As the first twenty one years of the twenty-first century come to a close, who are the creators of science fiction defining the century ahead?
Damien Walter writes on technology, culture and science fiction for The Guardian, BBC, Independent, Wired, Buzzfeed, SFX and Aeon. He teaches The Rhetoric of Story & Writing the 21st Century Myth to over 35,000 students worldwide.
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It’s notable that, here in the year 2021, most of the years that science fiction once looked forward to are now far behind us. The 2001 that was once the future is now firmly the past. But far from dying out, science fiction is outgrowing its origins and reinventing itself beyond the 20th century.
Now in the 21st century science fiction is no longer biting at the heels of the mainstream – science fiction IS the mainstream. Every new media that emerges, from MMORPGs to homebrew Unreal Engine animation, is used to express the sense-of-wonder of scifi, fantasy, horror and more.
Significance is not success. Significance is not fame, wealth, renown or notoriety. You may not have heard of every storyteller here, but your life will be richer for hearing of them. These creators are where science fiction is coming from, and what it is becoming. The new media used to create it. The new pathways creators walk to make it. And the new ideas science fiction is bringing into our world.
(This is also a dream interview list for the Science Fiction podcast.)