Excerpted from the Atlantic:
More so than in any other genre, I’d suggest, SF writers are always standing on the shoulders of giants. There’s a development and a dialogue within the form that is unique, so you find yourself using a lot of standard SF furniture—hyperspace, wormholes, big dumb objects, etc.—that you can only fiddle with and tweak while adding a few extra ideas of your own (though even those often tend to be variations on pre-existing themes). Don’t get me wrong though. I still think it remains the single most socially important genre there is.
For the full, read here.