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Science Fiction enables writers’ imaginations to run wild and shows readers what the world may look like with new abilities or technological inventions in the future, while cautioning people about what their actions may lead to. Frank Herbert’s Dune, Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, and Derrick Bell’s short story Space Traders all explore various future events and creations and what their impacts have on society. One important element of science fiction is that it is usually set in the future and there may be significant social or environmental differences from the world we know today. This can be seen in all three examples. Dune is set thousands of years in the future on a desert planet that experiences extremely violent storms and is home to gigantic, violent sandworms. The economy is controlled by an addictive spice found in the sand and water is scarce, resulting in dynamics where spice and water are only possessed by people of power. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep was set in 2021 (and was written in the 1960’s, so the setting was still decades in the future at the time) in a post-apocalyptic Earth that experienced nuclear global war. Animals were scarce and became a status symbol, and people owned human-like androids as servants that often rebelled against their owners. Space Traders was published in 1992 and set in the year 2000. Spaceships and aliens landed on the East Coast of the U.S. with tons of gold that would get the country out of debt, but they would only hand in over in exchange for millions of African Americans. While the scenario is extreme, it pulls many political and racial elements that are familiar to help show readers that the dynamics we had could result in inhumane actions.    Another large aspect of science fiction that makes it unique is the new science and technology. Space travel, for example, is seen in all three of these texts. Spaceships and aliens are what cause the conflict in Space Traders. The Androids that go rogue in Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep flee back to Earth from a different colonized planet where their masters lived. The planet Dune is just one of many planets in the galaxy that Frank Herbert created that the protagonists move to from their own home planet. Aside from space travel, there are many other advances in these texts. Because of Dune’s harsh climate, people must wear special “stillsuits” to retain their body water. There are special shields and other weapons that we have not seen, as well as special mental powers. In Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, the human-like Androids themselves are something we don’t have (quite yet), and the similar lifelike electric animals that people bought. There are also tools called “mood organs” that they can use to program their emotions. These creations are just a few examples of some of the creations thought up by science fiction authors. Science fiction is an outlet for both authors and readers to be inventive with their ideas about the future. It’s a method of escapism for both ends that enables people to enter an imaginary world we are unfamiliar with, and allows speculation about what the future might hold.

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