In the early days of science fiction, the genre was a pretty optimistic one. Sure, the bold adventurers might run into opposition from alien life out there in the void, but at the end of the day sci-fi was about man’s triumph over the unknown. The increasing scope of human knowledge and ingenuity would give us the tools we needed to surmount any interplanetary challenge.
That didn’t last, obviously. Seminal sci-fi works like The War of the Worlds freaked us out, as Orson Welles’ radio drama whipped the populace into a panic. As soon as man actually touched the endless void, we realized it was more than a little scary. The rise of the horror genre coincided with the maturation of sci-fi, and the two have been inextricably linked for decades.
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