Speculative Fiction Is Emotional Fiction 4 July, 2023 – Posted in: Articles, Books – Tags: ,

To a great many people speculative fiction is just a lot of action and fun. This can be true. Speculative fiction usually does involve action and fun. However, speculative fiction is emotional fiction too. It brings up just as many feelings as any mainstream literature.

The idea that SF doesn’t offer an emotional journey is a fallacy. Great SF can bring readers to the heights of joy or the depths of sadness and all points between. In fact, SF would not exist if it did not offer its readers some sort of emotional variance. A story that is simply a list of events is no story. SF not only arouses strong feelings in its readers, but it also does so in alien ways.

Perhaps it is this alienness that mainstream readers are uncomfortable with. A reader’s imagination can easily cope with the emotions of people they might encounter on a daily basis. However, that imagination might have more difficulty if those same emotions are attributed to a fantastic being they will never encounter. The ability to accept that emotions, no matter how fantastic the source, are valid is paramount in the SF reader.

When a reader can accept the validity of a fantastic being’s emotions, then the reader can look at the differences among people and accept their emotions are real and valid. In reality, speculative fiction is a training ground for the empathetic reader.

Readers should allow themselves the chance to explore the emotional connections speculative fiction has to offer. They will invariably be rewarded with a uniquely surprising and moving experience. An experience that might not be available through mainstream sources.

SF is a wonderful way to exercise and flex our emotional muscles. And by exercising these muscles we can appreciate the world and the problems we face with more care and understanding. It is only through understanding that we can come together to make the world better for everyone.

Speculative Fiction is Emotional Fiction.

A woman crying while reading in bed.
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