The urgent need to reorganise life on Earth is clear to almost everyone, how we do it less so. Fortunately science fiction has drawn up some good plans
There is no consensus on what constitutes a better future or how to cultivate one – such nebulous concepts can really only be interpreted through the prism of personal situation. Clean energy, universal access to medical services and education, being well clothed, well fed and having basic rights are some of the essentials any civilised individual would ask for before branching off into their own wish list.
Right now, in the midst of lockdown, the overriding drive is, understandably, for a return to normality and the stability it brings. But there is a growing awareness that things cannot carry on as before. We are more mindful of the natural world and the effect we’ve had on it, conscious of how other people matter to us, and awake to consumerism’s unearned dominance in our lives. We need to examine the potential for more enduring and sustainable futures. And science fiction certainly spends plenty of time looking for future paradises, even if we don’t always get there.
Salvation Lost by Peter F Hamilton is out now in paperback, and Saints of Salvation is available to pre-order in hardback for October (Pan Macmillan). Continue reading...