Why Read Science Fiction?

Take a look around you.

That fridge in your kitchen, the device you’re reading this on, or something as simple as the chair in your dining room.

All these things, in fact, everything around us, first existed as an idea. Ideas are the seeds to every creation.

Thus, to have society progress forward, it’s important to cultivate the imagination of the people. If you cannot imagine it, it cannot exist.

What does this have to do with science fiction? The author Neil Gaiman explains:

I was in China in 2007, at the first party-approved science fiction and fantasy convention in Chinese history. And at one point I took a top official aside and asked him Why? SF had been disapproved of for a long time. What had changed?

It’s simple, he told me. The Chinese were brilliant at making things if other people brought them the plans. But they did not innovate and they did not invent. They did not imagine. So they sent a delegation to the US, to Apple, to Microsoft, to Google, and they asked the people there who were inventing the future about themselves. And they found that all of them had read science fiction when they were boys or girls.

Scientists and Entrepreneurs invent the future, and to invent the future you need to live in it. Science fiction stretches the imagination, acting as time machine to the future. When you enter that world, and return to reality, you can’t help but find things to change.

December 5, 2020

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