Ramez Naam: Nexus (2012)
Joint winner of the 2014 Prometheus award. Recommended as a "fun read" by a contributor to the Facebook Anarchism and Science Fiction Forum.
Josef Nesvadba: 'In the footsteps of the abominable snowman' (1964)
Story of telepathic yetis, part of which is set in Spain during the Civil War. Speaks unusually warmly of the anarchists: one character says "'They were men of courage and I remember them often. Naturally they had no idea that reason and intellect would get them nowhere.'"(1979 NEL pb collection of the same title: 169)
Robert Newman: The Fountain at the Centre of the World (2004)
Included in the science fiction reading list on the R.A. Forum website. It isn't actually sf, but it's so good that I'm opting not to delete this entry, in the hope that others will give it a try.
Chris Newport: The White Bones of Truth (1996)
Recommended by Common Action at the panel "Beyond The Dispossessed: Anarchism and Science Fiction" at the Seattle Anarchist Bookfair in October 2009.
Night of the Living Dead (1968, dir. George A. Romero)
Classic zombie movie, the newly dead apparently revivified by unexplained radiation from a returning Venus probe.
Included in the Red Planets filmography, as an anti-racist movie. SFE comments that some have seen "the savagery – and helplessness – of both ordinary people and zombies [ . . . ] as symbolic of the horrors of the Vietnam War."
Donovan Irven, in his paper 'Anarchism of the Living Dead', argues that
[ . . . ] the zombies in Romero’s film are the heralds of a radical decoding and deterritorialization. Rather than being the predisabled people who, as slaves, serve to implement the codes of their masters, mapped out on colonial/capitalist territory, the zombies, as immune to the dominant codes that striate and structure society, are the horrific implementation of the radical deconstruction of those codes. [ . . . ] What marks Night of the Living Dead as the completion of a transition of the zombie from the capitalist’s dream to the capitalist’s nightmare is the utter nihilism exhibited in the film. [ . . . ] After Night of the Living Dead, the zombie is also that mechanism of the State’s radical decoding . The undead breaks down all social norms, all of the axioms of the State apparatus become meaningless and lose their force as the zombie hordes spread. Yet, the state of emergency generated out of the zombie apocalypse also occasions the reactionary and even more violent assertion of State ideology [ . . . ]
For Wendy McElroy, Romero's message "is not leftist but anti-authoritarian and a jarring cry out against the dehumanization of society through programming. [ . . . ] "Over and over, stereotypes are both broken and bitterly reinforced. The ultimate message: authority and mass mentality are the enemies."
Nineteen Eighty-Four (1984, dir. Michael Radford)
Second film version of Orwell's novel, with a definitive performance by John Hurt as Winston Smith, managing also to look like Orwell himself.
Libertarian Movies says "Orwell's warning against totalitarianism has obvious appeal for libertarians, but the vision portrayed here, I would think, would get under anybody's skin."
Osborne finds this film "very effective [ . . . ] bleak in every aspect, thoroughly controlled, and impossible to escape." He concludes: "[Hurt's] is such a powerful portrayal that many viewers will find the ultimate defeat of the individual in the hands of the mega-state depressing [ . . . . ] It's not the most uplifting film, but it's certainly a very important one."
Larry Niven: 'Cloak of Anarchy' (1972)
In a future 'Free Park' anything goes, though automated 'copseyes' hover around ensuring there is no violence. Ron Cole decides to sabotage the copseyes and see what results, taking the opportunity to expound his theory of anarchism, which is actually anarcho-capitalism—"'After all, anarchy is only the last word in free enterprise.'" Though maintaining that the Free Park experiment without copseyes (which results in chaos) is too short an experiment to pass judgement on anarchy, at the conclusion of the story he recants, and declares anarchy unworkable because unstable.
The story is badly written and badly argued, deliberately playing on the ambiguity of anarchy as a form of polity and anarchy as chaos.
Available on-line at www.larryniven.org/stories/cloak_of_anarchy.htm.
Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle, and Michael Flynn: Fallen Angels (1991)
Prometheus Award winner.
Alice Nunn: Illicit Passage (1992)
. . . "highly anarchist, workers / working class organizing & revolting—really really excellent & one of the most political science fiction novels I've read in a long time . . ." (posting to anarchysf). Original and very readable, but less anarchist and more feminist than this quote suggests.
An beside the title means an item's particularly recommended by me. See my hotlist, for these recommendations only.
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This page was last revised on 2017-02-07.
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