In this section of his essay on the poetics of science fiction, Darko Suvin argues that science fiction be considered a legitimate literary genre. The quoted text above provides us directions we may go when studying science fiction if, in fact, it is truly a literary genre. He first explains several recurring themes across science fiction works that constitute science fiction subgenres. He claims that each of these subgenres should be explored for their own merits as well as how they relate to other genres of literature, society in general, and developing scientific theories. Suvin then provides us an example of how we might approach the science fiction utopia subgenre: the science fiction utopia is also a special form of a sociological utopian novel (Gulliver's Travels, for instance), but with greater attention to scientific endeavors and theories. He also suggests that one of the features of contemporary science fiction literature is that it is highly cerebral, taking the notion of social commentary from other genres of literature and making readers think specifically about the ways that scientific knowledge might affect society as a whole. He finishes by arguing that as we begin to consider science fiction its own literary genre, the ways that scientific ideas work their ways into writing might be considered a form of art ("an aesthetic quality") that readers might use to judge the merit and enjoyment of science fiction novels.
The final line refers to "fictional estrangement," or the idea that we can imagine a world differently (Renault, 1980). The cognitive nucleus of the plot in science fiction—that is, its "thinking" nature—forces us to think about scientific possibilities and new directions within the world.