Whether it’s a dystopian or utopian outlook, humans have been looking towards the future for almost all of history. The reason for painting on cave walls was to teach future generations. The reason we record current events is to make sure those to come know what happened in their past. The thing with the future, though, is that we don’t know what’s going to happen. That’s what makes it a perfect setting for fiction.
Science fiction stories often take place somewhere in the future, in a time with wondrous technologies we have yet to invent and worlds we have yet to discover. There are usually two ways to look on the future: a utopian outlook where the world is better and humans are thriving, or a dystopian outlook where there are fundamental cracks in society where corruption thrives. Both outlooks have spawned some of the most well-known stories of our generation.
Another way to look to the future is to look at the past and as the question “what if?” What if the Allies had lost World War II? What if Kennedy hadn’t been assassinated? What if ______?
In this episode, Ley and Leigh discuss the trends with futuristic and dystopian stories, their common tropes, and how all authors can learn something from looking to the future. Listen now below, or on Spotify, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, or Apple Podcasts.
First aired September 30, 2021.