Why We Need Hopeful Stories

Odin Halvorson
May 24, 2019 · 5 min read

Our salvation is in the hands of our storytellers.

In the wake of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings books, a movement in popular culture began to confront what many saw as a fundamental flaw in those works — and the stories similar to them: Lord of the Rings and its ilk were, according to the members of this movement, too darn idealistic, bordering on the facile. Life, these critics argued, was not a simplistic argument of good vs evil, that what readers needed was the sort of work which could describe the stark complexity and harsh realities of life.

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“Truth and Fiction in Verse and Prose” (CC0)
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“Hope” by George Frederic Watts
  • (TV Series) Babylon 5 by J. Michael Straczynski
  • (TV Series) Star Trek (specifically TNG and DS9) created by Gene Roddenberry
  • The 2019 April edition of the UK SF magazine Interzone also has a great opening essay on this which I highly recommend.

Some people might be asking themselves “why do we need that sort of fiction, though?”

Why would we need fiction that inspires, that attempts to posit fruitful futures, that brings to light the best that human beings can be — even during the midst of strife, struggle, and misery? Well, for the same reason we have always needed such stories: because they provide hope, and, through hope, the ability to improve both our own lives and the world we live in.

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Odin Halvorson

Written by

Odin Halvorson is a poet and published short-story author seeking to make the world a better place by beginning with himself.

The Startup

Medium's largest active publication, followed by +771K people. Follow to join our community.

Odin Halvorson

Written by

Odin Halvorson is a poet and published short-story author seeking to make the world a better place by beginning with himself.

The Startup

Medium's largest active publication, followed by +771K people. Follow to join our community.

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