Note — Nov 22, 2020

Science Fiction in 2020: A Guide to Great Sci-Fi About the Future

From a little while back, I recommend digging through Polygon’s Sci-fi week collection. They cover quite a lot of terrain and present many perspectives (and lists) on the genre.

Can science fiction map a positive future?

Tasha Robinson wonders if scifi can offer more positive visions that deal with the challenges humans face while not being so dark about it, finding hopeful directions without veering to the saccharine.

[C]ulturally, we’ve stopped looking forward to the future as a shiny place of improvement and enlightenment. Instead, we’ve embraced the breakdown of society as the ultimate fantasy. […]

[I]n a particularly cynical and anxious age, when science fiction is more popular than ever, all these fantasies about society crashing and burning don’t feel like effective warnings. Instead, they encourage passive fatalism and “It has to get worse before it gets better” thinking.

Science fiction has been radically reimagined over the last 10 years

Assemblage of bits of interviews “with a group of gatekeepers and tastemakers.” Everything included was handpicked, so consider accordingly but nonetheless, I was happy to read so many answers talking about more diverse voices and what they bring. (Loads of recommendations within and at the end too.)

Whereas I think some of the more interesting science fiction literature right now is happening with groups of characters working together to make change happen, in stories like the Expanse series, or Annalee Newitz’s The Future of Another Timeline. As opposed to more escapist spacefaring, space-opera stuff, seeing people who are actually protecting and preserving the home we have is really invigorating, motivating, and inspiring.