At some point we stopped thinking of the future as Utopia and began thinking of it as apocalytpic.
Humanities and Political Science, Carleton University.
"The Evolution of Public Thought from Utopia to Distopia, and the Effect on Public Policy"
I think about this one a lot.
Partially it was the overwhelming fear of nuclear war, and a sense of its inevitability for a good 45 years. Those nukes are still out there, but the cultural sense that it’s a foregone conclusion seems to have faded.
There’s still a very real fear of dwindling resources that manifests in our fiction, too.
But I think the big reason- maybe even the main reason- we don’t predict a utopia anymore is much more prosaic: the future’s moving too fast for us to get a bead on. Think about how many stories set in the future which are undone by commonplace technology of today. In the macro sense, we don’t have the flying cars and moonbases, but worldwide, instant telecommunications and supercomputers with linked databases? Yeah, we got that.
I think failure is much easier to predict than success.