Kim Stanley Robinson: Revolutions in, against, and beyond Capital

Rowcroft, Andrew (2019) Kim Stanley Robinson: Revolutions in, against, and beyond Capital. In: Marx and Marxism in the United States: A One-Day Symposium, 11th May 2019, University of Nottingham.

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Item Type:Conference or Workshop contribution (Paper)
Item Status:Live Archive


The work of the American science-fiction writer Kim Stanley Robinson remains among the most progressive, yet understudied, bodies of literary work in its critique of neoliberal capitalism. Robinson is a ‘hard-science fiction’ writer, meaning his novels are less interested in sensational plots than imagining ‘real-world’ practical solutions to contemporary social and political problems. Robinson’s novels and short-story collections have relentlessly mapped the turbulent historical cycles of violence, expansion, and material despoliation, in turn proposing radical visions of social and economic justice through worker cooperatives, collective agreements, and radical optimism.

Any sustained consideration of Robinson’s fiction leads indelibly through Marx and Marxist critical thinkers working in ecology, political economy, utopia, and revolution. This paper will argue for Robinson’s fiction as a single complex of problems related to imagining alternate modes of existence beyond the capital social relation. Specifically, the paper will attend to the formal properties of Green Earth and Mars, arguing they engender a distinctive reading experience which is markedly different to other science-fiction narratives.

Keywords:Marxism and literature, Science-fiction
Subjects:T Eastern, Asiatic, African, American and Australasian Languages, Literature and related subjects > T720 American Literature studies
Divisions:College of Arts > School of English & Journalism > School of English & Journalism (English)
ID Code:35415
Deposited On:08 Apr 2019 12:06

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