Before talking about the relevance of visionary fiction in today’s world, we need a working definition of the term. Fiction is easy: it’s writing that’s made up. It doesn’t refer to the real or empirical world. It’s imaginary. I think of writing fiction as the best way to tell the truth without getting sued. That’ why I started writing it.
Visionary Fiction Requires a Vision
Visionary is a little more difficult to define. It requires a vision, which runs the gamut from things like a corporation’s vision statement, to physical vision produced by the eyes, to the earth-shaking religious experiences had by some, in which new spiritual realities and ways of being are revealed.
Vision can be social, artistic, political, technological, religious or a zillion other things. Visionaries such as Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak transformed our society with their forward thinking ideas about technology. Visionaries such as Jesus and the Buddha showed us states of being and gave us teachings to help attain them.
Visionary fiction is fiction that expresses the core of any of these areas verbally––it’s a very broad genre, which is sometimes not taken into account. Visionary fiction is sometimes associated with an unnecessarily “woo-woo” or ungrounded spiritual character. I.e., the writer has a worldview––that things will get better and better if we act and think and behave a certain way. He or she jams that worldview into a story that proves it correct. Some readers love that sort of thing. It leaves me cold.
Being branded a writer of visionary fiction can be dangerous. “Being labeled ‘visionary fiction’ and shelved in that area of the bookstore is the death knell of any title.” I read that in a trade magazine.
Pretty scary, since I … Continue reading