The Ripple Effect: How Science Fiction and Fantasy Changes Us

It is no lie that I’m a die-hard Trekkie, and after years of watching Trek over and over, I am still surprised to see how deeply the show impacted my life. Star Trek is what allowed me to empathize with the world around me. I was able to see future possibilities – a world where humanity could coexist in a space where our differences were honored. Star Trek became the mechanism through which I found my analogies to relate to my reality. But Star Trek isn’t the only show that has informed my values, ethics and questioning of everything around me; it is the realm of Science-Fiction and Fantasy which has informed my life in general. It has created a computer-like simulation in which I can see the possibilities of what can be and how to change what is.

This is what interests me as a writer of Science-Fiction and Fantasy. These mediums explore the potential for new realities. They also examine and aim to help us understand how we interact and exist in the now. As someone who not only consumes this genre, but writes it, it has forced me to imagine what futures I want to create. It helps me examine myself. It’s like writing a poem. Out of confusion and frustration and anger and hope, I write.  I write to figure out the world around me. At times it brings a deeper understanding of myself and others, yet it can bring up more questions. Without the Sci-Fi and Fantasy creators before me, I wouldn’t be the writer I am now. I stand on the backs of the visionaries of the past and as I look forward I see a whole new generation of visionaries paving new avenues I never thought possible. It excites me to the core. It is this excitement that many in the nerd world are feeling as they continue to push the envelope on “What if?”

I think Science-Fiction and Fantasy is entering a Golden Age.  It’s full of a potential I haven’t experienced since the first time I watched Star Trek: The Next Generation. I am discovering writers, movies, and comic books I never knew existed. And instead of filling me with a sense of dread for humanity, it leaves me optimistic that humanity won’t crumble into an oblivion. Unrepresented narratives are finally coming out of the woodwork, demanding to be heard and seen. I’m in a constant state of awe at what is being generated. It’s given me a new language, new ways to communicate, empathize and understand our Earth. It leaves me with too many words forcing their way out of my fingertips. What new realities are being created that are informing a new generation of beings, beings that inspire me to create and continue to examine humanity?

Therein lies the thought behind this weekly article, “Ripple Effect.”  In this article, I want to explore what Science-Fiction and Fantasy is teaching us and how it explores our humanity today. But, moreover, how is Sci-Fi and Fantasy inspiring us to consider new realities? How is it really impacting people who participate in these realms?   We have so many questions, and so little time to explore the words that fill up our universes, words that send ripples out into the cosmos of our endless human potential.


Join me every other week to read a new “Ripple Effect!”


Published by

Jené Conrad

I teach young ones creating writing and I’m an RPG Game Master. I've been known to do both at the same time. When I’m not teaching or consuming vast amounts of media I pray to pagan gods and prepare for both the apocalypse and enlightenment. I will always hope for the latter. I am also known to write Science Fiction stories and blog for a few websites. I am a Jill of all trades as it were. A behind the scenes sidekick rather than the charismatic swashbuckling hero. But, without me the superhero's couldn't do what they do.

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