Politics in Stories?

A lot has come up over the nature of politics in sci-fi and fantasy. One one hand it is somewhat inevitable, authors have views that inform their concept of the world, and that is going to affect their work. The question is: does it destroy their work?

The secret to getting out a message is to have it backed up. What may be obvious to the author, may be alien to the reader. A point about society, or politics should be described and shown the same way that one get characters, scenery and wonders brought to attention. The point is entertainment, and the politics should never overwhelm the story.

Another point is good works avoid needlessly antagonizing their readers. Authors work for their readers, as they are the ones who pay. No one likes being talked down to, or insulted, and stories that do so may loose half or more of their potential readership.

A fine way to introduce a concept is to describe the logical consequences of it, and have it play out in the story. Sci-fi readers enjoy learning and exploring new concepts, and this can work well if the author does not take the audience for granted and treat them like children.

A classic method in fantasy is to show the moral and emotional element of something. To demonstrate the cruelty of one way, or how noble something else can be. If sci-fi is the brain of speculative fiction, then fantasy is its heart.

Of course, either method can work in any genera, if it does not overwhelm the story, is not sated as the obvious, and the readership are not insulted. At their cores, sci-fi and fantasy are about examining the concepts of the world in an alien or fantastic setting. A good story can have its politics, just don’t forget to add the awe and wonder too.