Near Future SCI-FI often explores the dangers of advanced technology or emerging social change — and its possible effects upon our world.
While early works of this genre were Utopian showcases of technological and societal progress, (Jules Verne’s Journey to the Centre of the Earth – 1864) the Dystopian majority focus on emerging social problems — like threats to the environment, oppressive political regimes (George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four — 1949) and nuclear warfare. 2oth Century works deal with accelerated change, genetic engineering, artificial intelligence and fears of Alien invasion.
Recent SCI-FI TV DRAMAS have given us seriously unsettling and prophetic visions of the future –where humans are either rebelled against or replaced by their own creations — redefining what it means to be human.
This British TV series imagines a near future where advanced technology has led to the development of humanoid robots called Syths (notably Anita Hawkins / Mia Elster depicted by Gemma Chan) that eventually gain consciousness. As they become increasingly indistinguishable from humans, the series explore notions of what it means to be human: societally, culturally, and psychologically.
Robots that inhabit this future theme park are introduced as playthings of the super-rich. Fictional scientist Robert Ford (Anthony Hopkins) designs them to “become human” with a variety of utopian and dystopian possibilities. The series questions the distinction between “real” and “artificial” consciousness and the complexities of having a creation come to life.
The Handmaid’s Tale (2017)
The novel by Margaret Atwood is set in a gender-segregated, theocratic republic that is fixated on wealth and class. Women are rated according to their ability to reproduce in a near-future where environmental disasters and rampant sexually transmitted diseases have rendered much of the population infertile. One woman’s (Elisabeth Moss) undying determination to be reunited with her family and topple their oppressors leads to all out rebellion.
Futuristic SCI-FI FILMS allow for a unique perspective on current society and what could go wrong with humanity.
The Matrix (1999)
The Matrix is set in a dystopian future inside a simulated reality that’s created by sentient machines. The film may not state which year it’s set in, but it’s close to the year 2199. In the story, the chosen one, Neo (Keanu Reeves) must defeat the machines with Morpheus and Trinity to wake up humanity and escape the Matrix.
The Matrix is a commentary on humanity’s understanding of reality and how easily it can be manipulated. It explores power, control, and free will, showing how easily humans can lose autonomy and individuality.
Minority Report (2002)
Minority Report follows John Anderton (Tom Cruise), the police officer in charge of the Precrime Unit. John becomes a target of the system after he is falsely accused of a future murder. The story is set in 2054 when law enforcement uses psychics called “precogs” to predict and prevent crimes, leading to a future where privacy and civil liberties are non-existent.
Minority Report raises ethical questions about preemptive policing and determinism — all at the cost of personal freedom.
I, Robot (2004)
Set in the year 2035, I, Robot shows an easier way of life where robots assist humans with day-to-day activities. However, detective Del Spooner (Will Smith) starts to investigate a murder that he believes was committed by a robot. This quickly challenges society’s widespread belief that robots are incapable of violence. Del uncovers a conspiracy involving the company that creates robots and threatens to destabilize society.
I, Robot reflects on advanced technology and the potential consequences of creating an AI that is too powerful.
THE SURVIVAL TRILOGY (2016-2018)
Each life-changing story in the TRILOGY (inspired by real events) sheds light on racial injustice — as it explores the human connection to Ancient Aliens through the eyes of Native Mythology.
Book 1 A Gleam of Light explores Native American Mythology as UNA, half-Hopi bureaucrat from D.C., is summoned to Hopiland. Her connection to the white man’s world makes her uniquely qualified to help solve a mystery linked to an ancient discovery, as she tries to reconnect with her roots and cultural identity.
Book 2 The Dragon’s Glare explores Asian American Mythology with UNA on special assignment to investigate unexplained violence in Chinatown, New York City. She discovers a deep-seated cultural connection with Tibetan immigrants as Ancient Chinese wisdom battles a threat from Ancient Evil.
Book 3 Beyond the World explores African American Mythology as UNA, stranded on her honeymoon adventure in Yosemite, uncovers a UFO mystery that leads to an Alien Conspiracy. Together with Explorer’s Club teens from the Kikuyu Tribe, she tracks down the source of strange events and fights to save humanity.
Near Future SCI-FI – whether Utopian or Dystopian – forces us to look upon our own reality and consider how changes in our society, technology, and even our bodies might directly affect our lives.
The future isn’t as far-fetched as it used to be.