One author people don't talk about a lot is Doris Lessing. I only got into her earlier this year, but much of her work is political, or at least deals with politics as an issue. The novels from the Children of Violence series and The Golden Notebook contain some pretty painful indictments of communist groups from the 1930s-1950s. Not from a reactionary angle, but from someone deeply involved with the party in Rhodesia for at least a decade and for some of her time in England. She also touches on some feminist issues, though she dislikes being called a feminist writer. The novels I read also touched on issues of racial discrimination in colonial Africa, though my understanding is that's more the main subject of The Grass is Singing.
I also read some E.M. Forster a while back and was for some reason surprised by how much he dealt with the politics and class in Edwardian England. I mean, the love interest in Room With a View is the son of *gasp* a working class socialist, which the Merchant/Ivory adaptation kinda glosses over. Howard's End is pretty interesting from a political angle as well.
- I think Charles Dickens works best showed the importance of basic welfare and employment laws. - George Orwell, the dangers of state and propaganda - Shogun highlights the dodgy dealings and dirty politics in the world very well - His dark materials trilogy represents the dangers of religious institutions - Lastly I'd have to say Terry Pratchet discworld books. They may be very humourous and absurd but some of the observations are pretty accurate and astute.
And yet Atlas Shrugged has made several lists of the most influencial books...
All of Rand's books are still being printed despite having been written decades ago. Even though critics hated her works, they only gained in popularity over the years. And considering she was born and raised in Russia and spent her early teen years under Lenin's rule, I think she had a legit reason to hate anything smelling of communism & socialism.
Ayn Rand's writing has been around for decades though. Crappy writing usually doesn't get passed on to the next generation. Fifty Shades and Twilight both will end up fading into obscurity once the initial following finds something else to fawn over. You don't hear much about the Da Vinci Code anymore, and everyone thought that was so great when it first came out...
I started reading the books, before the tv show came out.
I believe (And the author confirms it) that gods will not be a deus ex machina.
However, I believe that G.R.R. Martin will, however, challenge our views of the gods. Most of the gods have been pigeon holed, yet all the characters in the book are shades of gray, not black or white.
For example, most people believe that R'hllor is bad because he require human sacrifice, yet I believe that melisandre, who is obsessed about R'hllor, isn't overly bad.
For example, the old gods. The old gods are worshipped in the 'god woods'. These god woods were created by the children of the forest. Supposedly, they are good.
However, bran, was lead to them by what we believe was a zombie of his uncle. It seems like they've trapped another warg (bran is also a warg. people who are wargs can shapeshift)
They have befriended him, and, by the looks of it, they are feeding him blood, which seems pretty ominous.
Ditto the analogy for oil. Really any kind of highly desired natural resource you want to insert, but the desert setting and use of Arabic derivations most strongly evoke oil. I'm not fond of Herbert's prose, and there were a few other details that drove me nuts, but his political and religious insight and ability to connect everything together kinda blew me away.
His scope and vision IMO superseded his abilities as a stylist. I tried reading the second book earlier this year, but I could tell it was going to be even more of a slog. I will get to eventually. My boyfriend says the series goes continually downhill after the first book. He read most of the books too in his teens.
i think he teaches important lessons throughout the series. the one i had the most trouble with is God Emperor, but that's because Leto really is a tyrant (and it's long as hell). but even Leto has lessons to teach. the last two deal with the Bene Gesserit heavily, and are easily my favorites. i think first book gets the most attention because it has the most action. perhaps that's why he doesn't like the rest of the series.
I've always enjoyed Dune. The Spice is a good analogy for oil, and all its political and technical ramifications. The religious aspects of the work seemed to over-ride the political, most times, but is was very well thought out on all accounts.
I always thought 'spice' was a reference to DMT or some other type of hallucinogenic that gave the user a 6th sense. The spice came from the giant sand worms of Arakis and was used by the navigators to see into other dimensions when guiding space ships through hyperspace. When the human colonists on Arakis started consuming the spice they were transformed into a super race of humans with glowing eyes. Other than the emperor decreeing that "the spice must flow" it doesn't sound anything like oil.
i think the religious aspect takes a back seat in the last two novels (that he wrote; not the ones his son wrote). those are more about the Bene Gesserit (which i see as a functioning anarchist society).
Stephenson's The Diamond Age also has some interesting political/social elements.
Gibson's work is just astounding all around.
i notice we're mainly talking about science fiction here, so far.
Funny how that works, huh? I think it has mostly to do with the fact that science fiction is inherently utopian, which tends to make it political.
Oh! If you enjoyed Gibson, I really do recommend Stephenson's Snowcrash. Similar setting, but easier to read (I dunno about you, but I thought Gibson read like a sane Phillip K. Dick), and just as prescient about future technology.
Good. It seems like everyone I talk to has never heard of it, it was beginning to annoy me. Have you read All the President's Men? That was a really good book for understanding politics, describing the compromises one makes to go anywhere.
I wouldn't say so. Brave New World focused on creating a caste system, which is something liberalism doesn't tend to agree with. Apart from that, it sought to use not government power, but corporate power to serveille the people and ensure that the subservience of its people. It's often thought to be the other side of the coin for 1984, in that it's a society that uses "soft power" to create an oppressive government.