As I walked my dog Mia last night I gazed up at the Moon for several minutes. Our tidally-locked satellite has never ceased to fascinate me, even though our species has visited it numerous times, called those visitations into question with childish conspiracy theories, and now plans to return, this time to stay. But to me the Moon is more than a mere satellite; it is another world. I never forget this each time I scrutinize its craters and wide, waterless expanses. It is a world with possibilities. Such things drive my imagination. Imagination melds with hopes and ideas into a positive synergy that I express via my fiction. Science fiction.
Our country is hurting right now. So much injustice has been wrought, not only in these last three and a half awful years of Trumpism, but for centuries. Slavery, disenfranchisement, cultural warfare, and so much more. All against people whose skin color is different than my own, and for little better reason. It’s easy to think we don’t need stories about space exploration, alien civilizations, or robots gaining sentience in these times — some people regard such things as escapist or trivial. The equivalent of kids reading comics, for those who understand neither kids nor comics.
Some people also think the lives of those who don’t look like them are also trivial. Both assumptions are wrong.
I’m not a person of color so I will never fully understand the pain, fear, depression, frustration, and all the other negative affects racism has on someone who is. I do my best to educate myself and listen. One way I attempt this is through my work. You see, the spaceships, robots, aliens — they are all scenery, and often metaphors. They are the trees, not the forest. They are there to illustrate possibilities. Not only the possibilities of what the future might hold in store, but the possibilities of human reaction to those things.
And that is what science fiction ultimately is: stories about possibilities.
The Moon, another world. Full of potential, if you bother to look.
That’s what a human being is. More than simply a biological construct with emotions and drives that thinks it understands itself. Humans are engines of possibility. Each and every person — regardless of their…