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Friday, June 20, 2014

Endless Possibilities in Science Fiction - guest post by Phoebe Chase

I have no facts to back up my opening for this post, but I imagine the very first science fiction story was born from the author contemplating his or her future. (I did try to find out what is considered to be the first published work of science fiction, but boy was that a rabbit hole.) Every time I sit down and watch an episode of Helix, Orphan Black, Defiance, Continuum, or Battlestar Galactica (among others), my brain starts cranking with so many ideas and scenarios centered around our humanity, and the planet, and the potential for good – or how things could go horribly wrong.

The sci-fi genre handles heavy issues in entertaining and interesting ways, more so than other types of fiction, because the very nature of science fiction is to imagine “What if?”  And the ways sci-fi authors can explore such things as the fate of man, ideal societies, or artificial intelligence is as varied as the issues. The umbrella of sci-fi includes hard and soft sci-fi, time travel, cyberpunk, alternate history, utopian, dystopian, space operas – so many directions to go!

A good story will make you think about yourself and the world you live in. And maybe make you wish for a better world? Anyone remember reports of depression after people watched Avatar and wanted to live in a world like Pandora?  The tools used by sci-fi writers enable them to make readers think about uncomfortable realities. A society where class doesn’t matter? Or one where it means everything? Is a utopian society even possible given human nature? What if the government tried to chemically alter us to create utopia? How much power should a government have?

Science fiction asks questions and then tries to answer them, hopefully in a way that keeps you glued to the page or screen.

Bio: Phoebe Chase is trying to write her way out of a cubicle one story at a time. She can quite frequently be found on Twitter (@Phoebe_Chase) and very infrequently at her website (phoebechase.com)

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