What is science fiction?
Sci-fi is a genre of 'what ifs'. Worlds are created and explored. The laws of physics can become suggestions, and we are only limited by that which we can imagine. Sci-fi can represent a possible future, an alternative reality, a parallel universe, or an entirely new existence. It is also a method for exploring our understanding of humanity and our morality. From the comfort of our favorite reading chair, science fiction novels allow us to wrestle with ideas and issues through the medium of make-believe. The best science fiction makes us squirm with discomfort or giddy with the potential proposed... and sometimes it can do both. It can be prophetic of our real lives and the evolution of modern society. It is a way to open discussions about tough subjects and experience other perspectives and lives we would otherwise never know or encounter. I love science fiction for this ability. A good novel and my imagination partner up to create a world where my concepts of self, personhood, technology, society, and relationships are challenged. A good sci-fi novel makes you think, long after you finish it and tuck it back into the bookshelf.
To quote Aldous Huxley (who himself was quoting Shakespeare):
"O brave new world,
That has such people in't."