Episode 12: Why are Utopias so hard to imagine?

The empathically-linked cluster in  Sense8  shares a drink.

The empathically-linked cluster in Sense8 shares a drink.

In this episode, we look at Sense8, the globe-spanning show about mentally linked psychics from Lana and Lily Wachowski, and we celebrate its uplifting vision of people coming together and letting go of ego. But one of the most fascinating things about Sense8 is that its vision is fundamentally utopian. Why are utopias so rare in speculative fiction—and what makes them so hard to do well?

Works cited:


The Wachowskis

The Matrix trilogy, Speed Racer

Nalo Hopkinson, whose second novel is called Midnight Robber

Herland, by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

Utopia, by Thomas More

Venus Plus X, by Theodore Sturgeon

Woman on the Edge of Time, by Marge Piercy

False Utopias: Logan's Run, Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, Ingrid Goes West, Facebook

Facebook admitted that one-quarter of its accounts are fake.

What we're obsessed with:

Charlie is obsessed with Maria Dahvana Headley's The Mere Wife

Annalee is obsessed with a new study in Science Robotics about training people to use a bionic third arm.

Annalee Newitz