For many, there is nothing like a good book for escaping from stress and reality. Reading fiction ignites the imagination in a way that movies, TV and the Internet do not. The science fiction genre is among the most popular, especially in the eBook format. With tales of far-off worlds and imagined futures, the reader dives into a new existence, but can science fiction bridge people’s understandings of current topics that often divide the public? Newer books are exploring the possibilities in the realms of spirituality and climate change.
Science and Spirituality
There is a common misconception that science and spirituality don’t mix. Science is based on facts, spirituality on feelings. Though there are many famous scientists who also practice some form of spirituality, the view persists that the two perspectives are disparate. There are, however, a number of science fiction authors who are exploring storylines that bridge the gap between proof and belief. Bill Copeland writing is one example of works that meld the two views. Readers just might come to new appreciations for a world in which science and spirituality reside peaceably and even go hand-in-hand to further people’s understanding of life.
Science and Climate Change
Climate change and environmental issues are heated topics in the U.S. The debates are frequently emotional, which makes agreement hard to come by. A new genre, however, might provide a path to acceptance where talking has not. While science fiction futures often incorporate environmental disasters or climate catastrophes into the storyline, climate fiction, or cli-fi, tends to focus on climate change as a central theme. Taking the scientific facts behind climate change and working them into a fictional plot can bring to life the potential future for society, perhaps easing skeptics closer to acknowledgment, something no amount of debate has successfully accomplished thus far.
For science fiction enthusiasts, the worlds created on the page offer a chance for adventure and escape. There is the possibility, however, that the genre can do more, providing a means for bridging understandings about the existential and the environment.