02 March 2017

Review: Red Planets edited by Mark Bould and China Miéville

Hardcover, 293 pages
Published 2009
Borrowed from the library
Read May 2013
Red Planets: Marxism and Science Fiction
edited by Mark Bould and China Miéville

This is one of those books that's not as good as the title makes you think it will be. I guess I wanted more Marxism? I feel like the book was more a discussion of class and utopia in science fiction, without the Marxist lens being as prominent as the (delightful) title implies. I also wanted more on revolution. Like any critical anthology, it's a bit of a mixture, and every now and again a little nugget would shine through, like Carl Freedman's observation in "Marxism, Cinema and Some Dialectics of SF & Film Noir" that some sf is deflationary (life is not what you expected) and some is inflationary (it's more than expected), but Marxism is both, in that it destroys illusions but also promises a better humankind. I feel like there's a better book on this topic to be written-- the futurist orientations of Marxism and science fiction seem similar-- but I know I'm not familiar enough with Marx to be the one to write it. Though maybe if I was, I'd've gotten more out of this book as it was written.

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