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Superhero Fatigue

By Alyssa Rosenberg on March 31, 2011 at 1:36 pm

"Superhero Fatigue"

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I don’t actually have it yet. But I feel a twinge of disappointment on learning that SyFy’s development slate is so heavily stacked with stories about people with extraordinary abilities. If we’re really thinking about what’s going to happen in the future, it doesn’t just involve changes in what it means to be human, a category of change of which superpowers are really only subset. It betrays a lack of ambition, or perhaps an extreme narcissism, that those appear to be the only themes we can think of.

We need a Red Mars adaptation.We need a great Ender’s Game adaptation. We need an awesome, weird, movie series based on Mary Doria Russell’s Rakhat novels. I would also really like adaptations of Steel Beach and Brothers. And this is just the adaptations. Stories about exploration of other planets, about encounters with aliens that don’t just involve blowing up downtown Los Angeles, stories about environmental degradation, about the advancements of medicine and their costs—there is so much we have to do with science and speculative fiction. I hate the lack of ambition people have for the genre. Romantic comedies are about fulfilling specific urges and cliched narratives. Science fiction ought to be part of the way we dream ourselves into our own future.

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