We Need More Science Fiction 26 June, 2023 – Posted in: Books, Science Fiction – Tags: Books, Opinion, Reading
Not only is science fiction an idea of tremendous import, but it is to be an important factor in making the world a better place to live in, through educating the public to the possibilities of science and the influence of science on life which, even today, are not appreciated by the man on the street. … If every man, woman, boy and girl, could be induced to read science fiction right along, there would certainly be a great resulting benefit to the community, in that the educational standards of its people would be raised tremendously. Science fiction would make people happier, give them a broader understanding of the world, make them more tolerant.Hugo Gernsback
Editorial, Science Fiction Week (1930)
Ninety-three years on and Hugo Gernsback’s words are just as relevant now as then. We need more science fiction now and that becomes clearer each day. From its earliest beginnings science fiction has never been about the future. It’s about what is happening here and now, and how we might make things better for ourselves and the world.
It seems the world is run by a powerful minority who regard the world and its people as commodities to be exploited for their own gain. They have little regard for the future. Or what it will mean to those of us that don’t have the money to insulate ourselves from that future. In almost every instance of a story that tackles this situation the results are catastrophic.
On the other hand, science fiction offers possible solutions to just such a problem. The process is often painful and requires sacrifice, however, in the end the world benefits. Science fiction, at its best, seeks to light the way into the future for the majority, not a privledged few.
By increasing our exposure to science fiction we can allow our subconscious minds to roam freely and explore new avenues of thought. Therefore, allowing for a greater inspiration to solve the problems facing our world.
When we read science fiction we are seeking an alternative to the future as some would have it. Regardless of the future the story protrays, the underlying message is almost always one of hopeful positivity. Rarely does such a book end with utter collapse and failure. There is almost always a solution. If the characters are willing to do the hard work.
Given the environmental, economic, and political problems we see today. Clearly we need more science fiction more than ever. We need people looking for answers, not ones creating chaos. Not every book is a classic, but almost every one has something to offer the reader. If they are open to it and willing to think a little differently.