Science fiction must escape its dystopic trap and foster hope
- Books are increasingly filled with dread of the future at a time we need literature investing in hope.
There was a big controversy in the science-fiction community last month when it emerged that the 2023 Hugo Awards, decided in October at the world convention in Chengdu, China, had inexplicably disqualified a few prominent entries from the list of nominations.Those quietly dropped included R.F. Kuang’s bestselling Babel and Xiran Jay Zhao’s Iron Widow, prompting suspicion that they might have triggered Beijing’s censorship filters. Even an entry by the legendary Neil Gaiman was disqualified. A couple of heads have rolled since then, but the mystery remains.