When I think of the physical and biological sciences, I assume they adhere to rigid protocols. Which, to an extent, is true. However, many of science’s biggest discoveries were produced by people questioning and pushing the boundaries, creating a new paradigm. I view science fiction as a way for everyone to exercise that same imaginative inclination. Ray Bradbury’s explanation of literature acting as a safety valve for violence runs parallel to that idea. 

Bradbury believes that literature lets us release the tensions of everyday life by allowing us to channel our instinctive thoughts into a fictional scenario. In that way, science fiction lets us respond to science and technology. Rather than leave the science to the scientists, “fiction” is how we come to terms with those “what-ifs” in the science and technology that surround us. Science fiction lets us explore the science we have now, could have later, and what we will do with that information.

On the other hand, I still agree with Ursula K. Le Guin’s idea that we know because it is a novel or fiction, it is not real. It is a genre that lets us fully explore our thoughts and feelings about the changing world around us whether that be an organic (climate change and alternate universes etc.) or mechanistic change (AI and time travel etc.) It also is not a full prediction of our future. It is a projection of what we know of ourselves at the time.

To sum, it is a genre that drawing from science and technology, lets us explore ourselves, our past, and what we think of our future.