I think the best thing about fandoms in general, especially the sci-fi ones, is that it allows us to indulge in questioning the future.
Both Deirdre and I are firmly interested in the environmental impact of everything that happens in the world, and I think it’s fair to say that we enjoy stories that deal with those themes and underlying tropes. But why is it important?
To understand the future, you must know the past
It may sound trite, but without understanding how we’ve gotten to where we are, it’s really hard to deal with what happens in the future, especially when talking about climate change, technological updates and anything that effects our environment. The past holds vast clues about why dystopian trends are what they are, and what is influencing people (fun fact – I know a lot of dystopia writers who aren’t writing it right now because it feels too much like real life) and why. I wish I could say it stopped us from making the same mistakes, but it doesn’t. But in understanding everything that’s led us to this point (which I’ll touch on more in ‘Yesterday and tomorrow’ later in the month), we can make best guess projections to the future.
And stepping into the future?
I think, for those of us that write sci-fi, we’re always considering some sort of future, near or far. A lot of our favorite sci-fi, though set in the far future, deals with issues that we face today. Discovery, for example, had various relationships, genetic modification, time travel, spores as a power supply for the drive and more. Babylon 5, though set in the future, is about political machinations, and how people can be devoured by them, and how the future can be shaped by people from the present, and those going back to the past (it’s a long story, though, makes more sense once you’ve watched up to season 4). Caprica touches on how the human race is destroyed, which is a common story type, while others project a better future for mankind…or do they?
I’d love to see some environmental sci-fi, if I’m honest. I think it would be good to look at what we’re doing to our planet, and see if there’s anything we can learn from it, either to change it and make it better, or to take it to it’s conclusion. Because, like many dystopia writers, I think if we keep on the path we’re on, we may not see much longer in this world, and we certainly won’t create a better world for everyone else. And that’s something both of us are passionate about, so that’ll probably come up from time to time too.