Science fiction: a literature of ideas

Wired's Clive Thompson has a thought-provoking column about science fiction and philosophy in the latest ish, and he was kind enough to cite my story After the Siege as an example of what sf does well:

Technically, After the Siege is a work of science fiction. But as with so many sci-fi stories, it works on two levels, exploring real-world issues like the plight of African countries that can't afford AIDS drugs. The upshot is that Doctorow's fiction got me thinking – on a Lockean level – about the nature of international law, justice, and property.

Which brings me to my point. If you want to read books that tackle profound philosophical questions, then the best – and perhaps only – place to turn these days is sci-fi. Science fiction is the last great literature of ideas.

From where I sit, traditional "literary fiction" has dropped the ball. I studied literature in college, and throughout my twenties I voraciously read contemporary fiction. Then, eight or nine years ago, I found myself getting – well – bored.