Bookish Musings: Sci-Fi Worlds Ranked by How Much I’d Want to Live in Them

 
 

I feel like I kind of neglect science fiction books on this blog, but I do read sci-fi books sometimes! So I thought it would be fun to take ten different types of sci-fi worlds I’m familiar with and rank them based entirely on my own personal opinion about how much I’d want to live in them. Then you can tell me how wrong I am in the comments and how you would rank these instead ;-)


10. Apocalypse

I’m using this category to encompass every type of apocalypse possible—natural disasters, EMPs, zombies, infections, nuclear warfare, alien invasion, and any other event that could bring about the end of the world as we know it. Obviously some types of apocalypses would be worse than others, but they’re all bad, and I think living through the actual apocalyptic event (or possibly not living through it) would have to be the worst thing of all.

 

9. Post-Apocalypse

Depending on how far into the future from the apocalypse you are, and depending on the situation, this one might not be so bad.

But it also might.

In Hell Divers, the survivors live in airships that are always on the verge of falling out of the sky and killing them all. In other books I’ve read, like Withered + Sere, there are cannibals snatching people up. In many books, there are still shitty people out there taking advantage of the lawlessness. In some books, the apocalypse leads to a situation in which the humans have to live in domes or bunkers underground or underwater.

Eventually society might rebuild, but before then, a post-apoc world is not one where I’d want to live.

 

8. Dystopia

Some dystopian societies are actually not the worst, depending on your situation. You can get by and even have some good things. You know, like we’re doing now in the real life dystopia we’re living in.

But then you have dystopias like The Hunger Games where you might end up dying a violent, bloody death in a game in front of millions of viewers.

Dystopias are just not good, and as bad as things might be in the actual world we’re living in, I’ve seen even worse in books. So this had to go pretty low on the list.

 

7. Steampunk

The thing about steampunk is, the world usually isn’t so bad. It’s actually kinda cool with some interesting gadgets. So this really wouldn’t be the worst.

But honestly? I just don’t wanna live in a historical time without our modern day technologies, electricity, and plumbing.

 

6. Space

This might be an unpopular opinion, but I don’t want to go to space. The thought of being on a ship surrounded by an endless void that you cannot survive in is terrifying to me. If anything happens to your ship, you’re a goner. I don’t need that kind of constant anxiety.

But there’s a good chance that won’t happen if space travel has been mostly perfected, so I’d still rather take my chances in space than live without plumbing.

 

5. Other Planets

This is another one that really depends on the exact situation. Some planets might be nice! Others might have really harsh environments. Some might only be survivable if you live in a giant dome, once again surrounded by a void of nothingness you cannot survive in. But if it’s livable, it’s livable, and I guess I’d get by. We already have hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, and more on Earth, and we’re managing.

 

4. Superheroes

The problem with superheroes is that, along with them, you get supervillains. And lots of destruction. And I don’t particularly want to deal with that.

But, if I wasn’t around any of the super-battles, my life probably wouldn’t be all that different. I would at least have the option to move to a smaller city or something. Is that cheating for this list? *shrugs*

 

3. Androids/AI

I’ve said in the past that I think having AI and devices that are constantly listening to us is creepy, and that life-like androids would be creepy, and that one day we will regret it when robots take over the world.

But I’m changing my stance.

I’ve had some thought about it, and I’ve decided to welcome our robot overlords.

Yes, ok, the androids/AI could turn out to be evil. But, if they develop sentience, which is what usually happens in books and movies, they would probably be much like humans in that some would be bad, and some would be good. And if we could respect their rights (I think I’ve just accidentally slipped out of sci-fi and into fantasy considering humans can’t even respect the rights of other humans, but that’s another discussion entirely), then maybe we could avoid the whole takeover thing, and it could be pretty cool having androids as friends. Or they’ll just kill us all, and that will be that.

And honestly? Human boyfriends are too much to deal with. I’m ready for an holographic AI boyfriend.

(Update to give a rec: If you want to read a great book with a genderfluid holographic AI, check out Mazarin Blues!)

 

2. Utopia

I don’t think I’ve ever actually read a utopian novel, but utopias, by their very definition, are societies where things are perfect. It might be cliche and boring to put this so high up, but I for one would love the chance to live in a society where everything is not a dumpster fire.

