I found this introduction to be really interesting and reminded me a lot about various topics and assignments we’ve done in class. The introduction talks about how science fiction offers an “imagined future”; will “countless images of urban industrial futures” being an example. This statement brought me back to my steampunk literature review with learning that it’s a subgenre of science fiction that incorporates a historical past (popularly Victorian age) and a reimagined industrial-influenced future. Science fiction allows for the mind to be opened up experiencing a world beyond your own. Through this introduction I also realized that as it offers these new ideas they can actually be quite contradicting to how reality actually is.
Science fiction can also create a utopian view, as the introduction also mentions. We use technology as a strong force in science fiction to help create that perfect utopian society, but in reality this couldn’t be a more hypocritical thought. The introduction very bluntly, yet truthfully says “the world is not a machine we can use and then replace; it is our extended body. If we try to cut it away we will die.” Technology is incorporated in everyday-life for us and we’ve become completely dependent on it. Technological advances help to create an even greater division between the class social structures and the division of wealth amongst society. This is a very far stretch to science fiction’s so called technological utopia. In reality, technology is a huge reason as to why our ecosystems and biosphere is deteriorating. Our carbon footprint could greatly be traced back to technological usage.
The idea of utopia reminded me of Omelas, a short story about a falsified utopian society in which the people were only able to live their happy lives if a child suffered in all ways possible. I did my unessay topic on the contradiction of utopian societies…or lack thereof. Utopia doesn’t exist; atleast in reality is doesn’t. Here’s where science fiction comes in. Although Omelas is not a true example of a created utopia, I’m sure there are others science fiction works that can be acknowledged as to having utopian attributes.
Going from not really knowing much about science fiction coming into this class, I’ve come to appreciate its existence because it’s helped to broaden my mind and understanding of concepts. It’s also always nice to be able to relate short stories, in this case, an introduction piece, to real life.