Ideas: Thoughtful Musings on SF and Beyond.
Michelle Carraway has been an avid reader and writer ever since she learned how. She worked as an editor for a small online publication called Electric Inc and published several stories with the same publication. For the past five years Michelle has worked writing screenplays and has had a few notable successes. Mostly, however, she just loves to write and have reams of stories under every doily to show for it.
Before the year 2000 arrived there was no end of speculation, excitement and fear for what the dramatic change in calendar year would bring.
Many thought it would miraculously usher in a change of dimension where you could amble down to the Ford dealership and buy a flying car run off of water, and humanity would suddenly find itself at home amongst the stars. On the far end of this spectrum was the fear of a total loss of technology. We all felt the fear that with one digital flip of a number, planes would fall from the sky and missiles would launch themselves. Anarchy and mayhem were predicted even while many of us hoped for a miracle, and of course, for a flying car.
Neither very good things nor very evil things occurred and with the world meandering on its same downward trajectory the only thing that did occur was a silent yet all pervasive sense of desolation. Worse was still to come. The world plunged into a state of frozen terror and with the constant swings of fear and victory came cynicism. This cynicism resulted in our need
to venture into the unknown being called into question. Soon budgets were cut to the very programs that the world needs if any of us are ever going to build a colony on the moon, see Saturn up close, or, the great miracle, find another planet to call our own, orbiting around a star that no earthling has felt the heat of.
Our ambitions and our caution were as a result of science fiction. The hopes and dreams that we as a species had for the 21st century were penned by gifted writers of the 19th and 20th century. When we as a species first orbited our beautiful planet, first walked on the moon and first saw the Voyager images of the distant reaches of our solar system, it was as a result of the inspiration, imagination and science fiction derived plays we made as children. As a child, each of us wanted to be an astronaut. We wanted to meet other races and we knew that there were other races whom we could teach and learn from. We all wanted to be James T. Kirk, or Buck Rogers, or even Taronga Leela. It was this great bounding human love of discovery that forged the modern world we inhabit. Only now, at the moment right at the brink of launching into the next great phase of our evolution, we hesitate and our hearts have failed us.
Fear taints our faith in our abilities and our joy in the universe has been marred. We wonder if we are capable as a species because we never did build that moon colony and the year 2000 is now long behind us. Instead of going back to the moon, we cut funding to NASA.
Our feelings and our disappointments have brought us to the brink of a lonely abyss. All is not lost. We still have the inspiration of all the glorious visions of the future that men and women over the past hundred and fifty years bestowed upon us. Our rancor and cynicism can be overthrown. We can choose to become heroic once more, to have strong hearts. We can stop all of our infighting and all the myriad of things that distract us from our human destiny. That human destiny, is to walk amongst the stars.