As a science fiction fan, I’m also a fan of two of the arguably best science fiction television series (and movie spinoffs,) Star Trek and Firefly. What’s interesting about these two series is that they are, in a way, diametrically opposed in their idea about what our space-faring future looks like.
The Star Trek future is, for the most part, clean and comfortable, egalitarian, and rational. The human race went through a dark period, and came through much better for it. The Firefly future is, in a way, smack in the middle of that dark period. It’s dirty and uncomfortable, and you have to fight to survive.
In some ways, I’ve been influenced by both visions of the future. My Casitian Universe series includes the Casitians, who are even more clean, comfortable, rational and egalitarian than Star Trek! My most recent book, “Friends with Wings” is more Firefly. It shows a grimmer, more problematic future. The Casseopeia Chronicles splits the difference, although it leans a bit more to the Firefly model than the Star Trek model.
There have been countless visions of what our possible space-faring future might look like, some quite grimmer even than Firefly, few brighter than Star Trek. If we make it to be a real space-faring species, where going to another planet in our system, or even another world in a distant star system, it’s hard to believe we won’t take many of the aspects of our nature with us. Or can we change so that we might have a chance at a more Star Trek future?