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Anarchism and science fiction
March 10, 2010 5:10 PM   Subscribe

Anarchism and Science Fiction: A Reading List
posted by brundlefly (27 comments total) 61 users marked this as a favorite

 
Handy!
posted by Pope Guilty at 5:24 PM on March 10, 2010


Makes for an interesting comparison with Mieville's "Fifty Fantasy & Science Fiction Works That Socialists Should Read."
posted by Iridic at 5:32 PM on March 10, 2010 [13 favorites]


Went looking under "B" to see if Ray Bradbury's "Fahrenheit 451" made the list and it wasn't there. But a couple later "Oz" novels were, and something by Bulwer-Lytton. It is a dark and stormy list.
posted by oneswellfoop at 5:38 PM on March 10, 2010


According to Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451 isn't about censorship; it's really about what happens to our minds and to our cultures when we stop reading.
posted by Pope Guilty at 5:43 PM on March 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


I thought for a moment it said "Anachronism and science fiction" and got excited.

Anyway, David Brin's "Startide Rising" should be added to the list, as should Brin and Gregory Benford's "Heart of the Comet".
posted by KokuRyu at 5:46 PM on March 10, 2010 [3 favorites]


Ooh, two lists to check out. Thank you brundlefly and Iridic.
posted by immlass at 5:55 PM on March 10, 2010


wow, great!
posted by kuatto at 6:04 PM on March 10, 2010


Before checking the list I decided my criteria for a snap judgment would be whether the list included Ken MacLeod's Fall Revolution books, the Mieville Bas Lag stuff, and early Vinge.

All three were included. Upon further reading this is not a perfect list but it is better than most of the lists of this type that we see. So I approve. I'm sure you all are glad this has my approval.
posted by Justinian at 6:05 PM on March 10, 2010


Yay, glad to hear that The Watch made it in, that's been one of my favorites since it came out.
posted by verb at 6:06 PM on March 10, 2010


Oooh this is great!
posted by cowbellemoo at 6:43 PM on March 10, 2010


Some good reading material here, but MAN! Some of Beck's commentary! It's got that "Purge The Unbeliever" tone that instantly turns me off to engaging new ideas because of the messenger. Is it possible to like Anarchism while despising Anarchists?
posted by KingEdRa at 6:53 PM on March 10, 2010


Metafilter: Like Anarchism while despising Anarchists?

I'm sorry to say that Agent of Chaos had a deep influence on me during puberty.
posted by warbaby at 6:59 PM on March 10, 2010


According to Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451 isn't about censorship;

What? Aren't there any other books on the list commonly interpreted in ways that were not intended by the author? And more than censorship, I thought the Book People's isolated alternative society was rather anarchist-utopian.

And if anybody but sad-old-Ray interpreted it that way, you'd thin it'd be a centerpiece of the "save dead tree media" movement.
posted by oneswellfoop at 7:07 PM on March 10, 2010


It links to Eric Frank Russell's novella "And Then There Were None". So that's nice.
posted by Joe in Australia at 7:28 PM on March 10, 2010


What? Aren't there any other books on the list commonly interpreted in ways that were not intended by the author? And more than censorship, I thought the Book People's isolated alternative society was rather anarchist-utopian.

Well, I think when I read it so many years ago, I was most struck whenever Beatty reveals that they burn books because it makes the public feel good. It's not so much an attempt to control information by the State, but rather the State is caving in demands to create a "TV" culture. It's the public's refusal to be confronted by anything outside their comfort zone, and by their desire for a instantaneous gratification that motivates the government.
posted by Lord Chancellor at 7:35 PM on March 10, 2010


Metafilter: Like Anarchism Socialism while despising Anarchists?.

FTFY.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 7:35 PM on March 10, 2010


Is it possible to like Anarchism while despising Anarchists?

Oh yeah.

But I don't think you're talking about despising anarchists, you're talking about despising zealots. And man, they's everywhere.
posted by regicide is good for you at 8:43 PM on March 10, 2010


Interesting list, but it does seem to equate anarchism with economic libertarianism.
posted by Saxon Kane at 11:04 PM on March 10, 2010


KingEdRa: “Some good reading material here, but MAN! Some of Beck's commentary! It's got that "Purge The Unbeliever" tone that instantly turns me off to engaging new ideas because of the messenger. Is it possible to like Anarchism while despising Anarchists?”

To be fair, it can't be fun or easy to go through life as a leftist with a name like "Ben Beck."
posted by koeselitz at 11:11 PM on March 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


I could do without about half of the editorial quips.
posted by clarknova at 11:26 PM on March 10, 2010


Just finished Ian M. Banks' "Consider Phlebas." What a great book and very worthy of this list.
posted by The Light Fantastic at 11:32 PM on March 10, 2010 [4 favorites]


I am in the process of reading and writing a response to Anarchy After Leftism and found this list interesting because it actually does take a Blackian course of thought in many ways.

As to Farenheit 451, this book could never be confused to be an anarchist fantasy. It is a futuristic and original take at the idea of consumer control fought with the revolution of critical will and "joyous" tradition. I have always viewed Farenheit 451 as an illustration of a culture that has no need for memories.
posted by parmanparman at 1:35 AM on March 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


Justinian: I was prepared to heap scorn only if it didn't include AE Van Vogt's book The Anarchistic Colossus, which test it passed with flying colors. I'm happy to know it also meets your more rigorous standards.
posted by khafra at 11:04 AM on March 11, 2010


It's certainly a damn good list of books.
posted by Artw at 11:24 AM on March 11, 2010


Is it possible to like Anarchism while despising Anarchists?

Esssentially, you're asking "Is it possible to like an institution/system of belief while despising its adherants?" And I don't see why not.
posted by grubi at 11:38 AM on March 11, 2010


I was gonna say they forgot Bob Shea, but he's in there under W.
posted by mrgrimm at 12:23 PM on March 11, 2010


Pity Harrison Bergeron is a short story... been thinking about it of late.
posted by infini at 12:01 PM on March 13, 2010


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