If you read enough science fiction, you might get the impression that writers dwell on the side of depression and dismal futures. Consider the author Ray Bradbury. His work, Fahrenheit 451 contains intentional warnings to the dangers of closing our minds to the ideas of a free, literary creation. The Martian Chronicles holds a fierce prophecy for the human race should we not carefully guide our technology. His stories can be read with the mindset of gloom and the destruction of the Earth as we know it.
This does not always have to be the case.
Works can bring a sense of dread, but authors may also try to convey a sense of concern. They can bring light to the triumph of the human spirit and empower us to overcome the biggest of catastrophes. There is a drive to see the value of human existence. A second chance is something that we all need. Learning from our mistakes and becoming better for it.
The Twilight Zone and the works of Rod Sterling as a whole can be seen as a series of dark stories that can bring strange bits to your dreams. If you haven’t I suggest you spend a little too much time watching a marathon after your upcoming Thanksgiving meal. I challenge you to see the way morality plays. He focused on the human condition and those less than savory traits that, at some level, dwell in each of us. While we may all suppress those urges and thoughts, allowing them to surface can bring consequences that we may not have anticipated.
Authors may create a future where the Earth is either uninhabitable or destroyed completely. The idea that humans are still kicking needs to be given a glimmer of hope that regardless of the future, we will endure. I invite you to consider that a positive outcome from the mistakes we made gives one the notion that should we, as individuals, screw up, there is still a chance for us to pick ourselves up, dust off, and keep going. Let’s not forget the original Planet of the Apes showed that a time loop can ultimately lead to a Utopian society.
Arthur C. Clarke wrote 2001, A Space Odyssey. This story may be looked at as a harbinger of the evils of space and the unknown. One needs to consider the number of predictions this 1968 masterpiece brought to light. We were still a year from stepping on the moon and he was talking about a world wide satellite communication system, space stations and interplanetary travel. Even Jules Verne showed that Science Fiction can be an adventure. He sent us to the moon literally 100 years before the Eagle landed. What is even more amazing is that the two trips were completely for the adventure and joy of exploring the unknown. No cold war—no two minutes to midnight— Earth was in one piece when they got back. Maybe someday that can be our reality.