In a world where technology is growing at a rate like never before, in a world where limitless possibilities hang in front of us; it’s tempting to ask- Why do we still hang on to science fiction and fantasy? Presently, science fiction and fantasy works are the most popular. Be it books or movies, science fiction is a hot topic. But why?
After all, now we all have gadgets in our pockets and in our homes that we haven’t dreamed about , devices that outstrip the fantasies of yester science fiction— to be honest, we all own devices that can do a bajillion things and still we persist in writing and reading science fiction.
The most obvious and common answer would be that, science fiction broadens our imaginative horizons. It plants little visuals in our brain that inspire us and push us to achieve our dreams. It propels us to think. It makes us desire for little contraptions that could respond to us, that can make us fly, that would ensure we could sneak like ninjas, fight like warriors- all our fantasies. And it’s true that science fiction and fantasy have both prompted the creation of technological marvels.
But I think it’s pretty inaccurate to credit the genre for all the advances. People have ambitions and experiment regardless of what genres of books they read. The real power of science fiction I guess, lie in its ability to interpret the world around us, to investigate parts of our existence that are too complex, too subtle, to explain the unexplainable with more than facts, figures and numbers. Sci fi answers the questions that haunt us, with imagination. They replace what we know and can see with what could be…
As with all tweaked and adjusted perspectives, there’s danger in them: it may not always make sense, you may not agree with it, you may frustrate with its naivety; however, for moments you have stepped in someone else’s shoes. You have seen a different side and you know what it feels like. And it inspires and changes you. Would time travel feel so alluring if you hadn’t felt the magic in H.G Well’s Time Machine, without Hermione’s time turner, without ‘Back to the future’?
While present day science talks about, well, the science part of things- the principles involved. Science fiction talks about its effect on our lives. When science talks about time machines, it talks about string theories and alternate dimensions and Einstein’s theorems. However, when science fiction talks about time travel it talks about possibilities, effects- Maybe the world is dying and you go back to fix it, that sort of stuff. It’s a different perception. It’s fun, entertaining and definitely gives you something to think about.
Science fiction is a kind of laboratory where each one of us can intellectually toy with all sorts of ideas. It’s a world in your head where you control and assume all sorts of assumptions from governments to society to physics. Its free of the barriers of reality.
Science fiction is an important tool to show us the full spectrum of possibilities for tomorrow and paints it in front of us.
The stories science fiction shows us, is itself a blueprint for the universe, a universe which we create…