You could make a good case in claiming that 90% of science fiction is a variation on the themes expressed in this set of cartoons: The hero who creates something potentially good that, upon testing, thoroughly backfires on him and threatens our way of life and/or understanding of reality. In fact, I’ve read books and seen movies where the results of a new invention or accomplishment are as silly as those depicted here.
Why? Well, most people don’t seem to think science fiction is interesting enough unless it threatens our very lives. In fact, you’re hard-pressed to think of any SF that doesn’t directly threaten the hero’s life. (Go ahead. I’ll wait.)
Is science fiction really any good only when it threatens to destroy us?