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Political Futurists and 
Radical and Utopian SF Authors

Political Futurists

Bibliographies 

Film and TV

SF Groups

Political Models

SF and Futurist Syllabi 

SF and Futurist Magazines

Articles and Websites

Theories of Social Change

Space Colonization, SETI and the Politics of Space

CyberPolitics

Trans-Humanism

The Progenitors of Radical SF

Edward Bellamy author of the socialist Looking Backward, and founder of the socialist Nationalist Clubs in 1890s America
bulletAnother Bellamy site
bulletAnd another
bulletWhy Bellamy's cousin wrote the U.S. Pledge of Allegiance
bulletReason magazine on Looking Backward's predictions 

Jack London, socialist and author The Iron Heel with an afterward from Leon Trotsky

William Morris, a Luddite socialist of the 19th century, and his pastoral socialist utopian novel News from Nowhere

bulletWilliam Morris bio at spartacus.school.net.uk's excellent pages on British socialist history

H.G.Wells, socialist and author of many utopian and dystopian novels
bulletH.G. Wells bio at spartacus.school.net.uk's excellent pages on British socialist history
bulletAnother Wells home page
bulletShadows of the Future : H.G. Wells, Science Fiction, and Prophecy
by Patrick Parrinder
bullet(Video) Things to Come (1936) on VHS 
bulletThe Wellsian: The Journal of the H.G. Wells Society

Olaf Stapledon, a socialist and an early and expansive visionary of the future evolution of humanity, of which socialist world government was just a first step

bulletStapledon web site
bulletThe Olaf Stapledon Virtual Society
bulletStapledon page at Mark/Space
bulletFirst and Last Men, and Starmaker, his novels about far future evolution
bulletDarkness and Light by Olaf Stapledon
bulletOlaf Stapledon : Speaking for the Future (Utopianism and Communitarianism series) by Robert Crossley, June 1994

 

Radical Authors of Classical SF and Horror

Isaac Asimov, a Marxist in his youth, and democratic humanist in his maturity, author of more than 300 books including the Marxism-inspired Foundation series
bulletAsimov FAQ - doesn't discuss the Futurians group that Asimov was a part of
bulletThe Futurians - a Marxist SF fan organization that included several youths who later became prominent SF writers, such as Asimov and Fred Pohl

 

H.P. Lovecraft, a socialist and author of the many "Cthulu" horror novels and short stories
bulletEssay on Lovecraft by L. Sprague de Camp

 

George Orwell, a socialist and author of the widely read critiques of Communism and Fascism, Animal Farm and 1984

bulletGeorge Orwell bio at spartacus.school.net.uk's excellent pages on British socialist history
bulletGeorge Orwell resources
bulletPolitical writings of Orwell
bulletAnother Orwell page

Mack Reynolds, a science fiction author and democratic socialist, who campaigned for the Socialist Labor Party

bullethis works available through Amazon.com
bulletWelcome to the Revolution : The Literary Legacy of MacK Reynolds by Curtis C. Smith, Roger C. Schlobin (eds)
bulletMack Reynolds books for sale

 

Stanislaw Lem, a Polish science fiction writer whose philosophical novels sometimes reflected a rejection of the Cold War and authoritarian government

bullet"The open-ended parables of Stanislaw Lem and 'Solaris'," by Darko Suvin 
bulletA Lem bibliography

  

 

Contemporary Radical SF Authors

Iain Banks, socialist and author of the post-property Culture series
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Banks' Interview with Scottish Socialist Voice (A Militant Tendency paper) in November 1996

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Other interviews with Banks

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Socialist Review Interview

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Orbit's interview with Iain Banks and Ken MacLeod

John Barnes, author of the classic ecological SF Mother of Storms

Terry Bisson, radical, author of Fire on the Mountain and many of other things

David Brin, self-styled "cheerful libertarian" and author of the provocative novels Earth and the Uplift series. His book The Transparent Society argues that absolute privacy may be undesirable.Brin co-founded the Reading for the Future organization.

