I read a lot of Harlan Ellison (worked on The Outer Limits, 80’s Twilight Zone, Babylon 5), and I was wondering what people thought of this quote from him:

[S]cience fiction is the only 100% hopeful fiction. That is to say, inherent in the form is, “There will be a tomorrow”. If you read a science fiction story, it says, “This will happen tomorrow”. Now that’s very positive, that’s very pragmatic, “We’ll be here tomorrow. We may be unhappy, we may be all living like maggots, but we’ll be here.” So that means it’s 100% positive.

Ellison has even said that his short story I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream is optimistic, because in the climax, there is still room for self-sacrifice and defiance to authority.

I guess it comes down to whether you think a bleak future is better than no future at all.

Shameless plug for my work if you like Ellison or want to learn more: https://ndhfilms.com/ellison

  • rekabis
    1 month ago

    Implying that we have a future at all is inherently hopeful

    Over the last year I have done a deep dive into climate science, the capitalistic and political responses to it, the collapsing Return on Research, and how modern agriculture at scale is going to be impacted.

    If humanity is either not already extinct by 2100, or at the very least caught in an unavoidable terminal decline leading towards it, I would be very, very surprised.

    There is a reason why climate scientists have begun to - very grimly - start calling themselves “climate pathologists” and - for the younger ones, at least - avoiding having any children at all.

    The vast majority of people have absolutely no clue how apocalyptically bad things are out there, and how on the one side capitalism is whitewashing the problem under the rug, while on the other side right-wing politics are trying to make everyone think it’s all fake.