I rarely read fiction. I regret that truth and so every few months, when I get given a book of dystopian sci-fi or imaginative history, I stumble through it halfheartedly. I know that fiction has a lot to offer in terms of expanding our realm of possibility, of inspiring creation of new worlds. Someone near and dear to me once advocated for changing my reading habits by explaining that non-fiction changes what we know but fiction changes how we think. And yet, I find myself falling back into the practical guides for non-monogamy, the exposés of political corruption, the treatises on decolonial feminism. I'm driven by the internal desire to dismantle systems of dominance and hierarchy. If I can learn enough about them, maybe I'll be better equipped to aid in their destruction. Theory to practice to theory to practice.
Of course, I don't have to choose between fiction or non-fiction. I can let my tastes and desires ambulate between the two genres. Perhaps one day, when the problems of the world feel less urgent, I'll gravitate towards the creative potential of fiction. But for me, right now, things do feel immediate. And grave. And aggressive. I feel as though there are battles to be fought on all fronts and me and my comrades are standing back-to-back in a circle with swords drawn. To those who say this rhetoric is alarmist, I say you're not paying close enough attention. Or maybe living too much inside your bubble.