Storytelling is more like a skin. You start with the outermost layer, what it's going to look like, then you kind of get deeper into it. What's actually going on beneath the surface is not really dictated by or related to the surface genre. It's more about what's going to happen between the characters and what's taking place in the story.
There's been a greater awareness among people, especially geeks, that the laws of physics don't allow that much wiggle room in terms of things like faster-than-light travel, time travel, sending people to other planets. It's harder than we were aware a few decades ago. I think there used to be this widespread imagination, this idea that we'd eventually just hop in a rocket and go to Mars.
Earlier, if you had a piece of technology, anyone could theoretically take it apart and put it back together again, and understand how it works. Some people would do that with the technology that they owned. It's not as easy to do that today. Most users wouldn't even think to do anything like that.
On the one hand, technology is more mysterious. On the other hand, we're more aware of its limitations. Every time I watch Star Trek, I'm highly aware of magical everything is: the holodeck, the warp drive. It's possible that with wormholes we might eventually be able to do something like that. But the laws of physics are pretty unforgiving.