This has been a tough year. Pop culture let us down in many ways, even as our political system and our social institutions revealed a deeper seam of ugliness. But speculative fiction still offers us hope: not just optimism about human ingenuity, but actual reasons to look forward and keep our heads up.
A fleet of alien ships suddenly appears overhead, carrying a mysterious race of visitors with weirdly benevolent intentions: They’re here to fix all of the world’s problems. Great! So what’s the catch? That’s the set-up for Arthur C. Clarke’s novel Childhood’s End, now a Syfy “event series” that kicks off on Monday.