Tomorrow Project Anthology: Dark Futures
The title of this collection, Dark Futures, acknowledges one of the most important roles that science fiction can play: warning us of the pitfalls and hazards ahead. The future is full of uncertainty and risk, but it takes a good story to push us from apathy to action. Novels like Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake and Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash are powerful because they create yardsticks for human progress and social justice, showing us just how close we are straying to the danger zones of political and cultural tyranny.
For this volume of the Tomorrow Project’s The Future: Powered by Fiction, we have selected some of the best dystopian stories submitted over the course of our global writing competition. Dystopia comes to us from the same Greek roots as utopia, and it means a ‘bad place’ – a world where individuals suffer and society as a whole is much worse than the way we live now. The funny thing about dystopia and utopia is how much they have in common. Both are stories about worlds where all of the big questions have been answered-either fearfully, like in George Orwell’s 1984, or hopefully, like the classic Utopia of Thomas More. But anyone who reads More’s Utopia knows that one man’s vision of a perfect world might be someone else’s nightmare. Any future where all of the questions have been answered takes away one of humanity’s most fundamental resources: hope.