It seems like only a few years back that Joss Whedon gave us a new way to look at future fiction that resonated with a lot of people, weirded out a small but influential group of people, and was unseen by most people.
I am, of course, referring to Firefly, the futuristic retelling of America’s post-Civil-War period… cowboys in space. At least, that was the prominent outer skin of the series; but as fans discovered, Firefly had more layers underneath than an onion from the seventh dimension.
Firefly presented us with a future that sounded more workable and believable than any future depicted by Star Trek, Stargate, Galactica or almost any other space-faring TV society: The future of the human race, having abandoned the used-up Earth of their ancestors, had discovered a single system of multiple-multiple planets and moons, giving them the chance to settle on and terraform each of them into worlds of their desire. Like the development of the United States, some planets benefited from their available resources better than others, resulting in rich and beautiful cities on one planet, and desolate no-collar existence on another. And after their own war of unification, the planets were settling into an uneasy alliance, while those who didn’t like the new order tried to eke out an existence on their own, away from authority figures and politics they didn’t appreciate.