Ray Bradbury is a renowned author famous for his short science fiction stories and his novel "Fahrenheit 421". His works have inspired many and raised numerous questions about what the future may hold. He's quoted as saying "I don't try to describe the future. I try to prevent it." (Bradbury), and in many ways you can see the motif of this mindset in his work. He goes into detail about the dangers of reliance on technology, the ways it could result in our downfall as societies and people. He passed away in 2012 yet his stories live on and remain significant, not only as relics in history, but as reminders of what we've become and what we may be moving toward if we're not careful. In today's world its hard to go too far without seeing somebody wrapped up in something as simple as a
Susan Sontag, an author of the essay “Imagination Disaster,” explores the world of science fiction as she discusses the tropes in films from the mid-1900s. Throughout her essay, Sontag analyzes why these types of films were created, and basically ties her discussion with humanity. With the growing technological advances, science fiction films state specific things about how science threatens humanity. She also ties her discussion to how sci-fi films tend to serve an attempt at distributing a balance between humanity and the technological world. Sontag claims that science fiction films has suspense, shock, surprises, has an inexorable plot, and how they invite a dispassionate, aesthetic view of destruction and violence. She also states that sci-fi is touching and some of it is depressing. Basically, detects war that opposes no problems or moral qualifications. Finally, she makes a claim that science technology is a good unifier and how they create a utopian society where everyone thinks alike. Sontag states powerful claims that are indeed true. In fact, Guardians of The Galaxy vol. 2 is an excellent sci-fi film that supports Susans claims.
A popular sub-genre commonly mentioned when one thinks of a dystopia is the ever so terrifying rogue technological future society that we one day might become. What is it that makes this idea so popular and so scary? It is the fear hidden within the unknown, the question of, what if we become too advanced. A trend can be seen within this genre, technology is created and it becomes so powerful that the citizens that use it become so obsessed that they become blind to what’s around them. Two prime examples of this are Minority Report and Fahrenheit 451, they share many similarities within the plot line as well as the characters and perhaps even the moral lessons that run at the heart of the stories.
“I don’t try to describe the future, I try to prevent it.” (Bradbury) Bradbury’s depictions of the future, written in the 1950’s, explain his motives for writing in a science fiction style with a heavier emphasis on fiction than science. Ray Bradbury influences people in a way that cannot be mimicked. He used fictional stories to deliver an important message that can be applied throughout time. The message is how our actions affect our future today. Throughout the course of his life, Bradbury never let social norms get in the way of his writing. He repeatedly proved that what matters in life is how we affect the future, one story at a time. He continues to make people think about how their actions affect their futures, which was his intention
Andrew Niccol’s Gattaca presents an advanced world that seems realistic despite it being set in the “not-too-distant-future.’ The futuristic scene is set in such a way that the society holds elements and aspects of a traditional and mainstream community from the 1990s. Niccols’ inclusion of motifs throughout the film assist in the presentation of the futuristic world in which simple, recurring motifs such as blood and DNA, transport and perfection are used as templates to construct a complex criticism throughout the film.
Traditionally structured gender roles place both men and women into very strict categories. However, as we move into the future this way of thinking becomes increasingly archaic. Thinking of such things in such black and white terms gives one a narrow point of view and places people in categories which they do not fit. In Octavia Butler’s Dawn and William Gibson’s Neuromancer the ideas of the feminine gender role are redefined.
The term ‘sense of wonder’ can be identified as a reaction, albeit physical or emotional, created within and by the reader/viewer, to the works of science fiction. A sense of wonder is specifically associated with the works of science fiction, as opposed to any other modes of work. A sense of wonder is an important element in the works of science fiction as it allows the works of science fiction to grow as a genre and expand in what it encompasses as a category. The feeling of wonder that is created within the reader/viewer allows the reader to have some form of control/power over the writers of science fiction themselves. Science fiction is built on the feeling of wonder – wonder drives and generates science fiction as a genre and so science fiction requires a sense of wonder to work and move forward as a genre.
Showing concern for the fellow being is the need of the hour which will give comfort and solace to the inhabitants of the world. Humanity thrives well if the people of its society live with the concern. Everybody expects care and warmth from the society forgetting the fact the little drops from every individual will make a mighty ocean. It is the apt time to think about what is wrong with the attitude of mankind to check what will harm the present as well as future generations. The writers who write science fiction try to create awareness and at the same time give an alarm to the society. Kurt Vonnegut tries his level best in imprinting the evils of scientific development and warns what is to be done to improve the life of mankind better.
In most sci-fi films, the future is dark, cold and mainly dystopic. Life as we know has evolved “for the better” due to the use and improvements of machine, artificial intelligence and technology. Our earth has been demolished and usually all other living creatures are long gone, plants no longer exist and natural resources are rare. For example, Blade Runner, The Matrix District 9 and Metropolis are a few of the films that illustrate a similar dystopic setting. They all centered on dark, tall black buildings that give off the same cold vision and concept that one person or corporation is in power. Their theme is focused on the concept of “us vs. then” whether it’s a machine or alien.
The Best accomplishments of science fiction can be linked to the genre exploring the relationship between man and his environment and the capabilities of man. This shows that science fiction is not only about technological changes but it is also about the evolution of man and other species.
Science fiction has become increasingly popular over the past few years as new innovative technology has made it possible for films to become more realistic. Avatar, being one of the highest ranked sci-fi films to be made, is a clear example of how the film industry is on a fast moving track towards a new era of science fiction storytelling. James Cameron’s Avatar exercised all new forms of cinematographic tools in order to bring one’s imagination to real life.
When science fiction meets the drama of love something really interesting and original can happen. This is the case of Spike Jonze movie, "Her". Although the plot is not particularly developed, it is a very complex movie because of the questions it arouses. The science fiction scenarios and the human-machine relationship intersect with the romantic-dramatic story, which is still based on the deep emotions that everyone can try beyond technology. During the movie the audience is involved into the vortex of that relationship that at first seems absurd, then almost possible, until you get to believe that a human-software relationship can easily exist, and in the end it goes back being paradoxical and it leaves thousands questions to the audience.
There has been little investigation of the influence society has on science fiction as a genre. However, previous research, using various methodologies, has indicated a significant relationship between science fiction and society, but much of the research focuses on the inverse of my research question: how science fiction has influenced society, instead of how society influences science fiction. Within that relationship, several different aspects of science fiction have been studied, so they are included here for context.
Set in the near future, the sci-fi/romance film Her, directed by Spike Jonze, tells a story about a recent divorcee named Theodore who writes personal letters for other people. After being heartbroken over his last relationship, which the audience catches pieces of through flashbacks, Theodore becomes interested in the idea of an intuitive and self-aware advanced operating system who gives herself the name Samantha. His relationship with Samantha grows into a romantic one and they grow together throughout the film. Their relationship, and it’s eventual end, is a statement on the risk of intimacy in a world where people are constantly evolving and growing.
The film Lost in Translation follows two Americans visiting Tokyo during important transitional periods in their lives. Charlotte is a recent college graduate trying to figure out her career while also moving on from the honeymoon phase of her new marriage. Bob Harris is essentially going through a mid-life crisis as he sorts through life post-movie stardom and struggles to maintain a relationship with his overbearing wife. The two find each other in the hotel bar as a result of their inability to sleep and form a connection based on their mutual isolation in both their relationships and the city of Tokyo. The film touches on the importance of communication as well as what it is like to be a foreigner alone in a vastly different culture. The