The aspirational quality of early science fiction and the epic composition of later entries within the genre is undeniable. Yet, does the sci-fi of today provide us with any particular value?
Take the movie Gravity which is spectacular visually and emotional wrought. However, near as I can tell, it makes no particular statement about where human civilization might go or what perils we might encounter there. Compare it to 2001: A Space Odyssey which posits (I would argue) that human intelligence and ingenuity sprung from malevolence and so might artificial intelligence as well. Now, I am not one to deny the value of a character study or a gripping piece of cinematic artistry. I just don’t think that imagining a world-that-could-be has much value when not paired with at least some small meditation on progress and its biases toward efficiency and order.
Dystopia or utopia, show me the beauty and the drama of time’s arrow.