Science fiction in all it incarnations steps outside of the usual and presents us with a fresh look at some things that are actually quite familiar to most of us. Star Trek is a classic example: all the issues and conflicts in the far-flung future make-believe were actually very relevant to the modern human audience. Class battles, racism, government, love and/or lust, culture clash, inequality ... those are all issues that you and I deal with in our everyday lives.On another end of the genre scale, a case for the classics by the ever-thoughtful Amanda of Dead White Guys (hat tip Entomology of a Bookworm):
[Classic] authors spent a great deal of time addressing the evils they saw in society. Charles Dickens and Victor Hugo attacked society’s treatment of the poor. Tolstoy’s meditations on serfdom speak to economic inequality in modern society. Dostoevsky addresses political oppression. Jane Austen and the Brontes all critique society’s treatment of women.Finally, Biblioklept has a wonderful write-up about one of my all-time favorite books (A Wrinkle in Time, discussed here and here) in honor of the fiftieth anniversary edition:
Wrinkle endures also because of its handling of complex themes of conformity, idealism, faith, and science. It’s a book that challenges a youngish audience to read in new ways.