I don’t like dystopias in science fiction although I see how popular some of them are.
I am young enough to have taken science fiction books (that’s right plural) in some of my English classes. I was disappointed with every last one. None of them were the science fiction that I read on my own time. Nothing positive like Sensawunda science fiction gives. Instead the only SF the English establishment liked was dystopic science fiction. It’s almost like they were deliberately trying to make SF look bad, it’s just that I can’t prove it.
So I will attempt to say a couple points in this and next week’s post.
I hate dystopic SF because it is used by politicians as a guidebook. Look no further than Donald Trump to find why the Handmaid’s Tale is doing so well on television this year. Granted not everything is coming to fruition from that dystopia, just a lot of it.
And for a number of years, certain countries (*cough* UK) have been trying their best to make 1984 a reality where there are cameras everywhere and our every move is recorded. Big Brother was so obviously coming into being, just a few years late, that Cory Doctorow had to release a book called Little Brother where the young are given tips on how to disrupt in a Big Brother government.
It is my belief that the politicians using dystopias as a guide are simply not bright enough to come up with their own evil schemes. Lobbyists of all stripes know this and thus tell the corrupt in government what to do. As do the dystopic writers.
It is my belief that we might have to make “inciting to legislate badly” a crime. That way we can lock up the dystopic SF writer and the bad lobbyist. With these two pillars of bad government gone, perhaps all bad governments will fall. They will at least have to look further afield to try to bring the world down.
My only misgiving about this is that the politicians may start calling smart ideas an attempt to “legislate badly”. Oops! I feel a dystopia coming on.