Good science fiction should blow a reader’s socks off. It should take that whole cupboard of toys and use it to tell stories that just can’t be told within the confines of mainstream literature. And in an increasingly bizarre world, maybe SF is the only literature capable of addressing the things we see on the news every night: cyber terrorism; stem cell therapy; cloning; urban decay; 24 hour surveillance; global pandemics; etc. Which could be why more and more “mainstream” writers are finding themselves having to borrow from SFs toy cupboard in order to tell their stories. But more than all that,It should show readers something they’ve never seen before. It should entertain and stretch their minds, and open them to new possibilities. It should combat prejudice and ignorance. It should educate and provoke and ask the questions no one else is asking, and it should have something to say about what it means to be human in an increasingly baffling world.