As much as the genre imagines the future, it also remixes the past—often by envisioning Western-style imperialism visited on the Western world.
By Noah Berlatskyapr
The iconic example of colonialism-inspired sci-fi is that most important of sci-fi stories, H.G. Wells's War of the Worlds. As Rieder says, Wells begins his book with an explicit comparison of the Martian invasion to colonial expansion in Tasmania. "The Tasmanians," Wells writes,
With Wells in mind, it’s easy to see colonial metaphors throughout the sci-fi that followed him. In many cases, as with Wells, these works flip the racial dynamic that characterized the most influential imperialist ventures of the last few centuries. In such stories, sci-fi is about “them” (a non-white, foreign civilization) doing to us (Western, largely white powers) as we did to them. Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan and Into Darkness, for example, imagine a non-white antagonist who preaches the colonial ideology of eugenic culling against the less biologically perfect, Western-ish protagonists.
Burroughs the conservative racist
Stereotypes in Tarzan of the Apes
Frankenstein's monster = Eskimo
Charles Dickens on "Esquimaux"
The "Other" and The Terror