The bizarre Tide Pod challenge is a trend seemingly born out of nowhere. Which is exactly why it feels like a sci-fi event that would fit in neatly to a science fiction world. Decades before the internet existed as we know it, William Gibson’s prescient science fiction cyberpunk novel Neuromancer presented a complet future world, one that out-blade runners Blade Runner with ease. But, one fascinating aspect of the book was what it had to say about fads and the speed at which they would exist in the future. Now, as young people are willingly swallowing laundry detergent, it feels like one aspect of Gibson’s science fiction vision has come true.

If we want to know the future of the next “forbidden snack,” we could easily check out a handy subreddit on the subject, but if we want to know how these kinds of fads will feel like for people too old to understand them, we can look to Gibson’s writing. In Neuromancer, the cyber-cowboy character of Case is constantly commenting on the speed at which trends (we’d call them memes now) exist and are gone. In the early pages of Neuromancer he describes it like this.

[It was] something new, something that had come in since he’d been in Chiba. Fads swept the young of the Sprawl at the speed of light; entire subcultures could rise overnight, thrive for a dozen weeks, and then vanish utterly.

Obviously, this observation isn’t limited just to a fad of teens eating laundry detergent, but demonstrates a way in which Gibson accidentally predicted viral memes in general. The author himself even compared false alien abductions to “memes” in 2016.

A Tide Pod meme which references 'Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace.' Deep cut.

What’s somewhat unique about the Tide Pod trend isn’t just that it’s an internet subculture that seemingly rose overnight, but more importantly, it isn’t limited to the confines of the internet. People have to actually eat the Tide Pods to be part of it. In Neuromancer, the Sprawl is a physical place, even though a lot of action in this book (as well as Burning Chrome and Mona Lisa Overdrive) take place in cyberspace. What happens in cyberspace effects the fads of the real world.

In Neuromancer, the character of Case is occasionally horrified by the various implants or bizarre elective surgeries people younger than him are sporting. In this world, seeing a teen who willing has large animal canine implants isn’t that strange. And if someone did get special fang-like tooth implants today, it would make perfect sense. Those super-sharp teeth would probably help them bite into some Tide Pods all the more easily.

Photos via EbaumsWorld, Jo San

Stranger Things Season 3 is set to release some time next summer. That’s a long time to wait before we can finally head back to 1980s Hawkins, Indiana, but in the meantime, a new interview with David Harbour (Jim Hopper on the Netflix series) is offering fans a taste of what’s to come when the Stranger Things Season 3 release date finally arrives.

We’re all in the Long Night while waiting on Game of Thrones Season 8. Now, possibly out of desperation, one fan has cooked up a horribly tragic theory about how Jon Snow will have to become the Night King to stop his undead army. If true, this would reshape everything we know about the Night King, Azor Ahai, and how the series will end.

The biggest news to come out of Lucasfilm’s official reveal of the of the Star Wars: Episode IX cast was the confirmation that Luke Skywalker and Leia Organa would be returning for the upcoming film. Mark Hamill will presumably play a Force Ghost version of Luke, since the iconic character became one with the Force at the end of The Last Jedi, while Leia’s appearance will consist of unused Force Awakens footage in the wake of Carrie Fisher’s death. For Hamill, it’s a “bittersweet” situation.

The new hero of Star Wars Resistance might look like an inexperienced newbie, but in the upcoming anime-inspired Star Wars show, protagonist Kaz Xiono will engage in some seriously shady spy business on behalf of the Resistance. Cassian Andor and other hardcore Rebel spies would be proud.

The first trailer for Star Wars Resistance was released on Friday, and in it, we finally meet the newbie spy named Kaz that operates shortly before The Force Awakens. Despite being a seemingly innocent Disney animated show aimed at kids, Resistance will feature more than its fair share of shady spy activities. In the trailer, Kaz seemingly reports directly to Poe Dameron, whom fans will immediately recognize from The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi. We also see Poe’s chirpy droid companion BB-8.

After almost 10 years, it’s time for Rick Grimes to walk out of The Walking Dead. With Andrew Lincoln’s exit for AMC’s juggernaut horror series confirmed, new series showrunner Angela Kang revealed how cable’s biggest zombie series will carry on without Sheriff Grimes.

As it turns out, The Walking Dead has never really been about Rick Grimes, but the people and the community he created.