Despite the achievements of Stanislaw Lem and Italo Calvino whose works received rave reviews, many highbrow readers look down on those who indulge themselves with science fiction. The problem with most sci-fi stories is that they seem too far-fetched to be taken seriously, with all the aliens, future state-of-the-art technologies that often seem ridiculous, and the characters from the future invented to amaze rather than make us sympathize with them (This sentence is too long. You want to keep it short to maintain clarity).
Besides, the plot often develop only to stuff the potential movie adaptations with special effects.
Having said that, we should avoid such stereotypical assesment of all science fiction publications. The fact there are hundreds of "dumbing-down" sitcoms does not imply that nothing shown on television can be valuable. The same should be stated about science fiction stories.
If you are looking for moving, memorable reading, why not try some of Connie Willis's fiction? Don't let the sci-fi label mislead you - it is not hackneyed images of the future that her writing is all about. Willis's "Impossible Things" collection is indeed set in the future, but it is not the future that we are used to after watching Hollywood blockbusters. On the contrary, when you start turning pages of her stories, you will find the plots both brilliantly creative and moving. Some of them seem only hilarious (for example the future of menstruation pictured in "Even the Queen"), but when one thinks it over, they give a genuine insight in the problems of the human race (in this case, the impact of the feminist movement on women's lives).
How come? Connie Willis is a virtuoso of imagination. Her stories are based on everyday problems. Her stories are so practical that readers will consider them believable. After reading "Impossible Things," I doubt anything is impossible.
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