cover image Dangerous Visions and New Worlds: Radical Science Fiction, 1950–1985

Dangerous Visions and New Worlds: Radical Science Fiction, 1950–1985

Edited by Andrew Nette and Iain McIntyre. PM, $29.95 trade paper (224p) ISBN 978-1-62963-883-6

In this enlightening collection, novelist Nette (Gunshine State) and activist McIntyre (Sticking It to the Man) dig into the radical social change of the late 1950s through the early 1980s as envisioned by a new school of science fiction writers. Bolder and brasher than the conservative writers of the golden age prior to 1950, the editors write, a cadre of left-wing new wave writers crafted works that seized on the sociological and psychological foundations of social movements of the era, such as feminism, Black power, LGTBQ rights, anarchism, and technological advancements. In “On Earth the Air Is Free,” Kay Clay takes a look at the life and work of Judith Merril, who infiltrated the male-dominated field in the 1950s with feminist stories chronicling the lives of women scientists and astronauts. “Black Star” by Michael A. Gonzales, meanwhile, outlines how Octavia Butler incorporated African spiritualism and major characters of color in her work in an era when Blackness was conspicuously absent from visions of the future. The full-color vintage covers peppered throughout are a treat and add to the rich history, biographies, and politics on offer. Science fiction fans will be delighted. (Oct.)