Themes in Lunatics – #6 “Risk Averse Society versus the Thrill of the Frontier”
Continuing with themes in the stories for Lunatics… Here’s number six:
Risk Averse Society versus the Thrill of the Frontier
Of course, being too safe is a little scary in itself. Part of the reason
people want to go is because it’s exciting. But the mores of Earth-bound
society make it a sin to take too large a risk. How will that morality
conflict with the ambitions of our settlers? Will they be blocked “for
their own good”?
Past frontiers on Earth have been very dangerous places, and the people
who lived on them were accustomed to that danger. They often had lower
expectations of personal safety, and thus taking risks was easier. Some of
the things we worry about today wouldn’t bother them because they simply
didn’t have the expectation of living as long.
Is that a problem? Are we “too soft” now? Or can we resolve
that conflict? Is it about making the frontier safer, or is it about a
lower expectation of safety? I’m not sure we’ll resolve that conflict,
but it will certainly be present as a conflict in our stories.