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The World Responds to Our Science Fiction, so Why Won’t We Admit it Exists? – Fred Strydom

The RaftFred Strydom recently wrote an article for Medium in defense of science fiction and fantasy in South Africa.

The author of The Raft ponders South Africans’ tendency to prefer non-fiction over fiction and explains why we need the genre of science fiction to make sense of our world.

Strydom writes: “The truth is that fiction needs a bigger voice in South Africa, and science fiction, being the loudest of all fictions, could be our way of breaking through. As with District 9 by director Neill Blomkamp and Zoo City by Lauren Beukes, the world seems to respond to our science fiction.”

Read the article:

Science fiction is the genre of invention and re-invention. Of expansion. Of universal truth. Of absolute fabrication. It’s the genre of freedom itself.

In the end, science fiction should be allowed to declare that we’re not only a country of looking back but one of looking forward. Besides writing, producing and reading more of it, we should also, as a nation, be rewarding it. Hell, at least admitting it exists. We could start with new shelves at our local book stores, so that novels such as The Raft don’t have nestle in the brilliant but genre-irrelevant company of other South African novels under “General Africana”. We could also be using speculative fiction in schools to encourage readership in a generation willing to spend their pocket money on some new US science fiction blockbuster every other week, or wait up for it on TV on Saturday nights, or display a favourite make-believe character on their t-shirts.

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