What do you think of when you hear the phrase “science fiction?” Robots? Time travel? Aliens? What about ‘realism?’ Not so much?
Most people don’t think that science fiction has much to say about reality. Science fiction is supposed to be about adventure and entertainment. It’s supposed to imagine futures that are far more advanced than our own, and to stretch modern science into something fantastic. Science fiction isn’t supposed to tell us anything about the actual state of things, right?
Well, this week, instead of picking just one book to feature, I have created a summer reading list comprised of twelve science fiction books that each depict the reality of one or more mental health conditions, sometimes even better than textbooks or realism. Whether it’s providing a nuanced depiction of addiction, exploring the complexities of violence, or exposing uncomfortable truths about pleasure and consumption; in these twelve examples, Sci-Fi is the best vessel for teaching us something about real life. It’s the time of the year when people are creating summer reading lists. If you want to keep things fun and exciting, while continuing to explore and better understand mental health issues, try these twelve science fiction books.