They say tomorrow never comes, but they forgot to tell the scientists who have just developed a way to do something in real life that I had as a central discovery in a story I recently finished set in the near future. That'll teach me not to procrastinate! To be fair to myself the length of time it took me to get from the original idea to the finished story was due more to making several false starts than slacking off. After a lot of trial and error, I finally came up with an experiment that worked–much as I imagine the scientists did.
    Now I'm left with a dilemma: do I rip up the manuscript and throw it away, or do I try to salvage it? I've put too much effort into making the story work to abandon it entirely, so I think I'm going to have to see if I can rejig the plot. If I'm to avoid reinventing the wheel, as it were, I shall have to do some research, but investigating new subjects is one of the joys of writing.
    No matter what the setting or situation is in a story, whether it's science, running a zoo, fraud or whatever, it's always the human dimension that's most important. How is the characters' behaviour affected? What's the impact on their relationships, etc.? That's why tales such as The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells still grips readers, even though we now know that if aliens did ever invade Earth, they wouldn't be Martians. I'm not claiming to have written a classic, but as the main focus of my story is how a scientific discovery has unexpected implications for the characters and the society they live in, I'm hopeful that I'll be able to rescue it.
    I suppose the moral is: if you're setting a story in the near future, get on with it!