I've read quite a few articles on science fiction shaping the future over the last fifty years. Most did point out the more common tropes of utopian or dystopian futures (sometimes without the flying cars or personal computers, for shame!) I think the trend went back another ten years before William Gibson and Neal Stephenson helped to bring the focus to the computer age. We were coming out of both class and cultural warfare in the sixties, especially racial and women's inequalities. Science fiction picked up on those and pushed the cultural impacts further into the future. A few went the way of a utopian Star Trek, where transporter and replicator technology removed the need for money and "thing" culture where people kept up with the Jones' two new cars in the driveway. Other authors decided to go with dystopian societies like Blade Runner and a slew of Schwarzenegger flicks. I think folks are feeling down at the moment, so the dystopian wave is still in effect. I'm actually interested in writing some positive message science fiction now just because it would be something new.

I've been aware of corporations using science fiction writers to give some feedback on how technology will be used. I think it's similar to doing a marketing focus group except the room is filled with science nerds. Perhaps the way a corporation deals with the tech impacting culture says a lot about whether they're pushing for a dystopian or a utopian future.

As far as reading and writing science fiction goes, I love most of it as long as it is intriguing and well-crafted. Life is too short for crappy books and my to-be-read pile will outlast me.