A recent interview in The Atlantic did a fantastic job of highlighting one of the reasons science fiction is so important: It allows us to throw away restrictions and fully explore the question “What if …?”
In the interview, MIT Media Lab researchers Dan Novy and Sophia Brueckner say their “Pulp to Prototype” course makes science fiction required reading. Why? Because it gets students to think about possibilities that would otherwise be classified as crazy, too far-fetched, or unimportant.
You’ve started up a conversation with a [friend/acquaintance/stranger/parole officer], and the [conversation/ice breaking/flirting/shouting] naturally develops to the point where you can mention you [wrote/published/dreamed/stole] a manuscript without sounding like a self-absorbed doof. Naturally, you spring at the opportunity, letting the title of your book roll off your tongue with just the right degree of nonchalance. It’s exhilarating.
And then the trouble starts.
“Oh,” this person says, “that’s [cool/exciting/nice/typical]. What kind of book is it?”