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TV Tropes Monday: Earth That Used to Be Better


Tweet of the Day: Reconsider the Party? 

There is one question that always comes to my mind when I’m reading sci-fi set on distant worlds and centuries in the future? Where on Earth is, well, Earth? Why? Because Earth, our beautiful blue/green jewel in the eternal night of space is our home and where all of us live today. It makes for a handy reference point for the setting. The answer comes in three broad categories:

  1. It is the Homeworld: Earth is the center of the universe, at least as far as humanity is concerned, and since most readers/writers are human, it will tend to be the center of the universe for everyone else.
  2. You maniacs, you blew it up! Or it goes missing. Humanity forgets that it exists or loses contact with Earth, so stop asking.

The third is Earth That Used to Be Better. The once proud (and only) home to humanity has seen better days. It is still very much there, just not that important, like the empty corner bed in a retirement home. A sad little reminder of where humanity came from but far from being a representation of where humanity in the current time of the story. It answers the question without putting to fine a point on it. It also explains the importance of where ever the story tends to take place, Maybe it is humanity’s new home, or the source of a particular MaGuffin, or what have you. The point is, it is not Earth, so stop asking.

Of course, returning the old homestead to its former glory might make for a handy plot point as well.



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