 

1. Cyberpunk

So, listen. I know cyberpunk worlds have their problems, and their books are usually about how society has declined, the divide between classes, issues with relying on technology, etc.

But if I’m being honest, (assuming I would no longer have headache problems) I think a cyberpunk world could be really cool. All the artwork of them is awesome, with all those bright lights and neon colors, and that has to count for something. And the idea of integrating technology into our bodies is awesome, as long as it works properly. Can you imagine being able to search things on the internet or chat with people all within your head? To link your brain and body up with objects or other people to feel what they’re feeling? To replace ailing or amputated body parts with robotic ones that work just as well, if not better?

Realistically I know it would probably just widen the gap between the rich and the poor, and the people who need the tech would have the hardest time getting it, but this is my blog, and damn it, I want to imagine an idealistic cyberpunk world! A cyberpunk utopia, if you will. A combo of my top two answers is my real number one answer. There are a lot of really cool possibilities when combining biology and technology, and I’m kinda here for it.

 
 
 
 

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What kind of sci-fi worlds would you most and least like to live in? (It could be something that's not even on my list!)
How would you rank these?

 

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  1. Greg

    Same with cyberpunk. If we could have the aethetic without the hellscape, I’d be all for that. Who wouldn’t want some awesome cybernetic enhancements? Utopia too. Another I kinda like is solarpunk- that seems really optimistic to me.

    ” I’ve decided to welcome our robot overlords” Right? And I think steampunk would be awesome.

    1. Kristen Burns

      Exactly! Such a cool aesthetic lol. And the cybernetic enhancements would be so cool. I’ve heard of solarpunk but don’t know what it is. There are multiple -punks out there, I should try some others!

  2. Angela

    I would not want to go to space, either! It freaks me out, and one small thing going wrong could kill you in an instant! No thanks!

  3. Roberta R.

    “I’d still rather take my chances in space than live without plumbing.”
    Ditto! 😂

    “(I think I’ve just accidentally slipped out of sci-fi and into fantasy considering humans can’t even respect the rights of other humans, but that’s another discussion entirely)”.
    Ha! You probably have…

    Utopia may not be all it’s cracked up to be, since often, both in books and movies, the need to suppress anything that might threaten the status quo results in a suppression of the individual freedom as well…

    If I should choose a sci-fi world, I would choose one that’s out of time and space…Doctor Who’s TARDIS (which is a world in itself, what with being bigger – MUCH bigger – on the inside…). Anyhow, that way I could travel anywhere and anywhen, so how’s that for cheating? 😂 😉

    1. Kristen Burns

      Right? No one thinks about plumbing when they talk about wanting to live in historical times lol.

      I feel like, in a story where everything is suppressed to create a utopia… isn’t that not a utopia? Aren’t those stories usually about how you’re supposed to think it’s a utopia at first, the characters are supposed to think that, but it’s actually a dystopia?

      Ooh nice! Not cheating, just creative ;-)

  4. Mar @ BOOKIVERSE

    funny you say you feel like you neglect SciFi because When I think of SciFi blogs Greg’s and yours are the two that come to mind! I think pretty much all my bloggers friends read either fantasy or contemporary.

    I totally agree about Cyberpunk!

  5. Sam @ Spines in a Line

    This is such a cool idea and ranking! I agree with a lot of this, definitely don’t want to be near any apocalyptic or post-apocalyptic world and I have no desire at all to go into space.

  6. Alice

    Recently, I’ve been obsessed with space odysseys so I would love to captain my own (super fantasy, elon musk level) space ship. Mostly I just want autonomous driving so I can read WHILE driving/flying :D

  7. Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

    What a fun idea! I mean, most of us wouldn’t want to live in almost any of these circumstances, but it is really interesting to think about which ones might actually be interesting to live through. Of course, utopia should be high on the list, but you’ve made an intriguing case for a cyberpunk world. Of course, any sci-fi setting has to have its share of bad guys!

  8. Molly @ Molly's Book Nook

    I LOVE post-apocalyptic stories. My husband can look at a trailer of anything like that and immediately be like “yep, Molly will want to watch/read/play this” lol But….I do NOT want to live in that kind of world. With that said, I do have a stash of emergency supplies and bug out bags in case shit hits the fan one day lol