Do you know what's wrong with so much science fiction? It's technophobic.

Last week's Stargate: Universe was a kind of final straw for me. The "device" or "stones" or whatever they are...they failed in a time of need. Where would sf be without the failure of technology to perform as expected? There'd be a lot less of it being written, for one thing. Roddenberry's standard response to script problems was "Put the Enterprise in danger." Sentient machines that turn against their inventors and take over the world has become a standard nightmare (Terminator, BSG). Harlan Ellison won awards for "I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream" -- but it's just a computer menace story. Rob Sawyer's current book (WWW: Wake) has an implanted chip meant to cure blindness; it fails to provide real sight but allows the patient to "see" the Internet. (Not quite as silly as it sounds.) My nominee for the all-time worst ever TV movie is The Forbin Project. The Big Bad Machine is out to getcha, oh yeah.

Actually, I don't think it's a real phobia shared by writers and/or producers. I think it's more likely laziness; Dystopia is much easier to write than Utopia. But the result is a body of technophobic stories that are bound to influence the way people think simply because of their sheer numbers. Enough, already!

End of rant.