Dystopian sci-fi writers don’t predict the future like prophets. They predict the future like you’re telling a toddler “keep running like that and you’ll hurt yourself” 8 seconds before it happens.

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I read somewhere a good way to think about dystopian novels written in years past is to consider that they weren’t always writing for the future specifically. They build worlds based on what was 𝘢𝘭𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘥𝘺 𝘩𝘢𝘱𝘱𝘦𝘯𝘪𝘯𝘨 in their time. So when we compare our times to a dystopian scifi novel and say “they were right” we are too late. They were right about the trends back in 1950whenever. We should’ve been this worried about those issues back then. Now it’s different and worse


Charlie Stross is a classic example. He’s even had to do some major rewrites and delay publication, I believe. “Aw, shit. That wasn’t supposed to happen *yet*!!”


Books like 1984 (and arguably even Brave New World and Oryx and Crake) were groundbreaking to people because they thought Orwell was predicting the harrowing future when the truth is that he was writing about what he was already seeing in the world around him.


The cyberpunk genre is essentially this.


That’s also what biblical prophets do. Their job is always to go “if you keep on this path, God will do this” Edit: spelling