Young people who are hooked on watching fantasy or reading science fiction may be on to something. Contrary to a common misperception that reading this genre is an unworthy practice, reading science fiction and fantasy may help young people cope, especially with the stress and anxiety of living through things like a pandemic for example.
I have said it many times but science fiction is so great because you can do so much with it. It’s a great educational tool to get young people thinking seriously about the future. Science fiction stories are often in a world that is very different from the real world but is quite different from fantasy. Fantasy stories often have magic and other things that do not exist, lack scientific explanations and are therefore not anchored in reality but sometimes the lines between these two genres are blurred.
The new science fiction offering from award winning children’s book and comic book author Carolyn Watson-Dubisch definitely touches on some interesting and challenging topics. It’s an all-ages comic book series called “After The Robots Died” originally launched as a webcomic on the Tapas website. The title of the first issue is “After the Robots Died; Rey Rabbit, issue #1” and is set on an alien planet in the closest solar system to our own.
The backstory indicates a spaceship sent from earth in the near future carrying only robots or AI and human embryos in a frozen stasis. Upon arrival the embryos are grown in artificial wombs and the robots proceed to excavate the planet to build a base, a library (that looks like the one in New York City) and possibly some other structures. We join the story after at least 11 years on the planet. The main characters are all young children and the robots are breaking down for some undisclosed reason.
The concept is really quite riveting. The first issue progresses with the introduction of numerous aliens and the story of one boy who goes missing. So far it’s very much a mix of “Ender’s Game” and “Invasion of the Body Snatchers”. The great visuals will keep children completely engaged. It’s great to see new science fiction comics for such a young audience. Parents should definitely consider the great benefits to reading sci-fi as children. In it, young people can see themselves—coping, surviving and learning lessons—that may enable them to create their own strategies for resilience in this ever changing world.