Science Fiction is Subversive Reading 17 July, 2023 – Posted in: Articles, Books, Science Fiction – Tags: , ,

When we hear the word subversive it conjures images of angry and violent reactions to established norms. However, subversion is a necessary element in our lives. It is the area where the old and established clash with the new and active. Subversive reading brings new and thought proking ideas to the public allowing for changes in our world.

Science fiction has a long history of subversion to the established norms of fiction. It takes the familiar, reimagines it, then throws it against a background of the future to challenge our expectations. Almost from the beginning, science fiction has had a radical element.

Because of the reputation that science fiction is ‘only for kids’ it allowed a freedom of expression not available to mainstream publications. Writers were free to make comments about governments, racism, feminism, sexism, or any ism they care to mention, without much fear of reprisal. Science fiction tackled difficult subjects early on. Often before any mainstream publication dared.

Subjects discussed so vehemently today are part of the very essence of science fiction culture. And have been so for decades. Science fiction readers have been on the cutting edge of every social issue long before any government body seeks to understand them. Equality for all beings is a basic fact in many if not most, science fiction stories.

Moreover, science fiction allows authors the freedom to present difficult ideas in a way that allows for great understanding. Within the context of science fiction actions and thoughts outside the norm gain consideration. This is what makes science fiction subversive reading.

The subversive challenges the established status into new ideas and thoughts. Through new ideas we gain greater understanding and freedom. This freedom then challenges other areas of the status quo in a repeating cycle to the benefit of us all. By reading more science fiction we become part of the subversive culture that will make this world a better place.

Subversive reading.

A man reading Ubik by Philip K. Dick with a young boy.
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