"I believe Science Fiction's best days are ahead of it."--Yes they are! But only if we embrace it.

Charlie Jane Anders opens her article, "What it Means to be a Science Fiction Writer in the 21st Century with this: 

"I believe that science fiction’s best days are ahead of it, because I have read a lot of science fiction. And if this genre has taught me anything, it’s optimism about human ingenuity—along with a belief that the unexpected is just around the corner. I’m not alone: Many people seem to feel like science fiction is healthier than ever." 
This statement could not be more true. Science Fiction has always had the power to inspire real science and real discoveries. It was Gene Roddenberry's imagination that inspired the inventor of the mobile telephone, Martin Cooper, to develop the device. He envisioned something like the "Star Trek" Communicator device and made it a reality. I would wager, thought I don't know it to be fact, that Miguel Alcubierre's initial white papers--the same white papers that led to Harold (Sonny) White's revisiting of the calculations--were heavily influenced by that Roddenberry's grand imagination of a better world. 

The imagination of the Science Fiction author in the 21st Century must be that voice of inspiration in a world that has grown complacent in our safe little box of modern conventions. In my opinion, we, as a species, have forgotten that new developments and new discoveries involve risk. We would never have made it to the Moon during the Apollo missions if the brave astronauts of those missions had taken one look at the rickety tin cans of those days and said, "Oh Hell No! I'm not climbing in that thing. It doesn't look safe." They took calculated risks, hedged their bets, and blasted off into the, then unknown reaches of space, in something that had far less computing power, and stored electrical power for that matter, than what we carry in our pockets to surf pictures of cats and argue with our "Friends" on Facebook. We, as Science Fiction authors, have to be that driving voice that compels the average person's imagination or  maybe the children of the 21st Century to be the next Martin Cooper, Miguel Alcubierre, or Neil Armstrong.

"Each new advance and each new step we take into that dark unknown that lies beyond our small world is a risk that each member of every crew is aware of. We, as a species, would never have found new lands or grown beyond our little villages if we let our fear consume us and prevent us from taking new strides. The settlers of the New World would never have left their homes in the old world if they had allowed their fear of the unknown to make their decisions for them. Human kind has, for centuries, been an intrepid band of explorers; always looking for answers to the great questions. It’s time we found that dauntless courage once again, faced our fears, overcame our complacency, and once again Reach For The Stars!"--From the introduction to my short story-"Race to the Belt