Science Fiction and Our Brokenness
Updated: Mar 20, 2018
I know a lot of people who don’t like fiction in general, and some who don’t like
science fiction in particular.
I’ve heard the genre of science fiction (aka scifi, SiFi, sci-fi) scorned as cold, escapist, and downright evil. Personally, however, I have found that many scifi stories are compelling studies on the brokenness of humanity, the ways we try to fix ourselves . . . and how we all somehow know deep inside that it will take something greater than us to set us free.
Science fiction is actually a study in irony
“Science” fiction is often the turf of atheists and others who declare that humanity (given sufficient time and technology) can build/think/formulize its way out of any problem. AND YET it’s also a genre which demonstrates the limitless ways we are broken and how our technology might be used to enslave or destroy all of us. While appealing to our desire to find immortality . . . scifi repeatedly demonstrates the dreadfulness of a fractured personality that might live forever.
And think of it. Nearly all scifi stories have a “spiritual” element, a faith or belief in some unverifiable, un-provable (unscientific) thing that is ultimately necessary to save the charac
ters from their worst-case scenario (as in Star Wars). Adding to the irony is that all the best-loved science fiction stories involve robots, androids, or aliens from other worlds that desire to be human—with all the emotion and fragility that entails (I Robot and Star Trek would be classic examples). Those who eschew the “illogical” nature of human emotions, will feast on scifi stories that show us the horrors of an existence devoid of it.
In short, scifi continually shows us the scars of man’s imperfections and limitations, yet recognizes that there is something ultimately valuable in the midst of our humanness.
Methinks that many of the crusty science fiction lovers out there are inwardly longing to escape humanity’s ills and to touch eternity—and they somehow know that human solutions won’t be the answer, that there is something beyond nature or what we can touch, calculate, and prove. As far as I am concerned, that’s a great place to start a journey.
Calling the crowd to join his disciples, he [Jesus] said, “Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat; I am . . . Self-help is no help at all. . . . What good would it do to get everything you want and lose you, the real you? What could you ever trade your soul for?” Mark 8:35-37 The Message
God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. 1 Corinthians 1:28-29 NIV
I'm hoping that more Christian authors and readers will grasp the idea that the genre of Science Fiction can actually be a great vehicle for transmitting spiritual truth.
Terry's SciFi books: Gatekeeper, Sojourner, Swordsman, Scions of the Aegean C
Another article about SciFi: What is Steampunk?
(The majority of this article was taken from the blog of Terry L. Craig--used with permission.)
© 2013 Terry L. Craig
Terry L. Craig is a is a follower of Christ, a Bible nerd, and comparative thinker who is an author, an indie publisher, and occasional speaker. She likes to engage people and get them thinking about why they believe what they believe. You can learn more about her on the Wild Flower Press, Inc. website ) or on her website.