The dangers of reading science fiction

I enjoy reading fiction. I get sucked up into the story and feel I learn a lot about people and myself through the empathy I have with the characters. I admit that I enjoy the escapism I feel through reading fiction. Imagining myself in situations that I have not experienced, feelings I have not felt, help me to reflect on my life and put it into perspective. It is, after all, very easy to live in a bubble of your own immediate experience. 

I recently decided to read “classics” that I had hitherto neglected. This is mainly because I had run out of favourite author’s work. I started with “a brave new world” and have been hooked on the genre ever since. I am amused, entertained, enlightened, provoked, freaked out, terrified, unnerved and fearful of our present and future as a result.

Read Auldous Huxley, Philip K Dick, Ray Bradbury and Daniel Keyes and many more. Enjoy them – I’m sure you will. But beware the side effects as you begin to relate the “stories” to the context in which you live now. 

Remeber what your life was like ten years ago. Think about how you communicated with people. Think about how you made friends. Think about how you watched TV, think about how you “learned”. Remember, if you can, how you gained knowledge. You may even want to think about what knowledge is. 

Dystopian worlds, imagined over fifty years ago, are frighteningly familiar. Why do we continue towards dystopian rather than utopian futures? Obviously, it is the “we” in the previous sentence that is to be questioned. 

Fiction can help us expand our bubbles but science fiction can expand our minds. It can be a warning. It can and should act as a prophylaxis. Unforutnely, it seems to be acting as a blueprint. 

It is not “intriguing” or “fascinating” that these horrific worlds are made real. 

Scifi readers please act. You have more awareness than most about our future possibilities. 

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