The Future is the Motherfucking Future
Exploding flying cars. Bumpers and wings and shattered glass and bodies raining down on the five o’clock commute.
The past gave us more credit than we deserve. Unless we change, unless something miraculous happens to us. You know, something like the future.
Science fiction can encourage us to ask questions about our present and our future. Like, what if we got rid of Africa? After all, there was no Africa in those old futures my father grew up imagining.
Have we ever invented an Africa other than that home to zoo animals and tribesmen, poverty, illiteracy, malnutrition, thirst, and hunger? Warlords, AIDS, dust, and old Russian guns. Cars with flamethrowers instead of cars with wings. The world’s poorest and most underdeveloped continent. The second most populous. A billion people.
We could get rid of it, scrub it from our maps and minds. A billion people no longer waiting for food, for aid, for money, stability, education, parity, consumer goods. A billion people’s worth of struggle
The world would be a better place if we didn’t have a billion hungry, sick, uneducated people waiting for the future to lift them up. It would.
Science fiction: what if we got rid of that Africa? Would you mourn? Would your space-bound grandchildren?
Love, of course we’ll keep love. It will be whole and pure as it’s ever been.
Did you miss out because your features were captured in a Polaroid before they were locked in a lover’s heart? Did you love less than Penelope because no matter how far away he went, it was never more than ten hours on a plane and two in a bus?
Just because the foam in your mattress is the same foam used in spaceships, when you lie on it at night and think of dying, and think of blackness and end and disappearing into absolute lack and you start to feel cold near your diaphragm, is there any cure better than rolling over and curling into the side of the warm body that keeps the soul of the one you love?