If you could pick one item from a fictional world to use in your real life, what would it be?
Tamara: I want a Time Turner (from “Harry Potter”). I am the deadly combination of overly ambitious and awful at time management, so I could really use a device that literally lets me get more hours out of a day. Oh, or maybe the dyna-caps (from "Dragon Ball"), because I don't trust people enough that I'd leave my bike locked up outside a store. I'd rather have a shrinkable bike that I can carry with me.
Serdar: Harry Harrison’s matter transmitter technology. Rather than use the Star Trek “beaming” concept, it works by taking two planes in this dimension and aligning them so they share space in another dimension. What goes in one comes out the other, and that’s all there is to it. Harrison spent an entire book (“One Step From Earth”) exploring the ramifications of such a technology, all the way up to and beyond the end of the human race, the good, bad, and ugly alike. He was not in denial about how it could be used as a tool of war or social oppression, but he was also certain that once we had something like that, we couldn’t not use it. And on the whole, I think we might well be better with it than without it.
Ellen: I would be all over the Magic School Bus. With a tool like that, how could I not go into teaching? Kids are so easily bored, or apathetic, because using their imaginations takes too much effort. Something like that would be great both for the kids who love to learn, and for the ones who don't see the point. Almost like an equalizer.
If I have to choose just one, the air/raft from Traveller, coupled with computer-assisted traffic control. I want my flying car, and with traffic at a variety of altitudes, the bulk of traffic congestion should be dealt with.
Otherwise, transporters, to avoid the wait of public transit.