As some of us know, there was a real Cyrano de Bergerac.

Edmond Rostand's drama character was drawn from this real person. He was a science fiction writer who was a contemporary of Shakespeare and Cervantes. Cyrano de Bergerac wrote a short novel about a trip to the moon. In the story the space travelers discuss ways of getting there, some serious, some that may seem to us a little whimsical. One of the "methods of propulsion" was, effectively, to stand on an iron plate and hurl a powerful magnet upward. While that magnet was pulling the iron plate upward, the space traveler would toss another even higher, and it would pull the iron plate higher. Apparently the discrepancy between the theory and the observed effect led Isaac Newton to his “for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction” law of physics. So you can see that science fiction, even bad science fiction, could lead to good science. Years ago I had an idea that there might be some future-predicting presence in art. By that I mean that through the less-than-conscious workings of our brain, and especially during sleep, we make connections, predictions, and a constant stream of unconscious hypotheses drawn from our experiences and knowledge. And this would seen to sometimes surface in art. And this surfacing is generally unknown to the artist. It is just there. Take de Bergerac's novel about a trip to the Moon. The space travelers eventually settle on a rocket for their propulsion system. This appears realistic now, but in Shakespeare’s time who but an artist or visionary would have imagined? Moreover, they launched their rocket from what was then New France, Canada, what today we call Quebec. It was solidly French territory then, but most people in France would have thought of it as woods filled with savages. But not de Bergerac. He launched his fictional first manned flight to the Moon from the New World. And as it turned out, 400 years later the real first manned space flight to the Moon was launched from the New World, from what was in de Bergerac's time La Florida in New Spain. Perhaps somewhere in the author’s unconscious mind all kinds of perceptions and connections were flying around and being tested and digested. Perhaps at some level he could see that people emancipated from the social confinements of the Old World in vast woods and wilds of the New World would feel free to actually try to go to the Moon, and succeed. But this idea of art having a predictive value for the future is just another of my wild hypotheses. I'm full of 'em. Others say I’m full of it. Tom