Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Dreaming About The Stars

Over the last few years, one thing I've become very keenly aware of is that old fashioned, starships-in-space science fiction has become extremely rare in the visual realm.

The Sci-Fi channel (I refuse to use their hideous new name) did have some - Battlestar Galactica and the various Stargate shows.

Now? The only thing you'll see in that vein is re-runs. New shows are things like Sanctuary, Warehouse 13, Merlin, Being Human. Half of them are fantasy, and I'd call both Sanctuary and Warehouse 13 pulp. Alphas is superheroes.

I asked yesterday why we aren't going to the stars, but it also seems we've stopped dreaming about them. Gone are the days when science fiction on the small screen meant Star Trek, Babylon 5, Blake's 7, Battlestar Galactica, even Buck Rogers. Firefly died after half a season. There hasn't been a Star Trek show since Enterprise stopped airing in 2005 (although the most recent movie was quite excellent).

Looking at my huge to be read pile, I see only half a dozen books in this vein in amongst a glut of fantasy and near future stuff (And a few other random things like mysteries).

Kids these days would rather have sparkly vampires and witches and wizards than rocket ships and ray guns.

On top of that, most science fiction futures now are dystopian not utopian. We can't build a better future if we aren't willing to dream that future.