The Best Sci FI Has Altered Attitudes
Although many may disagree, I think that the best sci fi can affect us in ways that are beneficial to all of society. Sometimes, it can even guide our thinking, helping us to new levels of creativity that we might otherwise not have achieved.
Standard forms of writing can also provide inspiration, but it often has a hard time dealing with real creativity. It can be too structured to allow for inspirational ideas, so it overlooks ideas that are normally considered radical.
The best sci fi, however, can enlarge our perceptions and help us follow new avenues of thought. It can help us imagine what an artificial intelligence might be like. Or a species from another planet. In doing so, it also helps us look at ourselves in new ways.
New technologies may also be explored. Isn’t it possible that Asimov’s whole concept of robot intelligence and artificial consciousness is even now inspiring modern scientists? This idea would almost certainly be pursued anyway, but his ideas are certainly influential.
Conventional stories aren’t as good as science fiction when it comes to exploring the many possibilities of the human experience. They don’t allow for as much speculation, so they are more limited.
Describing a world that doesn’t exist, or imagining the appearance of an alien species, takes at least as much skill as any other type of writing. It shouldn’t be overlooked because it lacks realism.
Many people avoid non realistic stories. This is a mistake, and they need to remember that all tales are ultimately the creation of an author’s imagination.
A little thought reveals that unless a story is completely non-fiction, it can’t be based on reality. The whole purpose of a good tale is to convince the reader that the world the writer has just made up is real.
For these reasons, it should be apparent that all fiction, no matter what genre it happens to adhere to, is an effort to change or escape reality. The most talented authors will also teach us some valuable lessons about ourselves along the way.
When it comes to invention, speculation, and imagination, the best sci fi often surpasses ordinary literature. It should get more attention and critical study than it now receives.