Monday, July 14, 2014

Where Are The Good Futures?

I'm going to make a confession and say this post was inspired by something on tumblr, but I wanted to talk about it here as well.

We're on a dystopia kick as a society. A bad one. I just looked at the 2014 sci-fi movies. Eight of these movies in some way, shape or form, visit the future.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes - we get our asses kicked by uplifted gorillas.
The Maze Runner - imprisoned kids in weird maze, appears to be YA dystopia mildly ripping off THG.
Interstellar - The Earth runs out of resources and we build wormholes (Heinlein used this idea in a much more hopeful manner in Tunnel In The Sky) to virgin planets.
Mockingjay Part 1 - Latest installment of The Hunger Games, say no more.
Divergent - post-apocalyptic (sort of) Chicago YA.
Edge of Tomorrow - not sure what actually happened in this movie as I'm a Tom Cruise anti-fan, but I'm guessing it's VR or cloning. Either way, alien invasion. Or fake alien invasion. Or...something.
Days of Future Past - at least they stop the killer robots in this one.
Jupiter Ascending - goofy space opera I heard nothing about until today even though its supposed release date is the 18th.

There are two other pure sci-fi type things, but Guardians of the Galaxy is not set in the future. And neither is the E.T. ripoff Earth To Echo.

Last year, we had Star Trek, but even that has gone dark and gritty, with Vulcan, the world of pure science and reason, destroyed.

If science fiction reflects the society creating it then our society is in a pretty poor shape. Literary science fiction, of course, runs the gamut, but I haven't read many Star Trek futures there lately either. And television? Falling Stars. Need I say more?

Are we as a society just losing hope? Are some of us wanting the world to end? Or is this just a case of bad news selling?

And how much of it reflects the growing rift between science and religion, two things that aren't nearly as contradictory as some of their adherents want to claim. I don't know, but I do know that the world needs more upbeat science fiction. And it needs to be on the screen, because science fiction readers already know the world can get better if we let it. We need to remind everyone else.

Oh, side note. Those of you not lucky enough to have seen me in action at a con - here you go.