"Science fiction represents how people in the present feel about the future. That’s why ‘big ideas’ were prevalent in the 1930s, ’40s and partly in the ’50s. People felt the future would be better, one way or another. Now it doesn’t feel that
But the task of science fiction is not to predict the future. Rather, it contemplates possible futures. Writers may find the future appealing precisely because it can’t be known, a black box where “anything at all can be said to happen without fear of contradiction from a native,” says the renowned novelist and poet Ursula K. Le Guin. “The future is a safe, sterile laboratory for trying out ideas in,” she tells Smithsonian, “a means of thinking about reality, a method.”
LOTS of good stuff in this article!
I'm looking forward to plowing through the whole issue soon. (AND PATRICK STEWART IS ON THE COVER, SWOON.)
I really should re-subscribe. I love Smithsonian.