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Why I Love Writing Science Fiction

Updated on October 4, 2015
Electronic fetus floating in a water bubble in space
Electronic fetus floating in a water bubble in space | Source

What is it About the Science Fiction Genre?

Science fiction allows a writer to lead people to examine certain ideas and concepts, not exactly in isolation but removed from the distraction of settings they have too many preconceived notions about. It also allows this examination to take place in settings that do not carry too much emotional baggage.

In my opinion, the most wonderful thing about writing science fiction is actually the people who read it. With sci-fi, you've got an audience that enjoys thinking about things differently, that wants to see things through a novel lens. They are generally people with big imaginations who have not lost their child-like sense of wonder. They do more than half the work of creating strange worlds, alien landscapes, and mind-boggling technology.

Born with a View Askew

Space motorbike leaving the moon at earthrise
Space motorbike leaving the moon at earthrise | Source

Looking at the World Through Stranger's Eyes

I have an odd way of looking at the world and some say it's because I have a type of high-functioning autism, sometimes called Asperger's Syndrome. I see my skewed viewpoint in some ways comparable to that of a complete outsider, a foreigner in any culture I visit, including the culture of my birth. I tend to observe and analyze rather than interacting because I can’t seem to blend in with any of the amazing cultures I’ve encountered. I’m almost always watching intently rather than participating. It may have started out as my attempt to learn how to be like my peers but I have learned to treasure it for what it is.

The delightful thing about being a perpetual outsider is that, like an anthropologist studying a culture not her own, I tend to see things people living in that culture might miss. And I tend not to feel compelled to obey ingrained social protocols requiring me to pretend not to see these very strange things. I won't go into the bits about autism that suck a great deal, because those are pretty well covered everywhere else.

Some people have told me I'm odd because I'm a high-functioning autistic person; I say I'm odd because the world is strange and I can't help but be affected by my environment.

Unicorn-headed space motorbike with tentacles, fueled on fairies and ridden by a woman in a spacesuit
Unicorn-headed space motorbike with tentacles, fueled on fairies and ridden by a woman in a spacesuit | Source
image created by Kylyssa Shay in soft pastels on black paper, enlarged greatly to show detail
image created by Kylyssa Shay in soft pastels on black paper, enlarged greatly to show detail

But Why Write?

I am a woman. I am not wealthy nor do I come from a family of means. I come from the streets and they still live inside me. I am not quick or pretty and I have no status. I am insignificant. When I have tried to talk, almost no one listens. My inability to perform the correct gestures and the right eye signals distracts those who try to listen from the words that I say and the things that they mean.

But I see these bizarre and amazing things around me, things so weird and wonderful that I wish to tell people about them, to share them with someone. In that aspect, I'm just like everyone else.

So I write. No one can talk over me. No one can shut me up. If anyone reads my words it means that person has chosen to listen to what I have to say. My words can meet people who will listen to them even though I cannot. They can fall or rise on their own merit and not be judged by the awkward, insignificant package the mind that creates them is housed inside.

People who would take one look at me and decide I have nothing important to say may very well read my words printed on the pages of a book or spelled out in dark pixels on a screen.

Gleaming DNA bubbles floating above a mouse resting in a woman's hand
Gleaming DNA bubbles floating above a mouse resting in a woman's hand | Source

So Why Science-Fiction?

So I have discovered that I can write and that some people will read and "hear" what I have to say. But there are still social protocols one must pretend not to notice, there are still taboos and preconceptions that prevent people from really "hearing" some things they may find uncomfortable because of this.

In science fiction, I can talk about almost any concept as seen from the outside or inserted into an unreal context and people will be unafraid to think about it. I may even be able to get them to examine ideas and concepts in ways they haven't before.

I can invite people to examine social issues such as poverty, oligarchy, racism, sexism, class-ism, religious zealotry, and even narcissism in ways I couldn't manage without getting death threats were I to cover them in a journalistic rather than fictionalized manner.

What Have I Been Doing About It?


For the last two years I've given myself permission to let loose and write the stories I've been dreaming into existence.

Few have read any of those stories so far and most of those who have haven't read finished versions. But I'm extremely excited about the communications I’ve crafted and the ones I've yet to design. I've written many, many words lately. I have completed two novels, four short stories, and have an additional nineteen nearly complete short stores in varying states of disarray. That's what I've been doing with my spare time when I'm not busy writing, more writing, but of the sort that doesn't sell.

I've also communicated strange futuristic, weird pastaristic, and even wackier right-now-a-ristic ideas in other ways. I did that with earth-derived pigments and dyes soaked into or applied onto the surface of a number of different plant fibers configured in several different ways into flat surfaces using. I also used polymer clay. It was fun.

Letting these ideas free has been delightful. It reminds me that there is something inside me. I do hope that others will care to listen to my words with their eyes, fingers, or even their ears some day.

*The "Sugar Maple Siren" above shows just how much my subconscious thinks about impossible things. I had intended to draw a normal nude in a moonlit garden but somehow I got distracted and there was a sylph growing from a foggy stage, microphone in hand as soap-bubble planets floated in the background on my black paper.

Electronic parent and child
Electronic parent and child | Source

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