You ought to enjoy contemplating, on the one hand, something horrific happening to the earth that leaves the pathetic remnants of humanity wandering wretchedly across a blasted and uninhabitable landscape fighting off mutants that have somehow gotten hold of motorcycles, or, on the other hand, a future filled with technological wonders that allow us to transcend the bounds of earth and throw off the shackles of our own ignorance, pettiness and self-pity. It’s one or the other. I don’t think anyone’s ever tried to write a sci-fi novel where the future is pretty much like the present: basically, you know, okay.
Although it might be worth considering. Imagine, if you will, the earth ten thousand years from now. We meet Bucky, Spiff and Angie all working in a pizza joint trying to pay off their student loans while they hope someone hires them in the fields they actually trained for in college: art history, comparative religion and medieval lit respectively. Bucky owns a scooter and still lives at home with his parents. Spiff and Angie share two rooms in the basement of a house that used to be a hair salon in better days.
I don’t know. It seems like there ought to be ray guns or teleportation or maybe a gang of motorcycle riding mutants somewhere in there.
Me, I tend to be an ‘optimism with a twist’ kind a guy. Or maybe an ‘optimism with a twist and an olive’. I mean, what if all our dreams came true? What if we all got our heart’s desire? What would we do then? What would we complain about? If there was nothing to complain about would we be happy? How would we establish status if we couldn’t prove, at least rhetorically, that we’d had it a lot tougher than everybody else?
That’s where my optimism comes in. I know in my heart that, no matter how good things get, we human beings will always find some way to be dissatisfied, some way to think that we’re getting the short end of the stick, some way to think that it’s that other group of human beings that’s screwing it up for everybody. It’s just something that we do well and I can’t imagine us giving it up. It’s what makes us interesting. It means that we’ll never run out of stories.