Seemingly infinite branching futures lay before us, most of them bad-shaped. Will the pandemic and wildfires leave us in withered, blasted ruins? Will the new Supreme Court finally transform us into a full-blown theocracy? Will voter suppression continue unabated until election day? Will the militias show up? Will the election — I’ll just stop it there.
Who knows! About any of it! Now is a moment in which everything seems possible, especially crippling anxiety. But while we all wait with bated breath for our hoped-for outcomes, perhaps we can take some solace in considering a few of those infinite futures. In incomprehensible times, I’ve found good speculative fiction can do wonders.
So, in honor of the mess that is sure to be election week, when the only thing that’s certain is uncertainty is certain to come, let’s take a look at some of the most informative, soul-satisfying fiction we’ve published here at OneZero this year. Starting with the almost-too-on-the-nose “Anxiety Is the Dizziness of Freedom” by the master, Ted Chiang. A story about alternate timelines and time spent worrying about how we might change our own, there is simply no better story to read to nourish a fretful soul this week.
Anxiety Is the Dizziness of Freedom
Put simply, Ted Chiang is one of our generation’s greatest speculative fiction writers. This may seem like hyperbole…
Next up, we have “Bloodchild,” another masterwork this time by all-time speculative fiction great Octavia E. Butler.
This peerless short story by visionary fiction writer Octavia Butler examines the legacy — and future — of colonization…
We ran “Bloodchild” as part of our series on visionary fiction, the genre and practice of placing the scope and the tools of sci-fi into activists, students, and advocates’ hands for the sake of building a better future…