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"Star Wars despots versus Star trek populists," by David Brin

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"What's wrong (and right) with 'The Phantom Menace,'" by David Brin

 

 

 

 

John Brunner, a British socialist SF writer, author of the classic SF social commentaries, the overpopulation-themed Stand on Zanzibar, Shockwave Rider (the novel that proposed the idea of software worm as a terrorist weapon), and ecological The Sheep Look Up.

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Heroes of cyberspace: John Brunner, by Charles Gimon

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John Brunner: A Remembrance, by Matthew Tepper

Emma Bull & Steven Brust -- Freedom & Necessity (1997)
"Bull is a left-liberal and Brust is a Trotskyist fantasy writer. F&N is set in the 19th Century of the Chartists and class turmoil. It's been described as "the first Marxist steampunk" or "a fantasy for Young Hegelians.'" (Abstract by China Mieville

Octavia Butler -- Survivor (1978)
"Black American writer, now discovered by the mainstream after years of acclaim in the SF field. Kindred is her most overtly political novel, the Patternmaster series the most popular. Survivor brilliantly blends genre SF with issues of colonialism and racism." (Abstract by China Mieville

Cover pictureEugene Byrne and Kim Newman, authors of Back in the USSA, an alternative history in which American became a communist country, and 60s counter culture types are fighting for perestroika

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Review of Back in the USSA

 

Philip K. Dick -- A Scanner Darkly (1977)
Could have picked almost any of his books. Like all of them, this deals with identity, power, and betrayal, here tied in more directly to social structures than in some other works (though see Counter-Clock World and The Man in the High Castle). Incredibly moving.  (Abstract by China Mieville

Paul DiFilippo, author of the RiboFunk Manifesto and Ribofunk

Nicola Griffith, a lesbian science fiction writer (Ammonite, Slow River, The Blue Place) whose protagonists have been lesbians

Nancy Kress, author of the radical democratic reflection on genetics, the Beggar's Trilogy

Ursula LeGuin author of anarchist The Dispossessed, the gender-bending The Left Hand of Darkness, and the cautionary tale about wanting to change the world, The Lathe of Heaven

 

 

Doris Lessing, a South African expatriate, political radical, and author of the many novels including speculative fiction Canopus in Argos series

Simon Louvish author of The Resurrections, an alternate history, based on the premise that Rosa Luxemberg survived to lead a successful Communist revolution in Germany in 1923.

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"An Interview With Simon Louvish," by Kathy Biehl

Ken MacLeod, libertarian socialist and author of the Stone Canal, Star Fraction and Cassini Division
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Salon interview and article on Ken MacLeod, and an excerpt from of Cassini Division

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"Science Fiction after the Future Went Away" by Ken MacLeod

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Reason Magazine interview with MacLeod

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Interview with Laissez-Faire Thought

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Interview at Albacon 98

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Orbit's interview with Iain Banks and Ken MacLeod

China Miéville, author of King Rat and Perdido Street Station

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"Fifty Fantasy & Science Fiction Works That Socialists Should Read"

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"Socialist Alliance Candidate Wins Literary Award"

Marge Piercy, radical, feminist and author of the classic 70s dys/utopian novel, Woman on the Edge of Time

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Biography

 

Fred Pohl, leftist, a former Futurian, and author of many SF novels, including the classic critique of capitalism, The Space Merchants
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A Pohl review

 

Joanna Russ, radical feminist and author of Female Man

 

Kim Stanley Robinson, Green and radical democrat, author of the left green series Red Mars, Green Mars, and Blue Mars
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Mars trilogy concordance

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KSR at 1997 Hugos

bullet "Utopic Fiction and the Mars Novels of Kim Stanley Robinson" by Jeremy Smith

 

Joan Slonczewski is a feminist Biology professor, who has portrayed radically egalitarian societies

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The Science Fiction of Joan Slonczewski, fan website

