Science fiction doesn’t mean you have to make it up as you go along. A certain level of invention is required, obviously; but the real world is pretty much science fiction right now. And I’m not just referring to the genre “winning the culture war” and colonising the mainstream. I mean the stuff on the edges of everyday life, the things that happen which probably don’t affect our daily lives but may well affect our future – as individuals, our descendants, or perhaps even the entire planet.
And you can find plenty of this sort of stuff online. I mentioned Futurismic yesterday, but another excellent source is New Scientist. And here’s a perfect piece of blue-sky thinking that’s ripe for story possibilities: NASA is planning to build a probe which can float on the hydrocarbon lakes on Saturn’s moon Titan. I’ll say that again: a boat… on a lake of hydrocarbons… on a moon… orbiting Saturn.
If that’s not sense of wonder, I don’t know what is.