Science fiction often receives a bad reputation. People who read science fiction novels or comics are often perceived as geeks who have difficulty grasping reality. Moreover, many parents often discourage their children from reading sci-fi books because of the belief that science fiction makes you stupid or causes mental disorders in children.
However, for those who actually know science fiction readers and “geeks” out there, why does it seem that most of these people are incredibly smart and do well in school? Why is it that they seem to be more resilient to changes? The simple answer is science fiction is detached from reality. Children who read science fiction novels often have some benefits compared to other children. So if you’re a parent thinking if they should buy Marzock’s sci-fi book about aliens, you may want to look at some of the benefits of science fiction, such as:
1. Better retention
It is a given that many science fiction books and movies are very complicated. Ask any of your friends who have spiraled down a new world of science fiction to explain the plot of the story, and you will come to realize that there are many things that you have to remember when reading science fiction. More often than not, science fiction plots are in a very different world from the world we live in. Because of that, readers have to remember new scenarios, ways of living, social standards, altered realities, and different languages to keep up with the storyline.
Because of this, people who read science fiction novels at a young age can retain a larger fund of memory and can remember things better even if they only read or heard something once. This causes these children to do better in schools since they can remember things better, faster and apply concepts over other schoolmates.
If you’ve ever read or heard of science fiction books, you’ll always hear about fan fiction. If you aren’t familiar with fan fiction, in short, these are stories made by fans using stories, plot lines, and characters of famous books. There are so many different fan fictions for various novels on different websites that often indicate how many people can play into the reality of the book and add their twist to it.
Moreover, most children who read science fiction novels often imagine what it would be like to live in a particular world. What would they look like? Where would they live? What faction, status, caste, or house would they belong in? What extraordinary power would they have? Because of these, most children who can read science fiction novels become interested in finding ways to think out of the box and how certain realities could work or be practical in another field.
3. Mirrored realities
Though realities in these books are different from real life, a few are mirrored. Many of the social and political issues we face in our world are often reflected in these books. For example, the attacks against Muggleborns in the book Harry Potter parallel the racism experienced by African Americans. The caste system featured in the Selection series parallels the caste system still present in many countries today. Because of that, these allow children to see these realities from a different point of view and better grasp the “true heart” of these issues.
Moreover, it also helps children develop a better sense of justice and morality. Are these realities fair? Should they be corrected? These books often offer and expose children to these realities in a bird’ eye view – something most of us are unable to do since we experience these realities every day. This allows a better and enhanced perspective in dealing with these realities.
4. Resilience Building
One common thing in science fiction stories is completely eradicating a thought and replacing it with a new one. Overthrowing a corrupt government with a new one, eradicating a previously common belief are a few examples of sci-fi plots that drastically change the way a “System” works. This means that these people can rethink, reimagine, and grapple with a way to manage social changes and circumstances.
5. Strengthened Mental Health
Studies show that sometimes depression, anxiety, and other mental disorders may be a health issue among the youth because they face reality overload. Often, there are many issues we have to face in our world, such as injustice, political, social, environmental, and economic issues, and so much more. Science fiction allows people to escape that mindset and prevent themselves from being trapped in that reality.
Though some may view it as “avoiding the realities,” most of the time, it gives people the step back they need to view the perspective from a different angle and realize that there is still more to life and other joys than the struggles they are currently facing.