My essay “We Lost Control a Long Time Ago” is available for your reading pleasure at From Earth to the Stars, Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine’s blog for authors and editors.
In my post, I discuss Barry N. Malzberg’s sometimes uncomfortable idea about what sets science fiction apart from “literary” fiction: external events matter more than individual self-realization. Literary fiction tends to focus on one kind of change, increased self-understanding and self-control, as a means to gain control of your life. Science fiction says that you might achieve self-realization, but technological change is and always has been out of control, and that change and our inability to control it matters more to our lives.
This is what makes science fiction a dangerous and plot-oriented kind of literature.