All morning I was mulling over what I would write for a “why speculative fiction?” post. And then I read this article:
Imagine and Survive: Resistance Through Speculative Fiction
“There’s another reason why stories like the ones Octavia Butler and Margaret Atwood tell are so important to me, why I think they’re so important period. And what it comes down to is that they’re not just stories of future horror and oppression and domination, or destruction and death, and the images of ourselves in the midst of it all.
They’re stories about resistance.
This is why speculative fiction is exactly what we need right now. It allows us to imagine ourselves into these futures, and that’s a vital first step, but that’s not all they do. These stories of the future, stories that feel so piercingly true, allows us to imagine what it looks like to fight in those futures. We can imagine resistance, and if we can imagine a future in which we are present and matter and resist, we can imagine a present in which we can do the same. We can look at the nightmarish aspects of our current America and we can dream of Butler’s Earthseed, and that dream is real. We aren’t trapped in this present moment, no matter how overwhelming the feeling is. Stories of the future show us a way out.
Imagining what the monstrous people in power might do next will only take us so far. But when we tell the stories of our futures, we can imagine what we’ll need to do to care for each other, to protect each other, to fight for each other. The truth is that we can’t imagine a finish line, because there very possibly isn’t one. But we can imagine the race, and what it’ll take to make sure we can all keep running.”