Samuel Walters wrote:
Essentially, the seeming defeat of Communism was also the seeming defeat of Enlightenment itself.
I think one issue with Sci-Fi is a fatigue with the whole World of Tomorrow™ concept. Considering we've had decades of reality dispel much of the speculation we had in the 20th century, that makes audiences much less willing to suspend disbelief for a Sci-Fi future. Fantasy just *is* and as long as the fantasy world is internally consistent, then audiences seem more willing to suspend disbelief.
I do think Sci-Fi is, essentially, harder to create because it's so closely tied to the limits and restraints of our knowledge. The more we advance, the more aware we are of our limitations. As such, FTL-based stories, galaxy-spanning story worlds, alien-contact tales, and idyllic/utopian futures are harder to accept as plausible. I think this is why, in part, why dystopian stories have taken hold. There's currently no limit to how far a society can fall given future technologies.
I don't see why science fiction has to be any sort of "topia" whether utopia or dis utopia, the real world lies somewhere in between those two extremes and a realistic future world should lie their also. To give you an example, Star Wars is not a utopian setting, and its not a dis-utopian setting, it is a setting of conflict to be the backdrop of interesting stories. I think Star Trek is the same, though there are episodes where it is portrayed as a utopia. There are no perfect societies, besides perfect societies are boring, what interests the reader is conflict and its resolution, a utopia isn't very entertaining, as everyone gets what he wants without struggle, and the struggle is what makes the story interesting. The thing about disutopias is they try to make grim predictions about our future world, and I'd rather just read an interesting story set in an interesting universe, a universe where everything went to hell is a bit discouraging. The real world and a future world based upon it allows for many interesting conflicts without it necessitating that this world be "Hell".