Monday, November 13, 2006

Future (Im)Perfect

I write Futuristic and Science Fiction Erotic Romance. My characters live, love, and lust after each other in technologically advanced worlds. I'm currently working on two series in two separate universes. One is a near-future universe, where humankind has colonized the inner Solar system. The other is space opera, set in a universe so futuristic and far-removed from Earth that modern existence has faded into the mists of irrelevance--Earth isn't, and perhaps never was. I have other futuristic settings that I've dreamed up over the years as well, but most of them share one common element.

They are imperfect futures.

Two of my favorite fandoms are Star Trek and Star Wars, yet their futuristic settings are vastly different. The future portrayed in Star Trek falls into what I consider the "perfect" category. While far from perfect, it is, by its tone, a future striving towards perfection rather than away from it. The futuristic setting of Star Wars, however, is heading the opposite direction.

I often wonder which type of future we'll really be manifesting. Will we, as a species, reach out to overcome our common problems, like hunger and disease? Or will we allow our imperfections--our ugly and selfish instincts--to take over and create an environment where more and more people are marginalized, and the struggle for survival is a struggle made in a lonely vacuum? And why do I write stories set in dystopic settings when they seem so damn depressing at first glance?

My answer is hope.

A dystopian society presents more of an obstacle to two (three, five, seven, etc.) people finding each other and finding love than a perfect one. Love in an imperfect future is harder...and can be more rewarding. The brightest candle burns in the darkest room, and it has a greater effect.

What kinds of futures do you like to read about?


Bernadette Gardner and Jennifer Colgan said...

I'm a Star Trek and Star Wars fan too, for different reasons. Star Trek gave us hope, I always felt. It showed what the human race coudl achieve if we really put our minds to it. In the Trek universe humans have put aside war amongst themselves, they've embraced other cultures, learned to love diversity and achieved fabulous things.

Star Wars has appeal because here is a society that achieved much but is still plagued by the problems we face today, a wide gap between the have's and the have-not's, internal strife, hidden evils. I suspect those things exist in the Star Trek universe too when you dig deep enough, though they were not part of Roddenberry's original vision.

I'm all over the map in what I write and read as far as human society. I'd like to think our future will be Trekian, but I have a feeling we'll be somewhere in between the two ends of the spectrum.

MK Mancos/Kathleen Scott said...

My novella, Fatal Error, coming out in Red Sage Secrets: Erotic Nights next month is a dystopian US, in the relatively near future. I went for dark and kind of gritty. As a matter of fact, the story opens at night.

All my sci-fi and futuristic is imperfect. Even in the sequel to Fatal Error, titled 'Mind Games' there is a dark underbelly to society that is sanctioned by the government.

I'm a big conspiracy theorist, so to me there is always an underlying motive. Fox Mulder and I were definately on the same wave length.

As for stories I like? I love Star Trek and Star Wars both. I think the differences come from one being the future for Earth. Gene Roddenberry invisioned a future society to have gone passed their problems in order to seek different cultures in a unified front. Star Wars has no claim to Earth. They don't even know Earth, so the expectations for George Lucas wasn't a proposed future Earth but a history of a distant galaxy (all together now..) far, far away. Though if you go a layer beyond the surface it's very much Japan and the way of the samurai. (He's said that he's a big fan of Kirasawa's Seven Samurai.)