Advanced Technology. Alien Contact. Apocalyptic Worlds. Artificial Intelligence.
And this is just the A's in the vast alphabetical categories of science fiction themes!
A Bridge Across Culture Gaps
Unlike the other genres in fiction, science fiction has been known to push the limits of what is possible as we dream of what our future reality might hold with advances in science and technology. It also pulls the reader an author's "what if" as they explore the trends and patterns of our current culture, society, or politics taken to an extreme future. It fleshes out the fears and terrors we have of the unknown while we cope with the uncertainties of our present.
It can bridge diverse cultures together with stories of grit and hope.
Hope? Yes, you heard right. Hope.
True, there is a popular trend for our science fiction flavored stories to lean towards the hopelessness of a dystopian society. I have enjoyed my fair share of dystopian series, but recently I've gotten a bit disappointed when the hero of the story becomes...well, unhero-like. Where the hero of the story either become the very evil they wanted to overthrown in the start of their tale or become despondent in realizing nothing they do will truly change their world.
Where is the rising up to overcome the odds simply because it's the right thing to do? Where is the grit to get back up again to fight the good fight no matter how many times the world knocks them down? Where is the hope--hope that doesn't rely upon one's circumstances but comes from someplace deeper within us?
Even in our darkest moments in history, where one lived a fearful, dehumanized life, there were people who rose up with grit and hope. Who fought the losing battle. Who inspired others to continue the fight. Who invoked change even if they didn't live to see it. These stories speak powerful across all cultural communities.
I have scratched my head as more hopeless dystopian novels become famous, wondering if others are finding their endings as flat as I am. Are there others who long for something more? Who want common, relatable heroes do the amazing and hard things necessary to shape their world? Who yearn to be inspired to become a hero in their own story of life?
So that is why I write the stories I do. I love the freedom that science fiction and futuristic fantasy novels have. How you can create an alien race to highlight the difficulties in understanding a people group who thinks and acts differently than you, yet also show how it is possible to learn to work with, respect, and even love others not like you. How you can take what is familiar and fast-forward it to a future full of possibilities. Where you can have a world of injustice and suffering to show that even a broken world can't break man's indomitable spirit unless we choose to let it.
What about you? Do you feel let down by some of the current dystopian novels? Or do you see a different trend in science fiction/futuristic fantasy novels?