Handle With Care

handle with care; the sci-fi edition

A lot of things in the science-fiction genre seem to cross over into the fantasy genre. Or maybe the media I consume is a blend of the two. That is, after all, my favourite type of story.

This will be another short post, because sci-fi is something I am trying to get more into, but I do wind up reading the same sorts of things over and over.

  • Stories with aliens can be a definitive hit or miss for me. They either work very well, or not at all. Usually, the relationship between aliens and humans is written as an allegory for racism, but in a lot of ways it is not handled well. It could be done wonderfully, but it needs to be handled with nuance, and I have yet to read a book where it has not felt heavy-handed and preachy.
  • Artificial intelligence and robots is similiarly used as racism allegories. They are often times shown as sub-human, and again, the nuance can be lost if the author does not approach the subject with sensitivity.
  • The post-apocalyptic world, or a science fiction dystopia, is something that I do enjoy. When man’s hubris ends the world, the rebirth after is something amazing. However, many times the new world that comes after is the author reimposing status quo instead of questioning what is and what could be. There have been exceptions, of course, but my experience has not shown me many.

There are a number more things in science-fiction that are interesting, but the approach to all of them thus far – insofar as I have read them – has been pale imitations of each other. And they all, at the end of the day, reinforce the way the world is now instead of dreaming of something different.

Maybe I’m looking in the wrong places, so if anyone has any suggestions, I would greatly appreciate them.

I’m Ara, a Southeast Asian writer who someday hopes to have published a novel, and who is currently losing herself in the worlds created by others. I love books and food and television and blogging and I get distracted and sidetracked easily.

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