Recently I’ve been revisiting the futurism found within 90’s cinema. It’s 2021 now, so why not take a look at how Johnny Mnemonic envisioned this year playing out? Ok, so maybe the pains and trails of 2020 pushed me to look to cinema for brighter (or darker?) futures to fixate on. That’s the long way of saying that, despite the enjoyment one can get from 90’s cinematic futurism (I’m looking at you Waterworld and The Postman), truly excellent stories of the future are hard to come by. Butler’s Parable of the Sower, published in 1993, defiantly stands apart as just such an excellent work. While there are some limitations inherit in 2021, to reading a tale from 1993, which takes place in the mid ‘20s, the power of the story, and the depth to the characters and world, easily wave away the lack of any resonating technological futurism. Butler expertly creates a world ravaged by societal and environmental turmoil, leading to one of the more realistic dystopian pre-apocalyptic settings found in fiction. Furthermore, after the political and societal turmoil of our past four years, it’s much easier to envision an America who’s days are waning, and where civic social structures are radically changed. The beauty, and terror, of Parable is that the world Butler reveals is one not too far off from today. If you want to see a pulpy technologically driven futurism, watch Mnemonic again. But, if you want a thoughtful and poignant look at humanity in crisis, read Parable, and take heed from its warnings.