Saturday, October 24, 2009

I Wanna Read SF Anarchy

Sad to have missed Common Action's panel, "Beyond The Dispossessed: Anarchism and Science Fiction" at the Seattle Anarchist Bookfair earlier this month.

The panel consisted of L. Timmel Duchamp (she's posted about the panel at Ambling Along the Aqueduct), Eileen Gunn, Kristin King, Saab Lofton, Nisi Shawl, and Ariel Wetzel (she blogs over at FeministSF — The Blog!).

They discussed major works of anarchist and leftist science fiction, and anarchist themes in science fiction and the relationship between social movements and science fiction and the transformative power of speculative literature.

Fortunately, there's still time to check out the books, with thanks to the listserv, Ariel Wetzel and Chris Shaffer for the intel.

Here's Common Action's recommended reading list distributed to attendees:
Zainab Amadahy: The Moons of Palmares
MT Anderson: Feed
Iain M. Banks: Consider Phlebas, The Player of Games, Use of Weapons
Octavia Butler: Parable of the Sower, Parable of the Talents
Samuel R. Delany: Triton
Cory Doctorow: Little Brother, Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom
L. Timmel Duchamp: Alanya to Alanya, Renegade, Tsunami, Blood in the
Fruit, Stretto
Eileen Gunn: Stable Strategies and Others
Nalo Hopkinson: Midnight Robber, So Long Been Dreaming (Ed.)
Ursula K. LeGuin: The Dispossessed, Always Coming Home, Four Ways to
Saab Lofton: A.D.
Ken MacLeod: The Star Fraction, The Stone Canal, The Cassini Division
China Mieville: Iron Council, Un Lun Dun, Perdido Street Station
Alan Moore: V for Vendetta
Grant Morrison: The Invisibles
Pat Murphy: The City, Not Long After
Chris Newport: The White Bones of Truth
Marge Piercy: Woman on the Edge of Time, He She and It
Philip Pullman: The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife, The Amber Spyglass
Kim Stanley Robinson: Red Mars, Green Mars, Blue Mars, Antarctica
Joanna Russ: The Female Man
Nisi Shawl: Filter House
Starhawk: The Fifth Sacred Thing
Charles Stross: Singularity Sky, Iron Sunrise
Michael Swanwick: The Iron Dragon's Daughter
Amy Thompson: The Color of Distance
Brian K. Vaughan: Y The Last Man
Brian Wood and Riccardo Burchelli: DMZ

And a few further resources:
Anarchism and science fiction, A reading list by Ben Beck
Fifty Fantasy & Science Fiction Works That Socialists Should Read
Feminist Sci-Fi, Fantasy and Utopia:

Chris Shaffer, on the feministsf list, also compiled a some recommendations mentioned at the panel including audience suggestions. Here are some of them:
Suzy McKee Charnas: Walk to the End of the World
Samuel R. Delany: Stars in my Pocket Like Grains of Sand and Dhalgren
Harlan Ellison: 'Repent, Harlequin!' Said the Ticktockman
William Gibson: Idoru
Sarah Hall: The Carhullan Army
Cecelia Holland: Floating Worlds
Saab Lofton: The Strange Case of Sarah Manlove
Paul McAuley: The Quiet War
Rohinton Mistry: A Fine Balance
Alice Nunn: Illicit Passage
George Orwell: Nineteen Eighty-Four
Joanna Russ: The Two of Them
Joan Slonczewski: A Door into Ocean, Still Forms on Foxfield
Bruce Sterling: Islands in the Net, Maneki Neko


Unknown said...

Bruce Sterling recently commented about this post on Wired:

I would be interested to know what others think of the list, and they have any suggestions of books that should be added to the list.

Anonymous said...

Where's the libertarian / anarcho-capitalist anarchy stuff? Heinlein, Vinge, Neal Stephenson, just to name a few luminaries. MacLeod does cover ancap in his books, though, especially in The Cassini Division.

Of course it is the Seattle Anarchist Book Fair. If you're not a left anarchist you need not apply, I guess.

Lake Desire said...

While I've enjoyed the authors you've cited and think their work is very compelling, they aren't anarchists so we didn't feel the need to include them in our list. Common Action as well as the folks at Anarchist Bookfairs are social anarchists, also known as libertarian socialists, and we generally see ourselves as having little political affinity with libertarians. I contest the word anarcho or anarchist being used to describe libertarians because anarchism is inherently anti-capitalist and calling something capitalist "anarchist" erases the history of anarchist social movements. Libertarians already appropriated the word "libertarian" from social anarchists, I'd rather not give up the term "anarchist" too.

Anonymous said...

"Anarcho-capitalism" is a total oxymoron.

Dan Clore said...

My own list of “Essential Science Fiction and Fantasy for Libertarians” can be found here:

Anonymous said...

Lisa Goldstein is great (And an anarchist). I loved The Dream Years (about the surrealists, Paris '68 and time travel), and Mask for the General.
Also Chris Carlsson's After the Deluge.
Rachel Pollack - Unquenchable Fire
Elisabeth Vonarberg - Tales From the Motherland (aka Maerland Chronicles) and Reluctant Voyagers.
John Brunner - The Sheep Look Up

linus r. said...

"it's the only way to be!!"