Speculative fiction, wherever it touches, expands boundaries and allows for possibilities to be understood. In this article Usman T. Malik makes the case for speculative fiction’s value for Pakistan, but it applies everywhere.
_”Mimetic fiction often reports much and resolves little. Science fiction in its imaginative glory seeks to report and resolve and recreate a world filled with possibility. It provides us with so many lenses to look at the world around us, lighting up minds with revelation — until one exclaims that they have had a vision of a brave new world, or another jumps up screaming eureka! and runs naked down the street, letting the sun of discovery and hope beat down on their naked shrivelled skin.
Many times, the confines of realist fiction are too narrow to describe one’s reality. Words and nerves fail. Sentimentality may be found wanting. Thus spake Gabriel Garcia Márquez in an interview to The Atlantic in 1973: “In Mexico … surrealism runs through the streets. Surrealism comes from the reality of Latin America.”
We Pakistanis are living in a country that has become the perfect dystopian setting, and we are so visionless and inured to the grim dark that we simply do not care. Reading escapist, fabulist or symbolical fiction is one way to regain hope, mutual tolerance and empathy.”_