SF survivance stories are not about survival. SF survivance stories are about persistence, adaptation, and flourishing in the future, in sometimes subtle but always important contrast to mere survival, or the self-limiting experience of trauma and loss that often surrenders the imagination to creeds of isolation and victimhood, the apprehension of hopeless, helpless entitlement to extirpated past.
I've been saying for years how we need optimistic Sci-Fi.
I'd argue that the universe of The Expanse, while not utopian, is not dystopian either.
[A human being] is not, after all, merely a member of a Society or a Group or a deplorable conundrum to be explained by Science. He is--and how old-fashioned the words sound!--something more than that, something resolutely indefinable, unpredictable. In overlooking, denying, evading his complexity--which is nothing more than the disquieting complexity of ourselves--we are diminished and we perish; only within this web of ambiguity, paradox, this hunger, danger, darkness, can we find at once ourselves and the power that will free us from ourselves. It is this power of revelation which is the business of the novelist, this journey towards a more vast reality which must take precedence over all other claims.
The truth is that in 1917 there was nothing that a thinking and a sensitive person could do, except to remain human, if possible. And a gesture of helplessness, even of frivolity, might be the best way of doing that. If I had been a soldier fighting in the Great War, I would sooner have got hold of Prufrock than THE FIRST HUNDRED THOUSAND or Horatio Bottomley's LETTERS TO THE BOYS IN THE TRENCHES. I should have felt, like Mr Forster, that by simply standing aloof and keeping touch with pre-war emotions, Eliot was carrying on the human heritage. What a relief it would have been at such a time, to read about the hesitations of a middle-aged highbrow with a bald spot! So different from bayonet-drill! After the bombs and the food-queues and the recruiting-posters, a human voice! What a relief!
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