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"Joan Slonczewski's A Door Into Ocean: Why Feminist Utopians Might Like Science Fiction," by Diane Koester

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"Interview with Joan Slonczewski", in Challenging Destiny Magazine

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Norman Spinrad, a leftist author of the classic Agent of Chaos, a reflection on democracy and totalitarianism, and the 1990s Russian Spring, an optimistic projection of a Russian renaissance

Bruce Sterling, a "Viridian" Green, author of Schismatrix, and other works
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Sterling's Viridian Manifesto and Discussion List

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At Dead Media

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BruceSterling Archive

Michael Swanwick, author of the meditation on technology and fascism, Jack Faust, the ecological In the Drift, and the depiction of a completely collectivized Earth facing an individualistic space culture, Vacuum Flowers

Kurt Vonnegut, self-described socialist, author of many, hilarious novels with wry social commentary

Warren Wagar, socialist and author of A Short History of the Future

 

Political Futurists and Visionaries

Adrian Berry, author of The Next 500 Years : Life in the Coming Millennium

Howard Bloom, author of The Global Brain: The Evolution of the Mass Mind, on the emergence of supra-individual intelligence

Yorick Blumenfeld, author of 2099 : A Eutopia (Prospects for Tomorrow)

John Brockman, author of The Third Culture: Beyond the Scientific Revolution, on the turn towards scientism

Terry Boswell and Christopher Chase-Dunn, authors of The Spiral of Capitalism and Socialism and the Future of the World-System.  

Richard Coren, author of The Evolutionary Trajectory: The Growth of Information in the History and Future of the Earth

Jim Dator, founder and director of the Hawaii Research Center for Futures Studies, and author of numerous papers on the future of politics

Mark Dery, a leading progressive culture critic, author of Escape Velocity, on Progressive Futurism
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Review of Pyrotechnic Insanitarium

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Mark Dery: Public intellectual

Hilary French, author of Vanishing Borders : Protecting the Planet in the Age of Globalization, a Worldwatch perspective

Thomas Friedman, author of The Lexus and the Olive Tree: Understanding Globalization

Anthony Giddens, author of The Future of the Intellectuals and the Rise of the New Class, and Beyond Left and Right: The Future of Radical Politics

William Greider, author of One World Ready or Not: The Manic Logic of Global Capitalism

Allen Hammond, author of Which World? Scenarios for the Twenty First Century

Robert Heilbroner, author of Visions of the Future

Kevin Hill, John Hughes, authors of Cyberpolitics : Citizen Activism in the Age of the Internet

James Hughes, author of Citizen Cyborg

Michio Kaku, author of Visions: How Science Will Revolutionize the 21st Century

Robert Kaplan, author of The Coming Anarchy, which sees Third World gangster regimes as the future of the world, and Empire Wilderness: Travels into America's Future, on North America

Kevin Kelly, author of Out of Control: The New Biology of Machines, Social Systems, and the Economic World, a meditation on the application of biological and ecological models to the world

Paul Kennedy, author of Preparing for the Twenty-First Century

Gregory Paul and Earl Cox, authors of Beyond Humanity: Cyberevolution and Future Minds

Greg Stock, author of Metaman, a reflection on how the global technosystem is evolving into a super-organism, and the Book of Questions series

Alvin Toffler, author of The Third Wave

Immanuel Wallerstein, author of Utopistics: Or Historical Choices of the Twenty-First Century, a projection of the coming unity of citizen's movements to counter global capitalism

Warren Wagar, author of A Short History of the Future, which projects the rise of global capitalism, its replacement by world government, and then the decentralization of society

Robert Wright, author of Nonzero: The Logic of Human Destiny, which argues that "world governance" is the culmination of human evolution

 

 

 

Political Futurists - Bibliographies - Film and TV - SF Groups - Political Models

SF and Futurist Syllabi  - SF and Futurist Magazines - Articles and Websites

Theories of Social Change - Space Colonization, SETI and the Politics of Space

CyberPolitics - Trans-Humanism