Utopian Visions Before the 20th Century
Edward Bellamy (1888) Looking Backward
William Morris (1887) News From Nowhere
H.G. Wells and the Conspiracy of Reason
Wells, H. G. 1933. The Shape of Things to Come. London:
Technocrats construct World-State after nuclear war and establish a soviet-style
socialism, which Wells saw as utopian.
Wagar, Warren. 1989. A Short History of the Future. University
of Chicago Press.
A Marxist neo-Wellsian projection of the coming of world government.
Individualism, Democracy and Collectivism
Huxley, A. 1932. Brave New World. NY: Perennial Library.
Huxley's vision of drugged, genetically engineered dystopia.
Huxley's vision of Buddhist-influenced utopia.
Skinner, B. F. 1948. Walden Two. NY: Macmillan.
A utopian community based on the philosophy of operant conditioning.
Heinlein, R. 1965. The Moon is a Harsh Mistress. Putnam's
Ahow-to, and why-to, manual for an anarcho-capitalist rebellion on the
Le Guin, Ursula K. 1974. The Dispossessed.
A scientist from an anarcho-socialist society travels to a decadent
capitalist society, and confronts the dilemmas of individualism and collectivism.
Clarke, A. C. 1986. Songs of a Distant Earth. NY: Ballantine.
A democracy is established world-wide through computer nets, and randomly
Ecology and Nature
Clarke, Arthur C. 1957. The Deep Range. Harcourt Brace
The struggle against whale husbandry and deep-sea exploitation.
Simak, Clifford 1965. All Flesh is Grass. Doubleday.
Intelligent flowers hold the answer to humanity's salvation.
___. 1952. City. Ace.
A collection of stories that are Deep Ecological parables of humanity's
fundamental evil. Earth is inherited by intelligent animals and robots
after humans migrate to Jupiter; the remaining humans on Earth become feral.
Brunner, John 1972. The Sheep Look Up. NY: Ballantine.
An early vision of future eco-horror.
Callenbach, E. 1977. Ecotopia. NY: Bantam Books.
The North-West United States secede and establish a Green republic. Not
quite New Age in that the revolutionaries use anti-helicopter artillery
and the threat of nuclear weapons to win secession, rather than psychic
___. 1981. Ecotopia Emerging. Berkeley, CA.: Banyan Tree
The revolution gets started in 1988 after the discovery of a viable solar
voltaic cell by a teen-age Californian woman.
Le Guin, U. K. 1972. The Word for World is Forest. NY:
A revolt of furry creatures against the alien imperialists, in defense
Harrison, H. 1973. Make Room! Make Room! NY: Berkley.
Extrapolation of overpopulation. The original version of Soylent Green.
Skonczewski, J. 1986. A Door into Ocean.
An all-female world that practices genetic/eco-system engineering for all
needs, threatened by an authoritarian patriarchal imperialist world. The
author is a Quaker, and the female planet fights back non-violently.
Bey on anarcho-primitives
The Future of Sex and Gender
Gilman, Charlotte Perkins. 1979(1915). Herland. NY: Pantheon
|The Feminist SF,
Fantasy and Utopia Site|
The first feminist utopia.
Russ, Joanna . 1975. Female Man
Men land on a planet colonized many years before, and discover that the
women are reproducing parthenogenetically, and are doing fine without men.
Delany, Samuel R. 1984. Stars in My Pocket...
A literary science fiction masterpiece, centered on a gay protagonist.
________ 1975. Dhalgren. Bantam.
An literary epic novel of urban decay in a post-apocalyptic future,
centering on a black bisexual man.
Piercy, Marge. 1976.Woman on the Edge of Time
An extremely influential socialist-feminist vision of the future, from
the perspective of an Hispanic woman telepathically traveling from the
mental hospital in which she is confined.
Atwood, Margaret . 1986. The HandMaid's Tale
The U.S. has been taken over by fascist Christian patriarchs, who establish
a caste system on the basis of gender, race, class and reproductive health.
