Sometimes, when I’m reading SF (particularly old SF, but also recent SF that should know better), I am reminded of those couple paragraphs from friend Rochita Loenen-Ruiz, in her Strange Horizons column:
There is a popular science fiction trope that speaks of venturing out into the great unexplored. Those who venture out are pictured as heroes. They go out and find new civilizations, they expand earth territories, they discover aliens, they subdue or befriend, they are hailed as saviors, and many times the worlds they enter into are very different from the hero’s homeworld.
While this trope appeals to a part of myself that desires to see and experience other places and other cultures, it does not speak to the true experience of migration and colonization. This popular narrative belongs to the dominant culture, to cultures that have conquered and colonized without regard for the consequences to the culture that gets trampled underfoot.
I really do wish more people would reflect on this (and the closing remarks of the column) before they so blithely spoke of colonists seeking adventures in space…