The Future of Science Fiction in Trump’s America
Over at Inverse, Ryan Britt asks the question: what is the future of science fiction in Trump’s America? And he was good enough to ask my opinion, and to give me the last word in his article!
The short version: the future looks terrifying, for so many of the communities who Trump and his allies have targeted, and we’re going to need outlandish stories even more in the outlandish times ahead.
I gave Ryan more to work with than he was able to include in the finished article, but here’s the full quote:
“Trump’s election hasn’t told us anything we didn’t already know. For many of the most important and powerful voices in the genre, now as in the past, profound racism and misogyny and xenophobia and homophobia are far too real already. Think of The Handmaid’s Tale, about a far-right anti-woman Christian fundamentalist takeover of the US government, or Octavia Butler’s Parable books – a trilogy that she couldn’t complete because it was too traumatic to dig any deeper into a dystopia that Reagan’s America had come to resemble far too closely. Today, writers like Alyssa Wong and N.K. Jemisin and Usman Tanveer Malik and many others are singing terrifying brilliant songs of our not-so-brave not-so-new world of drone bombings, hate crimes, and genocide.
“What will change, I think, is how people respond to science fiction. The future of science fiction in Trump’s America is that people will need it more. As the world grows darker and stranger, we will need dark and strange stories. That has always been a function of the genre. To help us hope and imagine better worlds and wondrous technologies, yes, but also to help us grieve, and understand, and grow stronger, and fight back.”