Kim Stanley Robinson: The Ministry for the Future (2020)

17 August 2021, dusan

“Kim Stanley Robinson is one of contemporary science fiction’s most acclaimed writers, and with this new novel, he once again turns his eye to themes of climate change, technology, politics, and the human behaviors that drive these forces. But his setting is not a desolate, post-apocalyptic world – rather, he imagines a more hopeful future, one where humanity has managed to overcome our challenges and thrive.”

Publisher Orbit Books, New York and London, Oct 2020
ISBN 9780316300131, 0316300136
563 pages

Interviews with author.
Reviews: Derrick O’Keefe (Jacobin, 2020), Gerry Canavan (Los Angeles Review of Books, 2020), Bill McKibben (New York Review, 2020), Steven Poole (The Guardian, 2020), Mark Yon (SFF World, 2020), Kirkus Reviews (2020),Michael Svoboda (Yale Climate Connections, 2020), Nick Robins (LSE blog, 2021), Cory Doctorow (2020), Ian Maxton (Spectrum Culture, 2020), George Katsiaficas (PM Press, 2021), Martin Empson (Climate & Capitalism, 2021), Bob Frame and Patrick Flamm (Polar Record, 2021).
Commentary: Andreas Malm (Verso Blogs, 2021).
Book seminar: Crooked Timber (2021, Robinson’s response).

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Ursula K. Le Guin: Dancing at the Edge of the World: Thoughts on Words, Women, Places (1989)

30 March 2021, dusan

“Chronologically arranged, these 33 talks and essays and 17 reviews of books and films, dating from 1976 through 1987, eloquently record Le Guin’s responses to ethical and political climates, the transforming effect of certain literary ideas and the changes of a supple, disciplined mind,”

Publisher Grove Press, New York, 1989
ISBN 080211105X, 9780802111050
viii+306 pages

Reviews: Joan Gordon (Science Fiction Studies, 1990), Elizabeth Cummins (Science Fiction Studies, 1990), Thomas Larson (Brick, 1989), Kirkus Reviews (1988).
Commentary: Lisa Hammond Rashley (Biography, 2007).

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Alex Zamalin: Black Utopia: The History of an Idea from Black Nationalism to Afrofuturism (2019)

14 January 2021, dusan

“Within the history of African American struggle against racist oppression that often verges on dystopia, a hidden tradition has depicted a transfigured world. Daring to speculate on a future beyond white supremacy, black utopian artists and thinkers offer powerful visions of ways of being that are built on radical concepts of justice and freedom. They imagine a new black citizen who would inhabit a world that soars above all existing notions of the possible.

In Black Utopia, Alex Zamalin offers a groundbreaking examination of African American visions of social transformation and their counterutopian counterparts. Considering figures associated with racial separatism, postracialism, anticolonialism, Pan-Africanism, and Afrofuturism, he argues that the black utopian tradition continues to challenge American political thought and culture. Black Utopia spans black nationalist visions of an ideal Africa, the fiction of W. E. B. Du Bois, and Sun Ra’s cosmic mythology of alien abduction. Zamalin casts Samuel R. Delany and Octavia E. Butler as political theorists and reflects on the antiutopian challenges of George S. Schuyler and Richard Wright. Their thought proves that utopianism, rather than being politically immature or dangerous, can invigorate political imagination. Both an inspiring intellectual history and a critique of present power relations, this book suggests that, with democracy under siege across the globe, the black utopian tradition may be our best hope for combating injustice.”

Publisher Columbia University Press, New York, 2019
ISBN 9780231187404, 0231187408
x+182 pages

Reviews: Smaran Dayal (Social Text, 2020), David A. Lemke (Utopian Studies, 2020), Francis Shor (J American History, 2020), Ladee Hubbard (TLS, 2019).

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