Brain Pickings just shared a terrific article about speculative fiction and Neil Gaiman’s The View from the Cheap Seats: Selected Nonfiction that makes me want to drop everything and start reading the book immediately. In it, Gaiman explores what motivates authors to write science fiction, and what led Ray Bradbury to create his classic Fahrenheit 451.
According to Gaiman, there are “three phrases that make possible the world of writing about the world of not-yet (you can call it science fiction or speculative fiction; you can call it anything you wish) and they are simple phrases:
What if … ?
If only …
If this goes on …”
These questions are what lead writers to explore alternative and “cautionary” worlds.
They also make a pretty handy storytelling road map.
Read The Power of Cautionary Questions: Neil Gaiman on Ray Bradbury’s ‘Fahrenheit 451,’ Why We Read, and How Speculative Storytelling Enlarges Our Humanity from Brain Pickings here.