The latest issue of the Radio Times offers a peek at next week – On BBC Radio 3 in The Essay timeslot will be a “3 part examination of utopian visions of the future……” entitled The Future’s Not What It Used To Be… quite a number of SF classics are quoted in the Radio Times article, so this should be a worthy listen. Here’s the official description:
“As a child of the 1950s, Richard Foster thought that by now he would be wearing a silver jumpsuit and spending endless hours of leisure zooming around on a personal jet-propelled backpack – all in a world where poverty, sickness and religion had been banished by technology. So what went wrong?”
Part 1 – Broken Dreams
Broadcast: Mon. 4th August 23:00-23:15
Richard investigates two contrasting utopian worlds in novels from the 1880s: caring capitalism in Looking Backward by American author Edward Bellamy and communitarian socialism in William Morris’ News from Nowhere.
Part 2 – Trust Me, I’m A Scientist
Broadcast: Wed. 6th August 23:00-23:15
Richard looks at how, in the 1930s, when capitalism and communism appeared unable to deliver utopia, H.G. Wells in The Shape of Things to Come and Aldous Huxley in Brave New World asked the next big question: can science mend our broken dreams, or will they just become nightmares?
Part 3 – Be Afraid, be very Afraid
Broadcast: Thu. 7th August 23:00-23:15
Richard investigates the threat of nuclear and environmental holocaust, explored in novels such as Neville Shute’s On the Beach and John Christopher’s The Death of Grass. Is the appetite for apocalypse – religious or scientific – now fed by ecological concern and terrorism? Must we always live in fear, or is it a potent political tool?
Posted by Jesse Willis
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