Sci-fi and dystopian stories might seem like pure escapism, but what separates them from fantasy is their roots in our reality. It’s a great example of how creativity and imagination finds a route into solving real-world problems. At this MIT conference, three sci-fi creators tell us how dystopian ideas could inform our tomorrows (and todays).
On a panel at the Beyond the Cradle conference on March 14, from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab, science fiction creators Ytasha Womack, Daniel Suarez and Marc Okrand shared their ideas on sci-fi futures.
The trio discussed their perspectives on science, fiction and culture, arguing that this intersection not only creates an important opportunity to expand the scope of our own perspectives but also provides agency for those often left out of the conversation about space exploration.
Or dystopias, which popular science fiction and young adult novels tend to focus on. Womack said that while readers have an interest in dystopian stories of the future, many peoples and communities today are already living in their own forms of dystopias. By imagining societies of the future, we can explore how to improve human relations today, and in some cases even shine a harsh light on the ways our society has failed to live up to the standards we write about.