science fiction

Science Fiction as Protest Art (Part II): Dystopias of Domination

from the commoner by Javier Sethness.

This is the second entry in a three-part response to Thomas Wilson Jardine's December 2020 essay, ‘Cyberpunk: An Empty Rebellion?’ In this section, we will briefly examine around twenty instances of dystopian “capitalist hells” in speculative fiction, whether literature or films. See our final installment for an analysis of alternative and anti-modern utopias, together with the dialectic between dystopia and metaphorical heavens in Ursula K. Le Guin and Kim Stanley Robinson's novels and the Deus Ex game universe.

The protest art made by Soviet utopian sci-fi writers last century, and many of the producers of speculative and visionary fiction who have followed them since, share a common concern with the infernal nature of capitalism, whether openly or by implication. In this sense, Thomas Wilson Jardine is surely right to warn that media corporations cynically exploit these ‘rebellious’ themes for profit and self-aggrandisement. At the same time, the unfortunate existence of this dynamic in no way delegitimises the righteous concerns raised by speculative artists throughout history to the present.

If Lyobov's Notes Made It Back to Terra: Ursula K. LeGuin vs. Hollywood

Peter Gelderloos

In 2009, James Cameron made a remake of Dances With Wolves set on the fictitious planet of Pandora and replacing the Lakota with an alien species called the Na'vi. It ended up being far more successful than Edward Zwick's 2003 Dances With Wolves remake starring Tom Cruise, and even more than the Kevin Costner original.

Curiously, all the major elements of this remake that were different from the first Dances With Wolves were lifted from an Ursula K. LeGuin novel, The Word for World is Forest.

Anarchism’s Possibilities

From Institute For Anarchist Studies

The Perspectives collective is committed to making anarchist ideas accessible and widely understood. As part of this we aspire to include a brief “What is Anarchism?” type essay in future print issues. We approached Kim Stanley Robinson about writing one for us, and he referred us to a piece he wrote for a book called Myths and Lawbreakers: Anarchist Writers on Fiction for AK Press. He told us that if he “were to write anything more about anarchism (doubtful) it would only be to reiterate the points in this intro.”

FRR Books Podcast: Camp Concentration by Thomas Disch

The whole goddamned universe is a fucking concentration camp

listen here: http://freeradicalradio.net/frr-books-podcast-camp-concentration-by-thom...
or here: https://archive.org/details/FRRBOOKSdisch

“Much that is terrible we do not know. Much that is beautiful we shall still discover. Let’s sail till we come to the edge.”

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