While it’s certainly true that dystopian science fiction has become popular in the last few decades, it doesn’t follow that no one has been putting forward more optimistic pictures of tomorrow. Just because Stephenson and others embraced the dark images of cyberpunk, environmental doom, and whatnot doesn’t mean everyone did. From the 1980s to the early 2010s, the late author Iain Banks (who I have nominated for canonization) spun fantastic visions of a post-scarcity society he dubbed The Culture, which was full of artificially-intelligent robots and ships, giant space colonies, individuals who lived almost forever and regularly swapped genders, and seemingly endless, endless wonder. Similarly, Star Trek went off television from 2005 to 2017, but its vision of post-scarcity goodwill and polite liberalism — what a friend described as the Enlightenment-on-speed — continued all the while on the big screen.
Posts tagged STS
“STS’s detailed accounts of the construction of knowledge show that it requires infrastructure, effort, ingenuity and validation structures. Our arguments that ‘it could be otherwise’ (e.g. Woolgar and Lezaun, 2013) are very rarely that ‘it could easily be otherwise’; instead, they point to other possible infrastructures, efforts, ingenuity and validation structures.”
Sergio Sismondo, ‘Post-truth?’ (2017)