Well, you know, with all due modesty ---viz., none--- let me give you
the back story. In the Golden Age of magazine science-fiction, we had
a lot of socialist writers; and Star Trek mined the "novelets" from
Astounding Science-Fiction of the Golden Age regularly, even using
some screen-writers who were converted from Astounding authors.
As I saying the Golden Age writers were a secret Red cell? It's more
complicated. Some of us were Reds. A large influential group, the
Futurians, included ex-Reds still with a strong socialist slant. At
the same time, the dominant editor, John W. Campbell Jr, and perhaps
the leading author, Robert Heinlein, were techno-groupies, rather on
the right, open to eugenic ideas, and in Heinlein's case deeply in love
with the military. To say nothing of L. Ron Hubbard. So how did we
all get along, in a lively subculture with a whole menagerie of our
own in-jokes? It was a protected zone of truce, where communists and
free-enterprisers had a tacit agreement to listen to each other with
hope of hearing something worthwhile. Nay more: pro-Soviets and
Trotskyists and radical pacifists became brothers & sisters. It was
a liberated existence, comparable to the best few years of the New Laft
a couple of decades later. The leftists avoided saying the word
"socialism" because they knew they might want to sell stories to
Campbell and even farther-right editors; but the non-leftists were less
inhibited and echoed some of our ideas in openly socialist stories.
Ursula LeGuin is old enough (namely, my age) to know all this. She
knows that social criticism of the highest order has often appeared in
modern science-fiction, like Pohl & Kornbluth's "The Space Merchants"
and her own "The Dispossessed". It's still worth calling for more.
As she says, science-fiction can be and should be a sanctuary within
which imagination on social themes can flourish.
On Fri, 5 Jun 2015, Sam Anderson wrote:
> A way to help popularize the ideas of science for the people instead of for profit maximization.
> This, by the way, was one of the subtexts of Gene Roddenberry's TV series Star Trek. It was set in an Earth future that had no ads or clothes with brand names emblazoned for all to see, no private "SpaceX" interstellar ship (even tho it was called Enterprise, it was far from a vehicle for advertising capitalist stuff... Or representing Earth Imperialism). When, in the series, the Trekkers did return to Earth in their time, there was no money and no wars and no crass commercialism. Forced to face racism and sexism via the realization that there are more advanced beings that are not white or Asian looking or of a dominant "Earthmale" gender, in Star Trek's time, racial and gender discrimination has been almost wiped away. Later in the series we saw women, Black and Asian star fleet captains and admirals.-- Sam Anderson
> Sent from my iPad