Nicholas P. Oakley: The Watcher (2013)
"The Watcher, set in the anarchist Confederation
universe, examines issues raised by ‘primitivist’ or green anarchist theory by
considering the ethical and sociological implications of a culture that rejects
technology but tries to remain free." (author's
blog) One of
Teflon's essential anarchist sf novels.
John October (pseudonym of Christopher Portway): The Anarchy Pedlars (1976)
Despite the title, has nothing to do with anarchism.
Nnedi Okorafor: Who Fears Death (2010)
More fantasy than SF, but included in
accepted here. School of Octavia Butler. Included on the
Think Galactic reading
Henry Olerich: A Cityless and Countryless World. An
Outline of Practical Co-operative Individualism
A Martian (but here called 'Marsian' or 'Marsite')
traveller to earth is encouraged to describe at length the utopian society of
his native planet. Explicitly influenced by Herbert Spencer, the novel projects
a surprisingly open and free society, with no government and no organised
religion, and equal rights for men, women and children, but with a strong sense
of order and self-regulation. Though the word is never used by Olerich, it is
explicitly treated as an anarchist sf utopia by Brigitte Koenig in her essay in
Davis and Kinna's Anarchism and Utopianism, and referred to in Cohn's
Underground Passages. It's also noted by Bob Black for Olerich's advocacy of
a 2-hour working day [Black 2015: 223].
Chad Oliver: 'The Ant and the Eye' (1953)
The disarming of a future Hitler before anyone knows of
him. One feature of the developing social context is, obscurely, "a spurt in
membership in the Anarchist Party" (William F. Sloane: Stories for Tomorrow,
London, 1955, p273)
Omega Man (1971, dir. Boris Sagal)
After the destruction of most of humanity by biological
warfare, a survivor battles against a group of anti-technology albino mutants.
Movies says "Libertarians will enjoy the aspect of the individual
creator/scientist as hero, fighting against the crowd". Also reviewed in
Origin: Spirits of the Past (銀色の髪のアギト; 2006, dir.
Global civilisation has collapsed, following a failed
attempt at geo-engineering, which covers the world in sentient trees.
Individuals brought forward from the past seek to reverse the process, but
eventually realise the future is to live in harmony with the mutant trees.
Connor Owens, at
notes that "The finger is pointed more at militarism and statism as being
responsible for environmental devastation more than some kind innate
species-wide propensity towards wrecking the Earth." Though finding the film
"excessively preachy and unsubtle", he concludes that "Origin succeeds in coming
close to what's called the social ecology school of environmental thought,
emphasising human-nature cooperation and balance between the two as a solution
to conflict, rather than one dominating or destroying the other."
George Orwell: Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949)
Orwell had considerable knowledge of anarchism and anarchists, most notably from his period as a combatant in the
Spanish Civil War, described in his Homage to Catalonia (1938 and 1953), where the anarchists are described very favourably.
Though after 1939 he distanced himself from anarchist views (disagreeing with
their wartime pacifism), he became a good friend to anarchists. During and after
the Second World War he came into personal contact with the anarchist movement in Britain, mixing with them at
Freedom Bookshop and in pubs, and developing friendships with well-known British anarchists of the day,
including Herbert Read, George Woodcock, and Vernon Richards;
in 1946 he was billed to speak to the London Anarchist Group on Russian foreign
policy (though it's not certain the talk took place); he
contributed a book review to Freedom, and in 1949 donated a typewriter to Freedom Press, also giving financial support
to NOW, Woodcock's anarchist publication. That year, while Orwell was
treated in a sanatorium in Gloucestershire, his adoptive son Richard was lodged
at the nearby Tolstoyan anarchist Whiteway Colony, where he attended school. (Bowker:
403) It was said that "At most, George Orwell may be said to have been an
anarchist fellow-traveller; but he was one of the best there ever was." (Walter
2011: 211 [Walter 2011 is the key reference for Orwell and Anarchism]; Goodway: 346-7) In an unexpected tribute, Class War's
Ian Bone has written that "Orwell's kind of pipe-smoking English radicalism was
a greater influence than Bakunin or Kropotkin." (Bone)
Nineteen Eighty-Four has been seen by some anarchists as a vindication of Bakunin's opposition to the Marxist view of
the state (Woodcock 1966: 49). Like most people, anarchists have seen the novel as a masterpiece (Woodcock 1953: 150,
P.S. 1983). For Herbert Read it was "the most terrifying warning that a man has ever uttered" (Read 1950: 105). For
Woodcock "what gives 1984 its peculiar force is the way in which it accepts Zamiatin's hints of the continuity between
the present and the possible Utopian future, and shows that these may be not merely signs of direction, but actual parts
of a new social structure even now forming around us." (Woodcock 1956: 97) Anarchist writing as the year itself
approached and passed noted how accurate some of Orwell's prognosis had been, especially how Britain had indeed
become no more than Airstrip One, an eastern outpost of the American Empire (PS 1983, Albon 1984).
important insight of Nineteen Eighty-Four, which he shared with the anarchists, that the urge to power is more durable
and more dangerous than all ideologies, has been abundantly borne out with the decay of ideology in Russia and the
increase in the number of regimes in the modern world that depend wholly on naked power." (Woodcock 1984: 20)
The anarchist activist Albert Meltzer, who admittedly only met Orwell once, was
less impressed with his writings: "To be honest, I thought Orwell a lot wittier
than his writings, which I found usually, and at that time always, a dreadful
bore. Such an opinion became literary heresy." (Meltzer
The book tied for the Libertarian
Futurist Society Hall of Fame Award in 1984.