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(Mostly) longer essays exploring the vision of
ethics and human destiny in post-apocalyptic fiction.

  Star Trek and the New
Myth of the Machine
Much of science fiction is an effort to depict the way advances in technology may give us three things: new forms of freedom and power; new forms of slavery and "unfreedom"; and destruction on a mass scale. The original Star Trek is a perfect expression of these ideas. It depicts humanity developing new powers that make it possible to conquer the world of nature and worlds of illusion. But our wisdom will have to keep pace with our power, the series argues, or we will fall into new forms of slavery and destruction. In many ways, this theme makes Star Trek the ultimate expression of the ideas of science fiction. 
  Holocaust as Metaphor
Works of post-apocalyptic fiction and science fiction are simultaneously critiques of contemporary society, disguised depictions of personal development and the mind, and retellings of ancient myths. They use all of these "realms" of meaning to create new myths about the loss of civilization and what we can do to protect it.

They typically show us a future in which elements from the past and present have been exaggerated and brought into an ironic juxtaposition with each other, to depict a world turned upside down. Into these strange futures come redeemers who are recruited by fate to save humanity from its own worst instincts. The redeemers are a somewhat disguised depiction of us, struggling against the fallen state of society and our own psychodynamics in an effort to create the world we are certain should exist. Four pages.

  Post-Apocalyptic Fiction and Science Fiction: A Table of Elements These tables, showing the elements of post-apocalyptic fiction, go with the essay above.

Type 1:  False Utopias of Technology and Simulation

Many works of post-apocalyptic fiction depict characters who are trying to escape from false utopias of technology and simulation, which are really prisons that separate them from external nature and their own human nature. These stories depict our fear that contemporary society is becoming a prison of technology and lifelike illusions. They also offer disguised  depictions of characters breaking away from oppressive families and minds being freed from neurosis.
Logan's Run

Logan's Run Movie Page

Includes an essay but no images connected to the movie.

The science fiction movie Logan's Run is an important expression of our society's central myth. It depicts a future humanity sealed off from the world in a high-tech city that is modeled after a mall and a giant singles complex, and governed by a dictator-computer. Among other things, the movie is about our fear that we are being infantilized by technology and turned into a society of techno-narcissists  who substitute a fake life of superficial pleasures for an authentic existence. It depicts those in power as manipulating us into regressing into this artificial world of trivial pursuits because it is in their interest to do so.

In addition to depicting contemporary society, the movie offers a disguised and explicit depictions of the family, the mind, the act of birth, and stories from the Old and New Testament and from pagan mythology. This essay will probably be of interest primarily to hardcore fans and theoreticians. However, the first part can also be read with accompanying image-captures from the movie using the second link to the left.

Brief Takes:
The Machine Stops;
The City and the Stars;
Demolition Man

A description of three science fiction stories about technology prisons.
Simulation as a Symbol
of Regression and Dreams

An examination of  "The Cage" from Star Trek and The Futurological Congress, reveals that we experience immersive forms of simulation as daydreams, as night dreams and as disguised depictions of the illusions of neurosis.

Type 2: The Future as a Time of Post-Technological Barbarism

A second form of post-apocalyptic fiction depicts life after the collapse of civilization. Here, in place of prisons masquerading as paradises, we are shown a world that has returned to the struggle for survival -- at any expense.
Salvaging the Future:
Mad Max  Beyond Thunderdome
Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome depicts a future that is a demonic parody of the present. This essay describes the various explicit and disguised meanings of the movie, which depicts everything from the past of Australia to the functioning of a neurotic mind. Once again, the movie shows us a hero who creates a new civilization and self by challenging the corruption of the existing order of things.
Waterworld and The Time Machine:
These essays aren't up yet.

Type 3: The Future as a Time of Advanced Technological Barbarism

 (Nothing here.)

In the third form of post-apocalyptic fiction and science fiction , technology has continued to advance, but society has become a jungle and undergone various forms of collapse. Blade Runner is an obvious example.


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