#42 - November 2006

Vol. 20, No. 3
Socialism and Social Critique in Science Fiction
Edited by: 
Yusuf Nuruddin, Alcena M.D. Rogan & Victor
Yusuf Nuruddin, Alcena Madeline Davis Rogan and Victor

Socialism and Democracy has long embodied a paradox endemic to the US Left. We are a journal strongly committed to helping build a vast popular movement, yet there is a painful barrier between our analyses and many of the...


Science fiction is fiction that is based, before all else, on certain explicit framing hypotheses. These have most commonly (and stereotypically) involved travel into the future and, concomitantly, an array of technological capacities...


According to SF critics Alexei and Cory Panshen, Science Fiction fulfills a human need to transcend our normal consciousness and to enter, via the imagination, worlds of marvel, wonder, astonishment and amazement. Though Darko Suvin...

Radical Readings


In his novel The Savage Girl (2002), Alex Shakar introduces the concept of trans-temporal marketing (15f, 277). Marketers from the future have traveled back in time to “advertise their products” to us in the present....


As I have suggested more than once in print, China Miéville is for me the most entertaining, interesting, and intellectually gifted writer of Anglophone speculative fiction to have yet emerged in his generation.1Less...


In his introduction to the 1989 re-issue of Invisible Man Ralph Ellison provocatively notes, “a piece of science fiction is the last thing I expected to write” (xv). Both this claim and the way Ellison phrases it are striking....

Alcena Madeline Davis

Rebecca Ore’s Outlaw School and Nicola Griffith’s Slow River both describe near-future worlds in which class stratification, sexual politics, and a globalized economy have become dystopically exaggerated. The novels...

Dennis M.


The impulse to create images of utopian existence, and sometimes to pursue them actively, can be found in virtually every culture. Often, such visions are expressed within the realms of mythology and religion,...


In place of the old bourgeois society, with its classes and class antagonisms, we shall have an association, in which the free development of each is the condition for the free development of all.
-- Marx &...

Politics and Culture in the US



Science fiction motifs are prominent in the ideology of two inner city alternative religious movements,1 the Nation of Gods and Earths (NGE)2 and the United Nuwaubian Nation of...

Marleen S.

We live science fiction.”
Marshall McLuhan

Thus, instead of belonging to ‘the tiny genre of feminist science fiction films’ (as Dave Kehr of the New York Times so dismissively and...

Robert P.

In 1947, a fire-control-equipment salesman, Kenneth Arnold, flying his private plane, claimed to sight nine mysterious objects flying in the area of Mt. Rainier. He told his story to aircrews when he landed and newspapers picked it up,...

Technological Futures

Sherryl Vint & Mark

The clouds floating above the building were like hard clumps of dirt from a vacuum cleaner no one ever cleaned. Or maybe more like all the contradictions of the Third Industrial Revolution condensed and set to float in the sky....

Michael G.

"The people should fight for the law as for a wall." -- Heraclitus1

There is a new, persistent, and perhaps even growing sense that a major question of this century for Black Americans, individually and...

Book Reviews

Reviewed by Alcena Madeline
Davis Rogan

Fredric Jameson, Archaeologies of the Future: The Desire Called Utopia and Other Science Fictions (London: Verso, 2005).

Without “the persistence of the dialectic” (Jameson’s phrase), the triumph of...

Reviewed by Yolanda

Sheree Thomas, ed., Dark Matter I: A Century of Speculative Fiction from the African Diaspora (New York: Warner Books, 2000).
Sheree Thomas, ed., Dark Matter: Reading the Bones (...

Reviewed by Aaron

Andrea L. Bell and Yolanda Molina-Gavilán, eds. Cosmos Latinos: An Anthology of Science Fiction from Latin America and Spain (Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press, 2003).*

Cosmos Latinos is...


Marleen S. Barr teaches in the Department of Communication and Media at Fordham University. She has received the Science Fiction Research Association Pilgrim Award for lifetime achievement in science fiction criticism....