"...[F]iction doesn’t come much more political than science fiction. Every time an SF writer sits down to write about a near future, or even a far future, she or he is making political choices: in that future, there either is or isn’t climate change or resource depletion; humankind has survived by making certain choices, or survival hasn’t been an issue because these problems were not genuine. We can’t get away from confronting these questions, though, whatever our beliefs; even if we sidestep these issues, we’re making a political statement by doing so."This is, I suppose, somewhat related to the old "the personal is political" truism of 1970's feminism, in that even avoiding reference to political reality is making a statement about it, but Brooke is right in emphasising that anything set in the future is automatically making a statement about what the world will be like in five, fifty, five hundred years into the future. I am reminded of Ian McEwan's magnificent The Child in Time from 1987. Quite incidentally to the drama, McEwan's world is one in which climate change is a reality. (He deals with the subject more overtly, although arguably less successfully in his 2010 novel, Solar.)
It's a subject dear to my current preoccupations because my work-in-progress is overtly political, so it is nice to see this recognition of the inevitability of political meaning in SF. Brooke cautions, rightly, against polemic. It is a different beast entirely, and one I am at pains to try to avoid.
The answer to that comes, inevitably, from character. Always character.