Friday, January 31, 2014

A Sense of Wonder

I live in a suburb in the Midwest. When you look at the area, it's pretty typical of the region: housing developments, strip malls, and lots of streets. It's about as mundane as you can get. However, if you look closer at these objects, on the molecular, atomic, and subatomic levels, there's a lot more going on than you might imagine. Looking at living creatures on various levels is even more interesting. In fact, I find molecular biology so interesting that I majored in it.

Children start out with a sense of wonder and an urge to experiment and learn, which is why they make excellent scientists. Unfortunately, we tend to lose the sense of wonder as we grow up. That's why science fiction and fantasy are so important to me: they help me keep the sense of wonder alive. Science fiction and fantasy not only take us to other worlds, they also help us expand our sense of what is possible. This is something we all need to help us create new things and solve the problems of the future.

If you're a long-time reader of science fiction and fantasy, does it still inspire you to wonder? Or do you read it for other reasons?


  1. That sense of wonder is what sucked me into reading SF for sure. I think it's like a drug though, you keep having to one-up the previous experience to get the same sensation. For a while every book I read blew me away. Nowadays that's a rare experience. Of course, when I do get that wow factor in something I'm reading it makes me cherish it all the more.

  2. I feel the same way, Rusty. It's harder to find something that will invoke that sense of wonder, but I still compulsively search for it anyway.

  3. Oh, I wonder about things without needing sci-fi to prompt me. It is interesting, though, to see what other people wonder.

  4. Actually, I do, but, then, that's one of the reasons I have written so much about imagination and belief.

  5. I mainly read SF because I like unique stories and that's the genre with the most potential for having unique ideas.

  6. I like the sense of adventure, which I guess is the same thing. When I first started reading, I read a lot of comics, which are sci-fi ish and fantasy-ish. Then Star Wars came, and as Guy Forsyth said, I learned my religion way more from Luke Skywalker swinging across the Death Star than I did from going to church on Sundays.

    I think what I like best is the sense of what things COULD BE. I'm like that with a lot of stuff. I get impatient on my ipod and want to always see what the next song up is, and I like trips to new places rather than visiting the old places. Scifi is the closes I can come to time travel, to see what's next.

    So, yeah, a sense of wonder.