The podcast companion to anarchysf.com, an archive of anarchist science fiction.
During each episode, we'll analyze one piece of science fiction media which explores themes relevant to left-wing ideology.
Dishonored, not Resentful
We talk about the video game franchise Dishonored. Topics discussed:
- The means of magical production
- Sociological storytelling
- Hypocritical opiate (of the masses)
- What good is an individual?
- What to do after a revolution
Oval - Is Reciprocity in Our Nature?
We had a great time talking about Oval, by Elvia Wilk. It's a complicated little story about being an artist in Berlin and watching as the world around you burns, or turns.
- Leftism's "call to action"
- Reciprocity vs. Transactions
- The Relationship Between Hi-Tech and Art
- How Tech Falls Apart
- Human Nature and Economics
"Hauntology" is discussed in Derrida's "Spectres of Marx"
We mention a video by the great youtube channel space commune, about art and gentrification:
Elysium, design fiction and fake scarcity
We talk about a cool little action movie that didn't do well in theatres but has its own little place in our hearts with its scathing critiques of bad environmentalism, bad identity politics, and bad cyberpunk.
Paper on design fiction (though it doesn't use the term):
An Unkindness of Ghosts and the Love of Saying No
We talk about the Rivers Solomon's thought provoking and gut punching "An Unkindness of Ghosts". But we promise there are no spooks! Some rough discussion topics though (Body manipulation, sexual assault and rape).
- The pneumatics of power
- The revolutionary potential of food
- Gendered Racism
External reading referenced:
- Article about Afropessimism:
- More critical view on Afropessimism:
Aniara also Carries Ruin Within
We talk about the incredible film adaptation to the early 20th century epic poem Aniara. Pretty depressing stuff, but we refuse to be doomers.
- Why are the people who cause calamity in charge of fixing it?
- Why do we obey?
- Why do we work?
- How do temporary hierarchies become permanent?
- Opium for the masses
- The complicity of scientists
Lindsey Ellis video essay on three act structure:
Oliver Thorn's video essay on airport security:
On "efficiency" compromising the readiness of hospitals for a pandemic:
Annihilation, Discussions of Bodies Being Morphed
We talk about Jeff Vandermeer's New-Weird book - Annihilation, a book about climate horror and accepting uncomfortable changes.
- The horror of climate change
- Unintelligible politics
- The failure of facts and logic
- Doing better than Lovecraftian racism
- Becoming other
- Permeable boundaries
A Solid SF Culture Show!
It's always interesting to see a completely different approach to interpreting science fiction. If the title of this particular show doesn't give things away, it takes an anarchist politics approach, which would seem odd except a lot of anarchistic thought ties into many of the very things you'd expect, from explorations of societal collapse to critiques of colonialism and on and on. So when I found this show, I was, well, pleasantly surprised to find more of the kind of critical examination I love in an SF/F podcast. Plus, the hosts, Yanai and Eden, clearly know their stuff and love talking about SF new and old.
Subscribe. Learn a thing or two :P