This is an entry for the Insecure Writers’ Support Group, a way for writers to discuss their writing anxieties. It cross-posts on each others’ blogs on the first Wednesday of each month.
In my writing I wander a lot around different genres, but the one that I’m most strongly attached to (as you might suspect from my blog’s name) is science fiction. The thing I’ve always loved about the genre is the scale and sense of escapism. Classic science fiction has always dealt with really big ideas – Isaac Asimov’s Foundation saga is about the collapse of a corrupt empire and the people trying to replace the chaos with something better. Arthur C. Clarke’s 2001 is about how Humanity will cope with contact from alien races who are beyond our comprehension. Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is about the creation of a new form of life, and the moral responsibilities involved. Great science fiction takes what could be dry academic discussions and breathes life into them, making them real.
One of the things that I’ve liked about writing science fiction since an early age is the amount of freedom the author has. The society can be moulded according to whatever the story requires (or what the author thinks will be fun). There’s pretty much no limitations.
One of the things I love most about science fiction (whether reading or writing) is exploring philosophies, and how different outlooks impact on actions. For example the characters in The Moon is a Harsh Mistress have a society which strongly values independence, leading them to break away from control by superiors on Earth. And the current series of Star Trek: Discovery follows two groups of near identical people in two parallel universes, shaped differently by a peaceful outlook in one universe (the Federation) and a fascist society in another (the Terran Empire).
In essence science fiction gives us a chance to play around with future history, and to use scenarios that we can’t possibly know to play around with issues that affect our modern day, with a bit of emotional distance. Those are some of the basic reasons why science fiction has always been my favourite genre.