The article touches upon the issue of overcoming the “shock of the future”. The idea about the need to adapt to the future through symbolic forms is substantiated. The hypothesis of the proposed research is the statement that the adaptation to the future always requires new forms of expression and one of these forms is science fiction. The methodology of the proposed research is based on the metaphysics of A. Whitehead. The article studies the phenomenon of science fiction as a link between “knowledge” and “not knowledge” existing as the dichotomy of the real / unreal in the category of “fantastic”. It is proved that in science fiction, the basic element is the process of mythologizing and symbolization the products of scientific and technical creativity, as a process of the collision of two ways: the first path leads to the future - in “not-now yet”, and the other - in the past - in “not now already”. The author established that this duality consists in the nature of the compensatory function of science fiction during the adaptation to the future by means of a “revolution in symbolism”. “Change in symbolism” is based on the principle of “pause in disbelief”. As a result, the knowledge about the real world is neglected and people focus on the unity and integrity of a symbol. The following conclusion is made: science fiction at a symbolic level can become a form of adaptation to the world of the future.