Why Should You Read Science Fiction?

I originally wrote this for my old blog, Planet Pailly, over a year ago.  Please enjoy.

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Someone once told me that people who read romance novels are better lovers.  Supposedly there’s a study to prove this.  Also, people who read mysteries have a stronger sense of right and wrong.  I suppose that makes sense.  We learn a lot from what we read.  So what does science fiction teach us?

Most people have a stereotype in their heads about Sci-Fi fans.  We’re supposed to be a bunch of overweight, pimply nerds living in our parents’ basements.  We have poor social skills, we can’t get girlfriends, and naturally, we all wear thick glasses.  Why would anyone read science fiction when it turns you into that?

Well, I say it’s a risk worth taking.

For one thing, science fiction gives us a sense of wonder.  The universe is huge and complicated, and really anything is possible.  Even right here on Earth there are so many things we don’t understand.  And with that wonder comes a sense of respect for nature, from the tiniest atom to the largest galactic cluster, and every organism in between.

Science fiction also teaches us to be optimistic.  Almost every story insists that, no matter how bad things are today (and sometimes things today do seem pretty bad), the human race does have a future.  Somehow or other, we’re going to make it, and we might get flying cars!

So go read a science fiction book.  Yeah, you might have to move into your parents’ basement, but at least you’ll know the universe is really interesting and the future will be awesome.

P.S. I said we can’t get girlfriends because, obviously, girls don’t like science fiction.  Click here if you believe that.

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