Economic Science Fiction: a selection of works and authors

This is already quoted in the wiki. Welcome, @dadabit

@jean_russell, sorry I am only seeing that now. No, I don’t think it’s there. Why don’t you add it? It’s a wiki, and everyone with an account has full editing privileges, does not have to be me.

BTW, @zvanstanley and I are deciding to launch a overhaul of the wiki. Look out for a topic on this in the coming hours.

I just finished reading New York 2140 and found the tipping point scenario – an unexpected Black Swan even like a rent/debt strike, triggered by public outrage over a near-random event in the news – quite plausible. The long-term terminal crisis tendencies of capitalism, and the interstitial development undertaken in response, may be linear. But the events which make them apparent will probably be very much non-linear.

This is quite interesting, @kevin_carson. Another dimension in which SF does economics is in coming up with these “triggers for the apocalypse”. My favorite (in terms of plausibility) so far is William Gibson’s Jackpot. Perhaps we should edit the wiki to include models transitions to apocalypse? This is, of course, central in cli-fi.

Hi, everyone. My name is Zach, and I am going to be leading a charge to reorganize the Wiki. @alberto and I have made a plan to get everyone mobilized to make our community the best it can be and have everything be easier to find. Feel free to check out my profile here. We have some awesome information, but we can make it even better. First order of business is that we need to make sure that all of the entries on this page are uniform and complete. For example, the entry for Walkaway under Novels is a full entry, in the form of (Title, by Author. Summary paragraph.) If an entry only has a title and author, it needs a summary. An entry is going to be a lot more useful if someone can read what it is about.

We also have a lot of things in the replies here and in other topics that can go in the main wiki text. If we can get the works mentioned there in the wiki (in the right format), we can get a lot more people to see them. Please get any media that you see that should be here onto this page, or flag it for us to take a look at. So, please edit the wiki. As long as you have a trust level of 2, you can edit. If you don’t, you can message me @alberto to get a shiny new promotion.

After that, I think the wiki will be pretty large and might need to be broken into segments. My idea is to have it broken down into themes, like a page for economic science fiction works and a separate one for economic theories. Each page could then be tagged so it is easy to find. It might need to be broken up more, depending on the size. The goal is to have this easy to access and read. But, this is the secondary goal for after we get it more complete. For now, let’s get this page looking great.

I would also like to get some feedback on what people want to see. You are all the community, and these pages are largely for you. Alberto and I want them to be accessible and useful. What do you think? Should we keep the wiki as one page so it is easy to find? Should we split it up? Should we do something completely different? How can we make the information on this site easier to find for experienced users and for newbies? Thanks you reading this long post.


This is a great idea! I’m so in. :slight_smile: Thanks, @zvanstanley!

@matthias, if you have any idea as to how to best organize something like this (like the Company Manual maybe?), we are listening.

I am going to go through the wiki and see which edits I can make, based on the books that I have read. @kevin_carson, can you add 2140?

I would keep everything in one wiki as long as possible, and heavily work with internal links to keep it readable and navigable. This can work well up to 500 works at least (as don in Autarky Library). Editing will not be comfortable at such a size, but that’s a secondary concern.

In current Discourse, it’s a bit tricky to get the structure of such a wiki right. Namely, only <h… id="heading--…">…</h…> HTML elements can be used to create a subpart marker link in such way that external links can directly point to one entry in the list.

For this wiki, I would probably create two literature lists: fiction and non-fiction. Order the list by title or lead author surname, and format the entries so that a list entry starts with that part, so that the alphabetic sorting is obvious. Then have several other lists and texts that point people to works in this large list via links, based on what they are looking for.

One list entry in the literature list could look like this:

<h4 id="heading--walkaway">"Walkaway", by Cory Doctorow <a href="#heading--walkaway">🔗</a></h4> 

Depicts an economy entirely based on DIY production, […]

Rendering in Discourse:

"Walkaway", by Cory Doctorow 🔗

Depicts an economy entirely based on DIY production, […]

The link symbol allows to do “right click → Copy link address” to allow somebody to easily get the direct link to this list entry, to use inside the same wiki or in any external web resource.


Welcome @AnneC, and thanks for editing the Utopia Five entry! Having authors declare their own econ sources when it comes to world building is… optimal here. :slight_smile:

Thanks! You don’t have any PK Dick short stories? One that leaps to mind is Nanny which is a joke about consumerism and the arms race. It’s of its time but very memorable. And of course, The Days of Perky Pat. Neither is directly about economics but both are powerful about the psychology behind economic decisions in a capitalist society.


Actually Perky Pat is a rather interesting way of handling scarcity. Every time I see Kim Kardashian I think it might be the way we are choosing to go as a society.

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Excellent point. But not sure how Perky Pat is that different from Zeus Olympian or Enki: in the end, humans like to tell each other stories about other humans (or simulations thereof. Apparently this is hardwired into us by group selection, and it has been exapted to create more or less out of thin air a common ground, and a consequent feeling of belonging together, well beyond the Dunbar numbers.

(Yes, SF-Economics should have a lot of biology in it, methinks).

I had missed your contribution, @yudhanjaya! Thank you so much, honored by it. :slight_smile:

Speaking of Perky Pat:

If that’s not economic (science?) fiction, I don’t know what is :slight_smile:

(As someone said, reality and fiction differ only in that fiction has to make sense…)

Heads up to @joelfinkle: a year and a half later I changed my mind. You were right. I have now made an entry for the Culture series in the main wiki. Good on you!

I looked for a place to put this link to Asimov who, so teh feature in NATURE “spent more than half of the twentieth century cultivating that transformative unity of art and science”. I guess that you, @alberto, @nadia, @hugi and other edgeryders are interested- regards, Martin

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Hi ECON-SF fam, i thought this would be a relevant group to ask Let me know if you want me to post the question in some other way or separate thread. I am now looking at virtual economies where it could also be from games. My aim is to understand and set DAO (decentralised autonomous organisations) economies.

Where i shall look for for imagined and executed economies ? I am thinking of game play in nature is helpful but also MMO (massive multiplay online stragtey games, and what other decentralised real time economy and decision making?

Hi @dadabit! Not a specialist in the area but a good place to start is Eve Online:
Eve Online - Wikipedia

It’s perhaps the oldest online game with a fully fledged economy, so it’s a good hook to fish for relevant literature.

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Welcome back, @dadabit, its been a while!

If you speak of DAOs in the “smart contracts” sense, like The DAO, my favourite example is Economics 2.0 in Charles Stross’s Accelerando. Spoiler: you are not going to like it. Stross goes straight to the endgame which is an economy where software agents produce for, and sell to, other software agents. No humans needed, we are just too slow. On the side, this produces a plausible explanation for the Fermi paradox.


I think this is the best example. Thank you. Especially to prevent warlordism which is the key for Eve as i understand.