Why is Dystopian Sci-Fi Relevant?

From an article found on www.Smithsonian.com entitled How America’s Leading Science Fiction Authors Are Shaping Your Future”

“In the early part of the 20th century, American science fiction tended to present a positive image of a future in which scientific progress had made the world a better place. By mid-century, after several horrific wars and the invention of the atomic bomb, the mood of science fiction had changed. The stories grew dark, and science was no longer necessarily the hero.”

Dystopian Sci-Fi is the scapegoat of the genre, in my opinion. We use it to portray some of the worst facets of humanity, and hopefully, show how we, as a species, can overcome those faults and come through the crisis, whatever it may be, as having grown beyond those faults. It can be a message of hope in a world which focuses on the negatives far too often. Through Dystopian Sci-Fi, we can watch our worst fears come true, face those fears, and emerge victorious as we conquer those fears. The article goes on to say:

“The tilt toward dystopian futures became even more pronounced in recent decades, partly because of a belief that most of society has not yet reaped the benefits of technological progress. Smithsonian spoke with the eminent critic John Clute, co-editor of the Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, who quotes Bertrand Russell’s prophetic words from 1924: “‘I am compelled to fear that science will be used to promote the power of dominant groups, rather than to make men happy.’ The real fear today,” Clute continues, “is that the world we now live in was intended by those who profit from it.””

While the world we live in today may very well be shaped and dominated by those who profit from it, (i.e. the corporate megaliths who invest billions of dollars into our flawed political processes to produce purchased elections rather than earning the trust of the people they’re supposed to be representing) we the people can take that power away from them if we realize the strength of our own numbers. Dystopian Sci-Fi, in my opinion, may help us to realize that we have the strength to make our world a better place, we just have to have the courage to make that happen

Royce Sears