What's the difference between an old story and a new one?
What if 5 different versions were told, of 5 different ways the same (old/new) story turned out?
What if 1 story were told--that of the 1 way all stories end up?
(This hints at the question of perspective. From what or whose perspective is the story being told? And for whom or what?)
If the fantastical story has reflected our present (or slipping away into historic) reality (as classic science fiction, for example, has functioned) would it be possible (or even desirable) to tell a story that does not? My answer is yes, because of our inherent fascination with (not to mention fear of) the unknown.
In order to write a story which effectively reveals the truly unknown it would take rendering one's imagination in a form previously unthought of.
In order to even begin venturing beyond our established borderlines of the known, it would have to be determined what the elements of the known primarily consist of.
We're familiar with these tropes thanks to the enduring work and studies of the likes of Carl Jung, Joseph Campbell, and the great philosophers, poets, scientists, and writers of our time.
To begin with, time itself must be subjected to the scrutiny which reveals its nature in relation to space and their intersection with ourselves.
The computational power of the human brain may be seen as an ultimate reflection of the cosmos itself, just as the sophisticated complexity of a single leaf may remain comparable to that of humankind's most advanced technology.
Are dreams and death the only things which may unlock our bond to this current paradigm of ours? Imagination appears to be another possibility. It not only invites us to, but dares us to think up something new. Something which lies just around the bend. In a direction that was never foreseen.
Because that's exactly how impending reality arrives and manifests.
Perhaps strange new stories that should never happen need to be written in order to try to see to it that they don't ever come to fruition.
Stories help us navigate our way together into the unknown. By reiterating the familiar old stories, we help triangulate our location and position during this voyage. By invoking uncanny new tales, we help decide which way to point and steer our exploratory ship forward, and which ways to avoid.
Story telling appears to remain a necessary key by which we may unlock and attain our destiny.