I’ve been on a bit of a nostalgia kick lately, and revisiting the science fiction I loved as a kid.  And I’m trying to introduce my kids to the stuff that got my imagination cranking so long ago.

Most of it holds up pretty well.  Some of it doesn’t.  But that doesn’t really matter.

The important part of science fiction is triggering that part of your brain that says “What might be?”  I learned from a very young age that the world we live in now doesn’t have to be static, it can be changed.  Tiny changes in technology have drastic effects on our lives, and those change curves are getting increasingly steeper.

My kids are going to have a huge amount of wealth with regards to speculative fiction.  They’ve already got it good:  Jules Verne, H. G. Wells, Frank Herbert, Arthur C. Clarke, Isaac Asimov, William Gibson, Robert Heinlein, Philip K. Dick, Neal Stephenson, these are all household names.  When I was younger, you had to hunt for this stuff, it wasn’t just sitting around.  Now, this stuff is on TV, on the big screen.  Seriously, let’s not get into the movies.  Or the games.  Or the comics.

Sometimes I think I was born about twenty years too early.  What if I had Amazon growing up?  Netflix?  Comixology?  There’s so much good science fiction just sitting on the shelf now, I think if I were a kid these days I never would have left my parents’ basement, figuratively speaking.

Not sure where I’m going with this.  Nostalgia and recent tragedy have made me reflective.  I’m optimistic.  Humans have always done terrible things, and currently are doing terrible things.  Will it get worse before it gets better?  Probably.  But I think humanity in general moves on an upward curve.  Life expectancies increase.  More books are written.  More minds are molded.

I believe science fiction is innately optimistic.

And as long as we keep asking the big questions, we’ll eventually get some big answers.

What might be.