Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by the lovely people at The Broke and the Bookish. Given that they are many, and there is only one of me, all Top Ten Tuesday posts will really be Top Three Tuesdays.
This week’s topic is…
Now, we had an option of choosing a topic that either had a historical or futuristic theme to it. If you know me, you know I strongly…dislike historicals. Nothing against historical authors and writers, but I had the most evil AP history teacher and he has basically scarred me for life. Thus, the futuristic theme for today’s post.
The word futuristic immediately made me think of science fiction novels and the future consequences of rapid technological advancement. Strange, I know, but my mother is constantly ranting about how technology will cause the end of the world, so there you go.
Despite the freedom science fiction authors have in writing their books, I have found that their books really fall into three basic categories: space exploration (very Star Trekky), overcoming an aggressive alien race that wants to assimilate (read subjugate) humans (say hello to the Borg), and cultural exchange (never try to barter with the ferengi). So, with that in mind, here are the three consequences of futuristic societies I’d love to read in books.
1. Technology seriously going wrong, and humans then taking to a relatively primitive lifestyle a la the Dothraki.
I didn’t read George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series, but I watched the first season of Game of Thrones with my sister who did read the books. The only thing I loved about that show was the Dothraki and Khal Drogo. And then he had to kill him (seriously, someone resurrect him already!).
What I adored about the Dothraki culture was how okay they were basically roughing it in the desert. They just pillaged, ate horsemeat, and did whatever tickled their fancy (like dumping a cauldron of molten gold on to your fiancé’s brother’s head like a BOSS).
I would love to see a world rampant with technology that supposedly makes our lives easier (there is only so easy something can get, people), and having a group or a culture that shuns technology. It would be even better if they all look like Jason Momoa (with the beard, thank you), and they out lived the techies who withered away due to inactivity (why would you do anything if a piece of technology could do it for you?).
2. Humans actually out smarting and overthrowing the imposing rule of an invading superior alien race, and Earth not being destroyed in the process.
Seriously, why does the Earth always have to die? In every other science fiction book I read, there is this epic battle between human and an alien racs, and you know who comes out the biggest loser there? The Earth.
Now, I am not a super environmentally conscious individual. I’ll recycle, but that’s probably about it. But seriously, who is going to pay for the damage and the restoration of all that is destroyed in the battle against aliens?
Think about it. After the aliens attack, we won’t be working our nine to fives anymore—we’ll be trying to survive. If we are lucky to make it, what sort of life would we lead with a constant reminder of the war in the form of giant craters made by phaser blasts or energy cannons? I don’t really buy into the whole dystopian thing where people leave the dilapidated infrastructure as it is, and make the best of it. If people are willing to pay an interior decorator thousands just to change the ambiance of their house, big unsightly rubble hills will definitely have to go.
3. People living underground and developing a metal to prevent detection by Decepticon-like technological monsters.
If technology got so it advanced that it reached the sentient phase, I think we can be sure that the tech will having varying personalities and its own goals. When sentient technology tries to kill people, people try to kill it back—it’s human instinct to struggle even when the odds are so not in your favor-how are we going to fight against something that processes information faster than us, is stronger than us, and is simply not hindered by human emotions such as compassion and guilt? You can’t, or at least you’ll be one of the few people left alive after the threat has been neutralized.
How would the smart survivors limit the collateral damage to the 80% of the population that would be cannon fodder? Hide them someplace far, far away, deep in the Earth (you know, the planet whose topside has probably gone to hell by now). Of course we already mentioned that these are super smart killing machines that don’t get tired, so the geniuses of the world would have to develop a material that would successfully block detection and withstand any attempts to breach it (think like a metallic version of Helm’s Deep or a super-sized version of Magneto’s helmet).
So there you have it, the three consequences of futuristic societies I’d love to read in books. I hope I didn’t scare you off with my rather intense ranting, but hey, TTT topics are supposed to you give you a bookish outlet.
Let me know if you guys have any science fiction tropes that you can’t stand to see anymore of or if you have books you’d recommend that deal with the consequences I discussed in this post (I’m always looking for new reading material).
This really long rant about the improbability of humans surviving comfortably after the world goes to shit was inspired by io9.