If our near future sometimes feels like a dystopian sci-fi movie, that’s because it is. In Come With Me If You Want to Live: The Future as Foretold in Classic Sci-Fi Films, Michael Harris reveals the hidden-in-plain-sight meanings of the greatest science fiction films of the past fifty years, the ways in which they predicted the future that we are increasingly living in, but how we can still avoid the worst of what they warned us about.
The 1970s saw the start of a new wave of science fiction that predicted environmental destruction, out-of-control technology, and escalating political crises. These were not the fantastical imaginings of filmmakers, they were based on rising environmental consciousness and solid scientific research. The explanation of why we didn’t heed these warnings might be the most important story of our time – and now our future.
Each chapter focuses on a classic sci-fi film: among them Blade Runner, Terminator 2, 12 Monkeys, Brazil, , Soylent Green, and the Back to the Future series; these films are used to consider our likely environmental, technological, and political future. But taking sci-fi seriously again could help us to regain our power to create different tomorrows guided by practical utopianism, and to imagine new science fictions for a better world.
If you’re wondering what the future holds, maybe you’ve already seen it.
Michael Harris is Lecturer at the International College of Digital Innovation at Chiang Mai University, Thailand.
Part I: “What... What Seems to Be the Problem?”
Chapter 1: “I’ve Seen Things You People Wouldn’t Believe”: Why We’re Stuck in a Blade Runner Future That’s Forty Years Old
Chapter 2: “I Mean, How Can All This Be Happening? It’s Like We’re in Hell or Something”: How Back To The Future Predicts the Decline of Middle-Class Security
Chapter 3: “Oh, Wouldn’t It Be Great If I Was Crazy? Then The World Would Be Okay”: No-One Believes the Plague-Ridden Future of 12 Monkeys Could Actually Happen
Part II: “There Was a World Once, You Punk”
Chapter 4: “They’re Running Out of The Damn Green Again!”: Why Soylent Green and the Serious Sci-Fi of the 1970s Predicted Social Collapse
Chapter 5: “Your Future Comfort Is Assured”: How the Corporate-Controlled Utopia of Rollerball Isn’t as Content as It Appears
Chapter 6: “This Is the Voice of World Control”: Why We Don’t Listen to Stories Like Colossus That Tell Us Not to Trust the Machines
Part III: “Does It Have a Happy Ending?”
Chapter 7: “All You Have to Do Is Cooperate”: V For Vendetta and the Vengeful Authoritarian Regimes to Come Under Collapse
Chapter 8: “Bloody Paperwork”: How Brazil Dashes the Hopes for a Luxury, Leisure-Filled Future Communism
Chapter 9: “Come with Me If You Want to Live”: It’s Too Late to Avoid Terminator 2, But There’s Still Time for a Human Resistance
Conclusion: “Mom! We Need to Be a Little More Constructive Here, Okay?”
“An engaging and exciting tour of the lessons learned from our favorite science fiction films—for anyone who wants to relive the past or thinks about the future.”
"Michael Harris understands the futures. In his book, 'Come With Me If You Want to Live', he shows a solid understanding of science fiction and explains simply why it matters to us. This the perfect book for those who love science fiction, and those who do not."