Young people who are hooked on watching fantasy or reading science fiction may be on to something. Contrary to a common misperception that reading this genre is an unworthy practice, reading science fiction and fantasy may help young people cope, especially with the stress and anxiety of living through the COVID-19 pandemic.
By Esther Jones
I am a professor with research interests in the social, ethical and political messages in science fiction. In my book Medicine and Ethics in Black Women’s Speculative Fiction, I explore the ways science fiction promotes understanding of human differences and ethical thinking.
While many people may not consider science fiction, fantasy, or speculative fiction to be “literary,” research shows that all fiction can generate critical thinking skills and emotional intelligence for young readers. Science fiction may have a power all its own.