The Politics Of The Future I: Science fiction is often not THAT speculative about science. Postulating future politics is almost as much fun. Perhaps for satirical effect, or for plot reasons, or just for fun: mooting a future society does mean getting idea of its political infrastructure. Over Christmas I read four books which all rest strongly on their political dimension. Interesting two were ultra-capitalist, two were communist.
The most crude of the bunch was Jennifer Government by Max Barry, which is the No Logo future. Or the Logo future. Basically it stretches the idea that corporations will be running the world, or at least more obviously running the world. A very simplistic extrapolation, the book is basically a rollocking adventure with added (bloody obvious) satire. For example, the title comes from the fact that people take the name of the company they work for as their surname. The book manages to find this unworkable in though it can manipulate it. The book however is well aware of its lack of depth, in it one of the characters reads The Space Merchants, and criticises that for exactly what you would criticise Jennifer Government. The Space Merchants imagines a world dominated by advertising. JG is based on corporate skull-duggery. There may be hubris involved however in suggesting it is better than Pohl & Kornbluth’s book. It is a fast, fun read however, albeit relying on the most outrageous coincidences for resolution.