Just as Obi-Wan Kenobi1) presented a lightsaber2) to Luke Skywalker with the words, "Your father wanted you to have this when you were old enough," my father gave me two books when I turned 11: Pebble in the Sky by Isaac Asimov3) and The Puppet Masters by Robert Heinlein4). I don't remember which book I read first, only that I finished both in one day.
3. Isaac Asimov: 艾萨克·阿西莫夫(1920~1992)，美国著名科幻小说家、科普作家、文学评论家，是美国科幻小说黄金时代的代表人物之一，其三大系列代表作《基地》(Foundation)、《银河帝国》(Galactic Empire)和《机器人》(Robot)更是被誉为“科幻圣经 ”。
4. Robert Heinlein: 罗伯特·海因莱因(1907~1988)，美国著名科幻小说家、硬科幻小说大师，被誉为“美国现代科幻小说之父”，其代表作有《星际迷航》(Tunnel in the Sky)、《严厉的月亮》(The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress)等。
I never stopped.Kevin J. Maroney, managing editor of the New York Review of Science Fiction, says, "I started reading Science Fiction (SF) because of peer pressure: My older brother was a heavy SF reader, so the stuff was all around the house when I was growing up. The earliest books I can remember reading were fantasies (Oz, Narnia, Lewis Carroll5), The Phantom Tollbooth) and SF (The Spaceship Under the Apple Tree, the Tom Swift Jr.6) novels, The Wonderful Flight to the Mushroom Planet)."
5. Lewis Carroll: 刘易斯·卡罗尔(1832~1898)，英国数学家、逻辑学家、童话作家，其代表作有《爱丽丝漫游奇境记》(Alice's Adventures in Wonderland)、《爱丽丝镜中世界奇遇记》(Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There)。
6. Tom Swift Jr.: 小汤姆·斯威夫特，是五部美国青少年科幻小说系列中的主要人物，是个在家上学的天才少年发明家。
Diana Tixier Herald, author of Fluent in Fantasy: The Next Generation, says she has always been a SF reader. "I changed schools 13 times before I graduated high school, and every time I moved I would go into the library and all of my friends were there. I established relationships with the characters in these books." Herald's literary companions? Besides Nancy Drew, she read, A Wrinkle in Time, The Once and Future King, and The Mushroom Planet books by Eleanor Cameron7).
The science fiction and fantasy genre is an oeuvre8) of weird and wondrous. People come to science fiction and fantasy for the familiarity—most children's fairy tales are deeply fantastical—but they stay for reasons as varied as why people read at all.
Tor9) editor Teresa Nielsen-Hayden wisely says, "If you ask 20 different readers why they read, they will all be right." People read non-genre fiction10) to enjoy a world that is not their own, to live someone's life tangentially11) and vicariously12). People read fiction to be informed, to be entertained, to escape, etc.
Science fiction speaks to14) people who feel, well, "alienation".
14. speak to: 对……有特殊意义；对……很重要
Tamara Nichols, who practiced psychotherapy for 11 years, says, "Certainly I think everybody has that feeling of being an outsider at some point in their lives. A lot of people feel like they don't belong at all. SF hits on15) what it's like to go out into an alien environment. SF organizes the unknown in a sense, and makes it more psychologically available."
Science fiction and fantasy also appeal to other temperaments, including readers of a "romantic" nature.
"SF is called the literature of ideas, and it really is, but the ideas aren't about fusion16) or nano-tubules17) or seven schools of magic; they're the same ideas of love and anger and the human heart in conflict with itself that drive all other stories, but foregrounded18) and made new," says Maroney.
I can't speak for everybody, but I read science fiction and fantasy for an even more important reason than it appeals to my critical thinking. I read SF because it's a genre full of ideas and optimism and inspiration. Hopefully, I am what I read.