Note: This is a companion article to Cynical Fiction.
Why do people read or watch fiction? Entertainment is the short and easy answer, but there is undoubtedly more. After all, we can be entertained by non-fiction as well. Fiction, particularly speculative fiction is a window into the possible.
Fiction shows us what happens if we allow evil to take control, it also offers shows the potential of the human spirit and hope. Hope for what we can be, what our would and culture can become is the importance of fiction. Ideally, fiction and stories will show us what we need to learn so that we do not fall into tragedy and oppression ourselves. However, that is not always how it works. For it is no secret that humanity has a great capacity for evil. That doesn’t mean that some people do not pay attention. After all, how many fictional stories written in the past are becoming increasingly plausible every day?
Through stories we teach and learn, ponder what it means to be good, evil, and human. This is the point of fiction. Therefore, hope is necessary in stories, even those that lack a particularly “good” ending, there must be meaning. Otherwise, what is the point? Anything can accomplish the simple task of “entertaining” an audience, but meaning, hope, and truth is where true art is found in stories. That is my goal as an author. That is the sort of fiction that becomes timeless, yet these are the stories that are becoming less common and less popular. We shouldn’t let cynicism and hopeless fiction become the new normal.