Science fiction tends to work best in a short format. On the page, the short story is the natural form of speculative fiction, allowing the writer to explore a single idea to the fullest extent. On the screen, the same maxim applies; certainly, we love our sprawling epics like Star Wars or, this year, Dune, but the high watermark for genre on screen is still Rod Serling’s The Twilight Zone, whose anthology format allowed the legendary showrunner to dig into whatever topic he liked week to week.
The modern heir to Serling’s masterpiece is, of course, Black Mirror, but even weirder and wilder than Charlie Brooker’s acclaimed sci-fi satire is SF8, a new eight-episode anthology series hailing from South Korea. While Black Mirror keeps its sights locked on information technology and how it affects us and our relationships, SF8 spreads a wider net, with eight different directors tackling a diverse array of topics. What will aged care look like in the future? Is free will even a thing when complex A.I. algorithms can accurately predict human behaviour? How will we mediate personal relationships in a world dominated by social media? (That last one is barely science fiction. Heck, it’s barely fiction.)