But fiction can also help us repossess our future, take imaginative control of it. In time that might mean big change: as Ursula Le Guin observed recently, “We live in capitalism, its power seems inescapable – but then, so did the divine right of kings. Any human power can be resisted and changed by human beings. Resistance and change often begin in art. Very often in our art, the art of words.”.
But if nothing else it can help us grasp the enormity of what is happening in a way that allows us to comprehend it, and perhaps, just perhaps, begin to do something about it.
This piece originally appeared in The Weekend Australian newspaper on January 24, 2015.