Friday, December 7, 2018

Why Everyone Should Read Science Fiction

During some downtime at work the other day I had a co-worker ask what show I was binging. I mentioned I was working my way through the old Stargate SG-1, having just finished Stargate Atlantis. 

She had no idea what I was talking about. 

It could be that I am easily ten years older, but I think it's due to the fact that she just wasn't a fan of sci-fi. After I explained what the show was about, she confessed to never seeing Star Wars or Star Trek. 

Honestly, this isn't all too surprising to me. I've met plenty of people who never consider sci-fi stories for their entertainment. While one part of me finds this hard to believe, being so amazed by sci-fi stories my whole life, another side totally gets it. 

Growing up sci-fi seemed more directed towards boys, not little girls. I remember playing barbies with friends and they wanted to play wedding while I wanted to play big adventure. In today's culture though, I think things are changing. I see more female leads in mainstream sci-fi (think Rey from Star War) and it gives me hope. 

Why? 

Because sci-fi asks the big questions. These questions are for everyone, not just males, or geeks, or nerds. This planet belongs to us all, and we all contribute to the future of humanity. 

How can you not start to question the world around you when you read The Illustrated Man by Ray Bradbury, or watch Black Mirror? While these stories are entertaining, to me, they are also, in a way, educational. They challenge the reader/watcher to question their reality, and where the future of humanity is going. 

Sci-fi stories put into words our wonder for the world around us. They help us ask the questions we are sometimes too afraid to ask. What is our purpose here? Are we alone? What is the future of humanity? These questions belong to us all.