Incorporating diseases and pandemics into a story can inject a sense of fear and dread, making them effective plot devices. Whether the narrative focuses on curing existing diseases or encountering new ones, the presence of pathologies adds layers of complexity and urgency to the plot. Introducing epidemiologists or scientists tasked with unravelling the mysteries of the disease amplifies the tension and drives the narrative forward.
These characters bring their expertise, dedication, and struggles to the forefront, showcasing the tireless pursuit of knowledge, potential ethical dilemmas, and the high stakes involved in finding solutions. By leveraging the fears and anxieties associated with diseases, storytellers can create compelling narratives that captivate audiences and offer profound insights into the human condition.
The use of diseases and pandemics in science fiction can serve as a powerful tool to explore the human response to catastrophic events. These narratives often present exaggerated or speculative scenarios, where diseases spread rapidly, populations are decimated, and societies are forced to confront their own vulnerabilities. Science fiction allows authors and filmmakers to examine the consequences of such crises on individual lives, societal structures, and the human psyche. By magnifying the impact of diseases and pandemics, these works provoke contemplation about our preparedness, the fragility of our existence, and the choices we make in the face of adversity.
They raise important questions about medical ethics, social dynamics, and the delicate balance between scientific progress and the potential dangers it may entail. The use of diseases and pandemics offers a compelling platform to reflect on our own world, fears, and the complexities of our shared humanity.
The scope in speculating future disease can be endless, e.g microbial, fungal, genetic, psychiatric, crystalline extraterrestrial agents, or cyber infections
Space-whirly, Plague Ship by Andre Norton
The Green Line of Death, The Andromeda Strain by Michael Crichton
Helico virus & Silent Untreated Disease Syndrome, Brian Aldiss’s Helliconia Trilogy
Vampiris pandemic, I Am Legend by Richard Matheson
Zombie Plague, World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks.
Snow Crash, Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson