Even the Future Has Gone to Shit


Over at TOR, Robert Charles Wilson compares ABC’s new Earth 2100 documentary to Disney’s 1955 program Man in Space in order to trace how our vision of the future has changed. 

Earth 2100 … is more dismaying than Man in Space, the way a cancer diagnosis is more dismaying than a clean bill of health.  What it tells us is that our civilization is teetering on the brink of unsustainability and collapse.  Earth 2100 presents a scenario that ends with major cities flooded or deserted and a global population decimated by starvation and disease.  …  Even the panaceas offered as consolation at the end of the program seem absurdly timorous: better lightbulbs and electric cars.  In this world, Disney’s Tomorrowland is either a grotesque incongruity or simply a ruin.”

Seth Fischer’s writing has twice been listed as notable in The Best American Essays and has been nominated for The Pushcart Prize by several publications, including Guernica. He was the founding Sunday editor at The Rumpus and is the current nonfiction editor at The Nervous Breakdown. He is a Dornsife PhD Fellow at USC and been awarded fellowships and residencies by Ucross, Lambda Literary, Jentel, Ragdale, and elsewhere, and he teaches at the UCLA-Extension Writer’s Program and Antioch University, where he received his MFA. More from this author →