Just started reading what I would classify as a political science fiction novel. Fifty Degrees Below by Kim Stanley Robinson. It probably could be called an eco-thriller or some such nonsense, but with KSR firmly established as a great speculative fiction writer I wouldn’t classify it at all. Plausible fiction; plausible futures. Anyway, the setting as the book opens is Washington D.C. after a storm does to D.C. what Katrina did to New Orleans, and it immediately speaks of environmental justice: “It might impede the ruling caste for a while, might make them acknowledge, perhaps, that their economic system had changed the climate and this was only the first of many catastrophic consequences. If Washington was denied now that it was begging for help, that was only what it had done to its environmental victims in the past. Nature bats last–poetic justice– level playing field–reap what you sow–rich arrogant bastards–and so on.”I’m not very far into the novel as yet, but it promises to be a page turning, thought provoking read that is based in solid, totally fact based scientific research and very well researched big brother aspects of our government.
All this thought about the motivation/message in science fiction reminded me of one of my favorite quotes:
Sometimes the appropriate response to reality is to go insane.
~ Philip K. Dick (1928 – 1982), Valis
And this also demonstrates the utility of science fiction for political statement:
Dr Who Saves the Earth (and Joins the Protests Against the War in Iraq)
by Ciar Byrne, Published on Tuesday, December 13, 2005 by the Independent / UK
This must be why the Soviet Union banned nearly all science fiction.