Five Skills You Can Learn From Science Fiction

Five Skills You Can Learn From Science Fiction

I’ve discussed it in other blog posts but I’ll say it again so the people in the back can hear: scifi isn’t just a genre, it’s a way of life. I don’t know anyone who came away with practical skills after reading ‘Wuthering Heights,’ but thanks to authors like David Brin, Allen Steele, Arthur C. Clarke, and Isaac Asimov I’ve come away with life lessons, skills and heck, even recipes. There are, in fact, many skills you can learn from science fiction. Here, for a Monday morning, are five of them:

Work Ethic

One thing celebrated by science fiction above any other genre is the idea of some little guy in a back room working to change the world. Think about real mad scientists like Tesla and Edison. From Peter Parker and Tony Stark to Doc Brown and Scotty, science fiction relies on people with outstanding work ethics to succeed. Making stuff is hard work, it also requires …


Five Skills You Can Learn From Science Fiction

I don’t feel like a confident person, but I can appreciate someone who is. You have to have confidence in yourself if you’re going to have confidence in your stories. I learned what little I have from the stories about people who believed in themselves, no matter the odds. Think about Luke Skywalker believing enough in himself to fight Darth Vader. Think about Charlie Gordon believing in himself in order to have that IQ-enhancing surgery. Scifi has a lot to say about self-confidence, and we can do the same. Along with self-confidence we need …


All science fiction is the study of problem solving. Scifi, really, is about everything that happens after that. Where would we be, for example, if Bruce Willis didn’t figure out the stones in Fifth Element? What would happen to E.T. if Elliot didn’t help him phone home? One thing remains constant, though. There’s no point in which it’s okay to give up. We have to keep going, we have to get over, get around, get across, get through. This skill dovetails neatly with …

Flexibility / Adaptability

Five Skills You Can Learn From Science FictionFlexibility and adaptability complement problem solving, in that you can’t have one without the other. As new information comes in, you adapt. Then new information comes after that, and you adapt to that, too.  Over and over again, whether you’re taking a DeLorean to 88MPH or a Bird of Prey to pick up some whales, you need to be flexible and adaptable. Be like water, like Bruce Lee says. It can achieve any shape, but it can also cut through stone. If you’re going to be flexible, that’s going to help you have …


Resilience is the ability to keep going no matter the odds, and that ability seems to be a recurring theme in most of my favorite science fiction. Perhaps its yours, too. As I push forward with Mesh, maybe you’re working on something big, too. Maybe you feel nervous, or insecure, too. All we can do now is be resilient. All we can do is keep going. Maybe it’ll work. Maybe it’ll be another painful experience masquerading as a life lesson. Whatever happens, we need to be resilient. Like Mikey said in The Goonies: “This is our time, down here.” All we can do is keep going.

So to wrap up, science fiction is a way of life. It’s not just entertainment, it’s information for living. I hope you had some fun with this blog post and feel free to share your thoughts on skills that scifi taught you.