China Miéville's recommendations for socialist science fiction fans

China Miéville is the author of The City & The City, Embassytown, and several other novels — and he's written academic treatises about Marxism. Sometimes, he mixes the two up. He writes about supernatural labor movements (in Kraken, the spirits of the dead go on strike) and interplanetary industrial revolutions. That's partly because Miéville has been inspired by over a century of science fiction that includes socialist themes.

A couple of years ago, Miéville compiled a list of 50 works of science fiction "that every socialist should read." It's a fascinating collection that goes back to the early twentieth century with Alexander Bogdanov, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, and Claude Farrère — and continues up to the present with Iain M. Banks, Octavia Butler, and Mary Gentle. Oh, and Gregory MacGuire is there, along with Jonathan Swift. It's a really interesting list, and reflects a strong tradition in speculative fiction that people rarely discuss today. Go check it out!


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Michael Walsh

Of course, he leaves out 1984 by George Orwell, the best description of socialism ever put on paper.