From the perspective of a "Martha" used to breed children for
a member of the elite.
Gearheart, Susan. 1979. The Wanderground: Stories of the Hill
Women. NY: Persephone.
A lesbian separatist fantasy, where the men are all bad.
BioPolitics: Who Do We Exterminate? Who Gets a Vote?
Stapledon, O. 1930. First and Last Men.
the Other a course syllabus and immensing valuable curriculum guide,
by Richard Dover "Embracing
the Alien: Science Fiction in Mass Culture" John Rieder in Science-Fiction
Studies, Volume 9 (1982), 26-37.|
The novel that first articulated the possible future trajectories of human
evolution, with each chapter describing a different step in a billion-year
Heinlein, R. 1942. Beyond This Horizon. Fantasy Pub.
A future utopian society, with a strong welfare system, that confronts
a coup by genetic engineers attempting to commandeer the gene bank. Recounts
a previous defeat of the great Kahns, who had engineered super-specialized
sub-species of humans, but been defeated by the more adaptive generalist
Asimov, I. 1950. I, Robot.
The novel that first suggested a public policy that artificial intelligences
be programmed to serve human interests before their own. Explores some
of the ethical and existential dilemmas that ensalvement of AIs will create.
Dick, P. K. 1966. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
A 60s-influenced novel of cyborg-revolt that became the basis for the cyberpunk
Bujold, L. M. 1988. Falling Free. NY: Baen.
An engineer working in a far corner of the galaxy discovers a corporate
plot to destroy mutant children that the company gene-designed with hands
instead of feet. Hero asserts the rights of all sentient beings and leads
Sterling, Bruce 1985. Schismatrix. NY: Arbor House.
Rival cultures of technological Mechanists vie with the genetically
altered Shapers in space.
Marxism and Science Fiction
Asimov, Isaac 1951. Foundation. Ny: Avon.
___. 1952. Foundation and Empire. Ny: Avon.
___. 1953. Second Foundation. Ny: Avon.
Delany, Samuel 1966. The Fall of the Towers. Ace.
A quasi-Marxist tale of humans in a post-apocalyptic Earth, where workers
are exploited by the rich in production and in war. The revolutionary intellectuals
are pre-empted by a revolution of the underclass, which they then join.
Pohl, F. 1980. The Years of the City. NY: Timescape Books.
The utopian future is a decentralized participatory democracy.
Delany, S. R. 1976. Triton. Bantam.
The hidden politocracies in "open societies."
Visions of War and Apocalypse in SF
London, J. 1912. The Scarlet Plague. NY: Paul R. Reynolds.
Christopher, J. 1956. No Blade of Grass. NY: Avon.
Miller, W. 1959. A Canticle for Leibowitz. NY: Bantam
Life and culture after the bomb.
Chrichton, M. 1969. The Andromeda Strain. NY: Knopf.
Hoban, R. 1980. Riddley Walker. NY: Summit Books.
A very literary approach to language and culture after the bomb.
Schenck, H. 1982. A Rose for Armageddon. NY: Pocket.
Pastoralism and Luddism in SF
Clarke, Arthur C. 1956. The City and the Stars. Harcourt
The boredom of both immortality in a technological utopia, and the stultification
of a mystical/pastoral utopia.
Le Guin, U. K. 1985. Always Coming Home. NY: Bantam.
Le Guin fantasy of what a near-perfect, low-tech culture would be like,
given that the Earth and all human information is being cared for by a
self-aware computer network.
and Techno-Corporate Power
Gibson, William 1986. Count Zero. NY: Ace.
|"Cyberpunk as Social
and Political Theory" Roger Burrows|
___. 1983. Neuromancer. NY: Ace.
___. 1988. Mona Lisa Overdrive. NY: Bantam.
Rucker, Rudy 1982. Software. NY: Avon.
___. 1983. Wetware. NY: Avon.
Sterling, Bruce 1990. Crystal Express. Ace.
Ideologist of the Cyberpunk movement.
___. 1988. Islands in the Net. NY: Arbor House.