Conclusion: Great Power and Great Responsibility
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Our enlarged understanding of the universe, obtained through science, opens up possibilities for storytelling on a very large scale. Thus, science fiction depicts enormous structures and feats of engineering, the fates of entire planets or species, vast wars in space carried out with superweapons, and immensely consequential decisions of all kinds. All of this can evoke awe, or a sense of wonder, but at its most tawdry it is a (probably harmless) pornography of power. At its best, science fiction employs these elements for cognitive purposes and combines them with a recognizably literary approach to character development. In showing concern for environments and non-human Intelligent Others, science fiction may be tending to a posthumanist, post-anthropocentric ethic, whether as a substitute for or a supplement to its more traditional ethic of human destiny.
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