I wish I’d seen Tomorrowland before making my Hugo nominations, and I hope enough others nominate it to get it on the ballot. In fact, Hugo Gernsback is literally a character featured in Tomorrowland.
The movie is a story about optimism and dystopia, full of gorgeous graphics and nods to people like Tesla and Gernsback. It has jet packs, and a glorious fight scene in a shop that sells nerdy science fiction memorabalia. It has a couple of charming action girls and George Clooney, and the kind of futuristic cityscapes that fill my heart with joy.
It also has … I almost hesitate to say this … a twisty plot that owes more to the sparkly intellectual sci fi written by folks like Robert Sheckley than a lot of recent work. A plot that makes you think. A plot that isn’t afraid to call out science fiction that confuses sincere warnings with pandering deathporn.
I grew up around the time when the deathporn was replacing the more optimistic stuff. If you dared voice a theory that the world might not implode on 1/1/00 people would rant about how naïve and evil you were, and yet the world didn’t implode. It still hasn’t. And I got to the point where I felt a strong need to insulate myself from all that deathporny negativity. Since I’m trying to write in the other direction, I’ll just display the dreamer’s badge from Tomorrowland and hope it attracts more like minds.