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[Comments] (2) : I was reading the science fiction-y 1964 RAND Corporation report Habitable Planets For Man (which has what might be the best figure title ever, "Hypothetical satellites of the Earth", also see Preliminary Design of a World-Circling Spaceship). It fed into my growing belief that the RAND Corporation is itself an organization out of a science fiction novel, right down to the ominous name and alien amorality. However I was unable to think of any science fiction that actually features the RAND Corporation. Anyone? I'll settle for offhand mentions.

I'm also interested in RAND-like entities; I can think of two of those off the top of my head. The Foundation is a lot like RAND, which makes sense since they come out of the same ideology. There was also a Star Trek: Voyager episode which had a RAND-like group of mercenary aliens (inc. Jason Alexander) but, typically, didn't do anything interesting with them. That's all I got.

Oh, speaking of the Foundation, there's a fun book by Donald Kingsbury called Psychohistorical Crisis which is written as if Asimov's psychohistory had caught on as a common science-fictional trope instead of being a one-off. It would be interesting to see some psychohistory stories as they'd have been written in the 60s or 80s.

And just to take this entry further off its original point, I find it interesting that psionics used to be fairly common in science fiction (thanks to John Campbell) and now it's kind of tacky and pushes your story towards fantasy. But you can see a residue of it with all the telepathic characters in Trek and other science fiction TV shows.


Posted by Paul Collins at Mon Jul 23 2007 00:28

One of the characters in Douglas Coupland's novel Miss Wyoming works at the RAND Corporation.

Posted by uncle pedro at Mon Jul 23 2007 01:48

When I think of the RAND corporation, I think of:

and the closely related Union Aerospace Corporation.

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