Classics such as George Orwell’s 1984 with its now-ubiquitous “Big Brother,” Ray Bradbury’s censorship critique Fahrenheit 451, and Margaret Atwood’s terrifyingly gender-regressive Handmaid’s Tale depict societies strangled by the evil clutches of the government and the populace’s inability to identify and challenge their own manipulation.
Alice in Wonderland inspired Lewis Padgett’s sci-fi story “Mimsy Were the Borogoves,” in which an alien sends boxes of special toys to Earth. Scott Paradine finds one and intuits that the toys are special, as does his baby sister Emma.
Last week, Elon Musk shared SpaceX’s vision to put humans on Mars and eventually start a colony. Colonizing Mars is an appealing idea, especially among those, such as Stephen Hawking, who believe our future as a species relies on our ability to become interplanetary. In science fiction, off-Earth
While science fiction has long been obsessed with robots, the genre has an even longer relationship with aliens, who are often far scarier: where they came from, how they think, and what they want are questions to which there is no comforting answer, if there’s an answer at all.
Robots work in warehouses, explore Mars, assist police, clean floors, and serve as companions for kids and adults alike. But before Furbies there was Frankenstein, before Roombas there was R.U.R., and before androids we had Asimov.