The biggest SF/F taboo: Showing humanity in a positive light

My name popped up a twice on SF Signal in the last few days. First off, here's the table of contents for the upcoming Year's Best SF 14, which contains my story "The Ships Like Clouds, Risen By Their Rain."

SF Signal also asked a number of writers and editors what sort of taboos exist in the world of science fiction and fantasy publishing. Check out the link, because there are a ton of great responses from people like Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Hal Duncan, and Neal Asher.

My response from the discussion:

The biggest taboo in science fiction and fantasy is showing humans in a positive light. According to the experts, there are so many problems in our world--global warming, overpopulation, the looming singularity--it will be a miracle if humanity survives the next hundred years. As a result, many writers of speculative fiction self censor, embracing doom and gloom under the belief that doing so gives "depth" to their writings. They create nothing but dark and moody antiheroes living dark and moody lives in dark and moody science fiction and fantasy worlds, where ironic quips have taken the place of actual human qualities like self sacrifice, love, and hope.

Ironically, this causes much of SF/F to miss the true depths of humanity, and likewise causes the genre to misunderstand our ability to overcome our self-created problems. Humanity has been engaged in a million-year flirtation with extinction--but we're still here! Research suggests that tens of thousands of years ago humanity dwindled to a few hundred people. Yet those people didn't give up. Instead, they spread across the entire globe and created the civilizations which nurture us all. I see no reason why today's humanity won't also overcome the problems that threaten both us and our planet. But in today's SF/F, this positive view of humanity's past and future is one most writers avoid like the plague.

In the comments section of the SF Signal discussion, Brad R. Torgersen agrees with my points, adding that "Maybe some people like seeing humanity at its worst, because they think this is simply art reflecting reality.  Me?  I say, no thanks.  Give me the bold tale, told boldly.  And the gutsy protagonist who makes the hard choices and fights the hard fights, not for seflishness, but because these are the right things to do."  He also adds that the "art of legend-making that has become 'uncool' in an era of irony, smugness, and cynicism." I totally agree.