Sunday, January 14, 2018

Introducing A Political History of the Future at Lawyers, Guns & Money

The political blog Lawyers, Guns & Money has been a favorite hangout of mine for years, both for its sharp and often funny discussions of progressive politics, and for its vibrant, intelligent comment section.  As well as being political junkies, many of the bloggers and commenters at LGM are nerds, and the blog has hosted some great pop culture writing, including by Steven Attewell and the late Scott Erik Kaufman.  So I'm pleased and thrilled to announce a new guest series at LGM, A Political History of the Future.

As I write in my introduction, the focus of this series will be on works of science fiction and fantasy that address topical political issues, particularly from a progressive point of view.  I'm also interested in how science fiction imagines future societies and how they order themselves, and particularly those that are not dystopias and post-apocalypses.  I'm not necessarily looking for "optimistic" futures, but I am interested in ones that are functional.

I've already got a list of works that I'm planning to write about, including books, TV series, and movies.  Hopefully I'll find some comics that also touch on these subjects, and maybe even some games.  (In fact, I recently finished playing Night in the Woods, which is a little outside the scope of this series but also extremely political, and unabashed in bringing up issues like the baleful effect of austerity or the importance of unions.)  I hope you'll read along and comment.

5 comments:

Mike said...
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Mike said...

That's great! Congratulations!

Quick question: Is there an RSS feed for your posts specifically?

Brett said...

Congrats! I've always thought you'd be an excellent writer over at LGM, and your comments have always been pretty good (even when I disagreed heavily with you).

Abigail Nussbaum said...

Mike: since I'm a guest poster, I don't have my own author ID, so I don't think there can be a dedicated RSS for the series. But I'll be promoting the posts here and on my twitter account as they go up.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations! I don't know this site at all, so I appreciate your bringing it to my attention.

And I'm really intrigued by your interest in functional-if-flawed societies; I feel like we could collectively stand to think and imagine more about how such societies work.

Partly that's because in our current dystopian craze, along with a lot of actually-well-thought-of-dystopias and the classic thought-experiment-where-world-building-isn't-the-point, there are a lot hot messes where the dystopian form is an excuse for political incoherence/the world not making sense.

In other words, I'm not here for police states that can't pay the police unless you have a really convincing alternative economy. Or totalitarian states created by events that are more likely to create weak or insufficient government and all the resulting negative consequences.

But also because I feel a lot of contemporary non-dystopian sf and especially fantasy betrays that the authors can't imagine how worlds dissimilar to our own would actually work. I'm especially interested in how many sff authors can't conceive of poor and rural societies, despite the fact that both history and the present are full of functional examples. So much vaguely premodern fantasy (especially by USian authors) has characters who have all the benefits of an imperialist global economy in terms of their standard of living (eating whatever they want, whenever they want, especially if it's chocolate), and yet nothing that would support such a standard exists. Which sheds a disturbing light on how little they understand the world we live in.

I know your interests are more political than economic, but I'm interested in what you uncover.

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