Satire and Science Fiction go hand in hand. So much of sci-fi is speculating what society would be like in the future or on other planets. Since humans write all these stories, we can’t help but compare these fictional societies to our own. Most of the time, the author intends to draw parallels. When the writes draws these parallels in a humorous tone, we are blessed with sci-fi satire.
Let’s take a look at what might be the most famous satirical sci-fi noel, “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” by Douglass Adams. The novel simultaneously parodies the sci-fi genre as well as modern society. The story is about an ordinary Earthling who is able to escape Earth when it is destroyed. He proceeds to be taken on adventures throughout space until he discovers that Earth was just a computer designed to figure out the meaning of life. Then he grabs a bite to eat.
The underlying message of the story is just that humans tend to make a huge deal out of every little thing that happens to them, when nothing actually matters. That might be somewhat of a nihilistic viewpoint, but the text backs it up. The entire planet Earth is destroyed just to make room for an intergalactic highway. The entire existence of Earth was just a computer that belonged to some mice. The characters search for the meaning of all life in the Universe to find the answer is 42. The novel is hilarious, but the humor is actually pretty dark. The main character discovers his whole life and everything he thought he knew is a lie, but the novel puts this theme in a humorous light. I think the author is trying to convey the point that there is probably no meaning to life, nothing matters, and if we can’t step back and laugh about it then our lives would be miserable.