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If Women Want to Help Build the Future, They Should Read Science Fiction

 

If you had asked me in my 20’s if I would write scifi novels, I would have laughed at you. Scifi was for boys who wanted to feel smart. And with four 20-something boys now, I can confirm that they exist in a constant battle of wits and knowing. It's not all the time, and it's not every book written by a male author, but it's enough for some people to not finish a book (or conversation).  

Luckily, Ray Bradbury changed my mind with his book Zen in the Art of Writing (free pdf), specifically the essay On the Shoulders of Giants. He credits children with spurring our rapid innovation over the past 60 years. Why? Because they championed science fiction in schools and libraries around the world. What Bradbury posits is that teachers, librarians, and parents learned these books are full of IDEAS, not just escapist daydreaming. Hmmm, I never thought about why A Wrinkle in Time was my favorite book growing up. Maybe Bradbury was on to something.   

Now, let’s consider Rankers list of the top 10 scifi authors. In order: Issac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, Jules Verne, Ray Bradbury, Robert Heinlein, H.G. Wells, Philip K. Dick, Frank Herbert, Ursula K. Le Guin, Douglas Adams.   

This is a pretty simple line of logic to follow. One woman listed among the top 10 idea pushers. What do you think that’s meant for technology and its rapid expansion?   

So, when I set about to write science fiction, I wondered if it was possible to write in a way that more women and non scifi readers would enjoy the stories, and consider the ideas within. Readers who looked a lot like, well, yours truly. So far, I’ve had quite a few people tell me they read my book and really enjoyed it, even though they don’t read scifi. Score! Most of them are women. Double score!!   

If you want to see where the world may be headed and possibly play a role in the future, try reading, or even writing a little science fiction.     

 

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