Political Science Fiction examines the close relationship between politics and science fiction and shows how much of the former is grounded in the latter. Sixteen science fiction writers and critics join forces to offer an anthology that explores a diversity of futuristic literature, from the novels of H. G. Wells to Star Trek: The Next Generation, and a spectrum of ideas, from the libertarianism of Robert A. Heinlein to the feminism of Ursula K. LeGuin and Sheri S. Tepper. As the science fiction writer Frederik Pohl observes in the lead essay, the contributors collectively find science fiction to be either implicitly or explicitly political by its very nature. Equally divided between essays that analyze science fiction texts as literature and essays that discuss them as models of political science theory and practice, the collection reveals the propensity of fiction writers to center their works on particular governmental structures. Other essays reveal the ways in which science fiction speaks to the study of international relations, such as the support for realist ideology found in the enormous genre of interspecies war novels and stories. Of particular interest to viewers of Star Trek, three essays deal specifically with the depiction of alien governments, gender identity, and isolationism in both the original and the new television series.
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