"This is the second interview of the series I started last week, based on my recent book about future, sci-fi and design fictions. After Warren Ellis, here’s Bruce Sterling (whose blogging have moved to this wonderful tumblr called ‘Wolf in Living Room’:
"NN: In your opinion, as a science-fiction writer, how to you perceive this difficulty to go beyond the standard visions of "the Future" (from flying cars to humanoid robots)?
"BS: At SXSW 2014 I was on a panel with Warren Ellis, Joi Ito and Daniel Suarez where an interesting atemporal design-fiction issue came up. We science fiction writers were discussing the problem of inventing something far-fetched, satirical, extrapolative or socially critical and then discovering that it was already commercially available on the shelves of Wal-Mart. This was immediately called the “Wal-Mart Problem.”
"Atemporally speaking, it’s clearly possible to write a form of "futuristic" science fiction in which all the "sci-fi gadgets" are already real objects in Wal-Mart. …"