So, I only recently started watching Star Trek. I know, I know – really? Only now? I’m a little behind the times, I know.
But I’ve really been getting into science fiction lately, and I think I’ve figured out why. For me, science fiction is a way to escape from the futile and silly debates we are having in our society today and skip right to the “juicy” part of humanity’s journey. Instead of sitting and debating over and over about whether climate change is real, characters in science fiction have moved way past that – they’re finding new planets, new worlds to explore and on which to live. Humans have started colonies among the stars. We’ve mastered intergalactic travel. Instead of debating whether or not we should fund NASA this year, we have gigantic starships and put an emphasis on exploring and learning.
Just like some people wish to go back to a “simpler time”, I wish to skip forward to what I consider to be a simpler time. Sure, there are issues that characters often encounter in sci-fi – murderous alien dictators, mechanical malfunctions, being stranded on another planet – but these somehow seem resolvable compared to the enormous effort it seems to take to create any sort of positive change in the world today. And I think that to me, if we get to the point where we can travel from planetary system to planetary system, humanity has been successful.
Science fiction inspires us to reach for the stars, but also reminds us to take care of what we already have. And I think that’s why I like it.