Do you build your sci fi out of the fears of today? No, I like to build them out of the unadmitted truths.
Were you to build a dystopia out of the fears you would be giving voice to some of the kookiest conspiracy theories out there. The unadmitted truths give you the key to the building blocks upon which such a dystopia might be erected.
I don’t always do it that way either — sometimes I want to take a tried and tested trope, and I like to fuck with it, or take it and put it in an unusual setting. Or I will play it straight and give my version.
Challenging yourself doesn’t always mean running away from the familiar — in some cases it means charging straight at it and playing chicken.
It would be nice to see how people think I am doing in this regard.