Caliphate: Propaganda and Prediction

Essay: Caliphate: Propaganda and Prediction

Caliphate, Tom Kratman, 2008.

Cover by Kurt Miller

There is a thought in some quarters today – Castalia House and some of its bloggers, for instance, come to mind — that science fiction is too politicized.

I sympathize. If someone believes that “everything is political”, that the totality of everything is political, then they are a totalitarian with everything in the world on the agenda to be promoted or destroyed or altered.

On the other hand, politics is baked into science fiction’s literary genes. Half of its forbearers, the satire and the utopia, are inherently political genres.

No science fiction reader would disagree. We can all think of dreadful warnings about what will happen if our society doesn’t stop something or other. And we all know about the utopian schemes of many a science fiction writer.

Every once in a great while one of these political books does achieve something of its goals. More often they are ignored. Sometimes, when reading a utopian work, one thinks “Can you just send me the policy abstract, please?” Continue reading