Science Fiction’s Metaphor
Ursula K. Le Guin’s definitions for science fiction are interesting and compelling. She mentions that science fiction is a “metaphor […] drawn from certain great dominants of our contemporary life—science, all the sciences, and technology, and the relativistic and the historical outlook”. In this sense, it’s like any other form of fiction, yet, at the same time, it conveys something new. Science fiction, as its name specifies, needs a scientific fact. In the end, we can take this fact to an incredible context, but it is still science. In other words, it’s something we can grasp from our normal understanding of science, an extension of what we’ve discovered to this day.
I define science fiction as a disguise. Science Fiction is a tool to disguise reality and question ourselves. Just like a metaphor, it hides something and pretends it is something else. Science fiction conceals our reality and moral issues as something new, another reality with its own complications. It does this so we can confront and force ourselves to resolve our problems because we are experiencing them from a new perspective. To create science fiction, we need to evolve a scientific element. Therefore, we create an unknown reality, a new truth.
While we are facing this new reality, we’re discovering its quirks and specific characteristics. We get lost in this world created by the author, and we start to open our minds to endless possibilities. Maybe our cars can fly, and we’ve discovered a cure for all of humanity’s illness or faced a new virus and developed superpowers. Suddenly, all these fantasies are possible, and we are seeing them on paper. But there is always a downside. Science fiction opens the possibility of many possible worlds, however, it’s a reaction to our own reality. The fact that we escape to this new reality does not erase that it is a human creation, and just like us, it’s flawed. In some ways, science fiction is the perfect metaphor of the world we want to live in or is the scariest representation of what we can become.
Science fiction is possibilities and change. This art genre it’s an escape from our reality to a different one and a tool to see how we can change our world and ourselves. Science fiction gives us the mechanism that can operate our world, inspiring us to face them and understand how they can improve our existence.