How science fiction can help us survive Trump's America

Originally published at:


It’s portable and you take with you everywhere you go.


Maybe it’s my depression talking, but now I’m old and fucked-up, I don’t think I believe in positive coping with change, I just want escapism. I can’t even deal with my crazy landlord, what am I supposed to do about Brexit, Trump and the Koch bros?


SF can provide plenty of that too. Also, more than its fair share of reactionary nonsense. In fact, the reactionary nonsense tends to be pretty popular.


A time machine to let me jump forward 4 years might be helpful.


On the one hand, yes to this.

On the other, this reminds me a lot of the pep talk the boss at the game development company I worked for gave on 9/11 (or was it at the start of the Iraq war?) about how important entertainment was going to be to help people cope, which was really just so much bullshit.


Or backwards to prevent this outcome.


Does this have anything to do with cryonic suspension?


Charles Stross has a more negative outlook, but I smiled reading his personal lament

Thanks, reality, for fucking over one of my novels again. The crappy surveillance-state America in 2020 that I designed in 2013 for my next novel, "Empire Games" (which comes out the day before Trump's inauguration, due to delays beyond my control—it was originally due out in 2015) is now looking kind of mild and utopian.

Everybody always kills tangerine Hitler the first time.


I believe the first rapid, disorienting change will occur in the White House.


I’ve been wondering the last couple of days if there will be a turn away from dystopias now that we’re living in one, and a popular demand for more optimistic, Star Trek-style sci-fi.

Yeah, it’s a kind of reoccurring joke that whenever Stross writes some near-future dystopian elements into his stories, they actual come true, but worse. He even had to do a last-minute re-write when reality overtook his dystopia at one point. The other reoccurring joke being that since his stories keep coming true, readers keep demanding that he now write about wonderful things happening to the world.


I’m sure it’s a function of my personal social bubble, but I’ve been so impressed with how many people are expressing a desire to do something productive in the wake of Trump’s election. It’s this sense of resigned “this is going to suck” coupled with a “well, guess I have to go try to counteract it however I can”. My wife is already planning fundraisers to help offset all the federal funds to important social nets that are certain to be cut off, I’ve heard a lot of concern about showing solidarity with the groups marginalized by the election. Little things all of it, but good for my heart to see.


I’m glad you and your sweetie are quick out of the blocks! Thanks, @Polama! My circle of friends is still grieving, but we’ll snap out of it soon. I fear for my Muslim, LGBTQ and non-white friends; I fear for women’s rights. Time to get moving again.


Is this article a joke?? Science fiction got us into this mess in the first place. I blame Back to the Future II for everything that has transpired in the last year. And where the hell are my self-lacing shoes?!!


Actually, I think there might be rules about what they can and can’t change (don’t know for sure)? There is probably more leeway in the private residences, but the white house doesn’t belong to the president, so there is probably only so much they can do with the interiors, because it belongs to the public, not the President and his family.

At least I HOPE all that’s true.


Yep. Our communist, anarchist, and local focused comrades are frequently all about this kind of thing. We’ve had a dwindling safety net for longer than I’ve been alive and the local activists have been busy trying to make up for it. I know they’ll be happy to have any help they can get.

(This isn’t specific to you, just for anyone who’s interested in mobilizing locally. Remember, do your work with the people you’re trying to assist. Not to or for. If we act with, we’re less likely to waste our efforts on things that look good on paper but don’t provide real assistance … and less likely to alienate the people we’re trying to assist.)

It turns out that was a partnership with a certain phone manufacturer who’s legally lost its sense of humor lately.


On that note, the head of the religion I formerly belonged to just started Marriage Militia to organize clergy to perform marriages for LGBT people, in case those rights start disappearing.