In conjunction to the lovely Jenna’s recent post about Why [She] Reads Contemporaries, I’ve decided to regale you guys about the benefits of YA science fiction. It’s kind of like the middle genre – not exactly fantasy because these things could happen, but also not realistic fiction because let’s be real, how many of these things do happen? It’s a lot of speculation in regards to setting and plot, but that makes it all the more compelling. Keep reading for reasons on why you should start adding sci-fi’s to your TBR!
The Impossible Becomes Possible
How many of you dream?
We see great inventions and discoveries all around us, but the majority of them may in fact be fiction. They may stem from a daydreamer’s musings, like a jetpack that can allow you to travel to the moon in as short as four hours, or a floating piano that you can play on for days in the sea. These ideas certainly sound like they could happen, yet we haven’t been able to find a way to develop such things.
With science fiction, such limitations are not a problem. (Depending on the world the author creates, of course.) We may see huge spaceships travel through galaxies in no time at all, or a scientist discovering a new color. The possibilities are as endless as our imaginations, and what makes it most exciting is reading those ideas applied to real life. Thinking about having an android become your bodyguard is one thing, but seeing it on the pages really makes it come to life.
For me, dystopian and utopian books fall under the large umbrella of science fiction. I mean, they happen in the future and are usually a product of the ways of society – whether they have squandered all their food supplies, or have divided into groups according to personality. It’s actually quite surprising on what you learn from these stories. Reading about those rising evil corporations or capricious governments kind of make me reflect on our own society today. How long until something that happened in a particular book becomes plausible in real life? It’s sometimes scary to think about, but in the long run provides great discussions on the way the authors see the near-future.
Teaches New Concepts
Okay, so it’s not like you’re going to get a PhD after reading about the logistics of interspacial teleportation, but lots of sci fi books will introduce cool things that readers may not have known before! For example, reading about time travel taught me about the butterfly effect, where a small change in something can have huge results elsewhere. There’s just something about new settings that have a basis in reality that really gets me excited. Fantasies may test the author’s creativity, but sci fis also allow them to explore already existing ideas and expand on them to become something totally different. (And help us readers learn, in the process!)
Explores The Future (And Us)
Technology is constantly progressing, and soon enough something that you’ve only read about might become possible. The integration of science fiction in literature not only provides a delightful escape from the current world, but also gives insight on the possibilities. And this isn’t even for tangible things like nanorobotics, though. It also applies to the way we see ourselves.
Science fiction may offer some answers to questions we have today, while causing new ones to pop up. The underlying theme of them, however, is discovery about the existence of humanity and the details that come with it. While this may be applied externally (like finding other life in nearby galaxies), it can also be cause for introspection. Just as the characters may discover a new hidden world deep inside the earth or out there in space, us readers may discover hidden depths in our own character that causes for reflection as human beings.
YA Science Fiction Recommendations
These books are out of this world (literally) and will blow your mind.
(And some cross to other genre too.)
- Illuminae by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman (explosions, romance, space opera)
- Their Fractured Light by Meagan Spooner and Amie Kaufman (romance, just read the whole trilogy, action)
- Winter by Marissa Meyer (crazy princess, retelling, romance, read the series please)
- End of Days by Susan Ee (apocalypse, angels??, dystopia, paranormal, romance)
- In the Afterlight by Alexandra Bracken (dystopia, romance, kids with powers!)
- Undivided by Neal Shusterman (insane, dystopia, romance)
- Under the Never Sky by Veronice Rossi (post-apocalypse, swoon romance)
So why do you like science fiction? And if you don’t, why not? Oh, and if you are still wary about reading science fiction, I dare you to pick up one of the books I’ve listed above and see how you think of it after reading.