Once upon a time sci-fi fans had many options when it came to the theme of their stories. There were your gruesome alien plots, dinos aplenty, genetic mishaps, and robots galore. Regardless of the topic, you also got to choose between the type of future for these stories to take place in, dystopian or utopian. With the latter option society had evolved, and humanity had matured into a better species. Through sci-fi we were able to see all the possible ways the world could be saved, and the brighter futures that could come from having done so.
We don’t get too many of those storylines anymore, happy ones I mean. Sure, we see how some “hungry” misfit hero type “diverges’ from the pack, helps fix a dystopian future, and makes things better; but the world has to go to hell-in-a-hand-basket first, and even then things still aren’t great. No, what we don’t really see any more are the sci-fi stories like Star Trek, where humanity has already worked through its problems, and gotten its act together. By the time that Kirk, Pickard, and all the other captains came along, the environment had been healed, and there actually was peace on Earth. That freed them up to go on really cool adventures, and help to solve other peoples’ problems while they were at it. (Way to multi-task guys :)
Stories like those are few, to non-existent these days. Maybe it’s because the world seems like such a mess right now. Between the politics, wars, and climate change it’s easy to lose hope. However, that’s why a positive, hopeful, message is so important to hear now; and for whatever reason, sci-fi just isn’t delivering that really needed boost as it has in the past. The last upbeat sci-fi show of recent years was Eureka, and that’s now off the air.
With Comic-Con right around the corner, perhaps now is as good a time as any to put the word out. What the world needs right now if for sci-fi writers of all kinds to help show us the way again. Star Trek, and its like, once inspired us to think of a brighter future as a real possibility, and as a result many of us grew up working towards that idea. Now it’s time to pass the torch, because one can’t help but dread a future that was solely inspired by tales of life in dystopian futures after all!