of the estrangement technique.
  • 1794: Early start with The Age of Reason by Thomas Paine and his references to science and reason over theology.
  • 1818: Mary Shelley wrote the first official science fiction novel Frankenstein, which continues to capture people's imagination.
  • 1864: Jules Verne created a fantastic subterranean world with Journey to the Center of the Earth.
  • 1902: George Melies made the first sci-fi film, A Trip to the Moon (it's also one of the first short films that lasted more than one minute).
  • 1954: The term "sci-fi" is first coined, which coincides with the invention of nuclear energy, the beginnings of space exploration, and the end of WWII.

Even earlier tales as old as the 8th century, like Urashima Taro, include scientific elements like time travel. In any case, it's incredible to think how long science fiction has affected our everyday lives.

How Sci-Fi Influenced Real World Tech

Satellite bouncing signal back to earth

The great and unexpected thing about science fiction is how much it has affected our real lives. Things that were only imaginable in fiction are now part of everyday life, like TVs, smartphones, and satellites. So many advances in technology that we have were first influenced by a work of science fiction!

  • 1911: Video calling in Hug Gernsback’s Ralph 124c 41+, but wasn’t actually invented until 1970!
  • 1939: Video surveillance was first imagined in George Orwell's 1984, but the first CCT was used in 1942.
  • 1945: Arthur C. Clarke describes radio signals bouncing off satellites for long-distance communication before the first satellites were launched into orbit in 1957.
  • 1953: Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 imagined big picture televisions and interactive games. Now we have the biggest TVs ever!
  • 1966: Star Trek is famous for inspiring modern-day smartphones and smartwatches with their "communicators" and "video wristwatches!"
  • 1968: In 2001: A Space Odyssey, you see characters using video screen tablets. The first tablet computer didn't come out until 1989!
  • 1982: Knight Rider features the famous driverless car KITT, and we're only now getting out the kinks of this technology.
  • 1985: The concept of the world wide web was first mentioned in William Gibson's Neuromancer, but it wasn't fully invented until 1989.

There's no telling what our imagination will bring in the future!

Celebrate the Day: Watch Your Favorite Sci-Fi Movies

Sci-fi movie concept of another planet

There are countless sci-fi movies and shows to watch to celebrate National Science Fiction Day. And the best way to fully experience it is by having the best audio and video setup.

For your viewing pleasure, a large-screen TV with a resolution of 4K or higher is the best way to capture all that space battle and superhero action. Or, if you prefer a flexible screen size, you can always use a home projector. But most importantly, don't forget your sound!

A surround sound system is nice, but what's even better is a sound system with Dolby Atmos, which provides height elements. This way, you'll be fully immersed in all the action!

What to Watch

Now that you know more about the perfect viewing setup, it's time to queue up some sci-fi greats. You'll undoubtedly have long-time favorites like Star Wars, Alien, Terminator, The Matrix, and Star Trek on your list, but there's plenty more to add!

Exploring the Wonders

Beautiful living room with nice TV setup

There you have it; how to celebrate science fiction day and all it has brought to our modern-day life. But if your current TV setup won't do the movies you love justice, it's time to find your upgrade at Toton’s TV!

Have any questions? Give us a call! We'd love to help you find what you need to explore the vast and fascinating world of sci-fi!