Jetse de Vries has reprinted an essay he wrote for the BSFA's magazine for writers, Focus, discussing how optimism in SF appears to be dead. As Jetse writes, with only a few exceptions "In the last couple of years, SF short stories have been predominantly dark and pessimistic . . . it's almost as if it's forbidden to write an uplifting story." Jetse then points out part of the problem is that writing a convincing optimistic story is very difficult. He even quotes Gardner Dozois on the subject: "As someone who has written post-apocalyptic stuff myself, I can tell you that it IS easier. It's easier to write about how the current world went wrong than it is to come up with believable ways how the current world is going to survive and prosper (to say nothing of changing in unexpected ways)."
Jetse has also set a challenge for SF short story authors: "Write an ambitious story about how the future changes for the better: one that is convincing, as well. As realistic and plausible as you can get it. Then send it my way when I re-open Interzone for email submissions (probably May 2007, but keep an eye on our website and Ralan.com)