Economic Science Fiction: a selection of works and authors

I’ve just come back to this whilst thinking about the content of Autonomous.
It made me wonder if there should be a space on this list for HIGH RISE by J.G. Ballard. It’s much more dystopian than others on the list, but it think there’s probably a stronger economics argument in there that may be worth a dive into.

Hello @GrahamCaswell, I have read your piece, thanks for sharing it. It reads more like a futurism exercise than like SF to me: some future studies folks like to run workshops where they start from a “best ( or worst, symmetrically) case scenario” and then ask the question “how did this come to pass”?

Your scenario is unusually well-developed, but still I am left with the curiosity of the process that led to such positive developments. The only antecedent you mention is a Republican pro-climate candidate gaining the primaries; this, one imagines, is not something that just randomly happened, but the outcome of American business re-assessing their strategic position, and deciding to swing their support to such a candidate. In turn, their new strategies are probably based not just on altruistic considerations (if those were important, they would be weighing in already), but on some kind of realignment of economic incentives. But we do not see these.

Does that make sense?

Hello Alberto,

Thank you so much for your thoughtful and insightful response to my post. It’s deeply heartening to know that some people are taking these ideas seriously. The reason my post seems unusually well-developed is because in some ways it’s happening already.

The idea of taxing carbon and distributing the proceeds of that tax equally to everybody as a ‘carbon dividend’ is well established and has extensive political and other support from across the political spectrum. It is the (Liberal) Canadian federal government’s ‘backstop’ policy: it is supported by Exxon, Shell, Unilever and many other giant corporations (see Organizational Partners | Climate Leadership Council); it is supported by the (Democrat) California Leglislature and by the US Green Party; it is supported by James Hansen and many (possibly most) senior climate scientists, and by a wide variety of climate activist organisations from both the Right and the Left and neither/both (notably the Citizens’ Climate Lobby - see Not least, carbon dividends are the defacto climate policy of the non-Trump, non-Tea Party GOP (see

I chose Curbelo for my imaginary story because he is the leader of the Climate Solutions Caucus of the US Congress, which now includes 88 congressional representatives (44 Democrats and 44 Republicans) - over 20% of the US Congress (see Climate Solutions Caucus - Wikipedia). While the Climate Solutions Caucus doesn’t formally support carbon dividends, it was established by Citizens’ Climate Lobby with Curbelo and so is saturated by that policy. Curbelo is also young, upcoming, anti-Trump and supports sane, bipartisan policies not only on climate but on immigration and other issues. I have no idea what his political ambitions are, but he would be a natural presidential candidate for the scientific, rational, responsible and genuinely conservative remainder of the US Republicans, and a realistic potential challenger to Trump. Whether such a challenge would succeed is, of course, another issue.

In terms of the wider picture of what I have called the ‘Commoner Movement’ in my story - that is also happening already to a certain extent. As you have an interest in these matters I am sure you are familiar with the emerging policy movements on Land Value Tax, QE for People and a Basic Income, and with growing interest in the concept of ‘the Commons’. I have been immersed in these issues for five years now and engage almost daily with many of the key people involved, and I can assure you that there is plenty of evidence of overlap between them - in both the thinking (and actions) of the individuals involved, and in terms of the deeper philosophical and political-economic ideas. Three of these real, implementable policies (CD, LVT, and QE4P) are potential funding sources for the other (UBI) and this synergy is not completely unnoticed. Leading economic thinkers (Kate Raworth, Mariana Mazzucato, Francis Coppola, Steve Keen, Scott Santens, and many more) are already connecting these threads (at least in their private and social media conversations). Much of my time is spent encouraging these connections and trying to connect the silos of each individual policy movement under the organising concepts of the Commons and Raworth’s Doughnut. You can find much more about my thinking on these matters from my website at

From what I see, our world is ending. Most serious is climate change - and it may already be too late. Work/income disruption, housing costs and financial dysfunction are leading to the destabilising of politics and thus of our ability to even focus on our core, structural economic problems, never mind address them. And change depends on politics, politics is based on ideas and, in my opinion, these are the ideas that can save us. I think a structured process leading to a meeting/retreat of key figures can come up with a coherent political narrative (like Fredrich Hayek did with Mont Perlion). I also think such a coherent political narrative can be spread rapidly with a focused, coherent, contagious, professional and thus reasonably well-funded online effort.

However there is absolutely no funding and support out there for such ideas and activities - especially outside of a very rarified formal academia. Personally I am in the process of trying to kill my passion for these endeavours and block my mind to the truths I know so that I can focus on getting whatever paid work I can to keep the electricity on and have some sort of social and self respect. It is easier to get funding to paint a mural about climate change than it is to work on the political-economics behind it. Grants are available to insure coastal holiday homes and to buy €100,000 electric cars - but none to work on and promote the core ideas behind why those grants are there in the first place. The bigger and more important the ideas, the less funding is available. And in my opinion none are bigger and more important than these. To me this is absolutely and utterly insane and shames everybody with spare money, and particularly those gatekeepers well paid to work on climate, homelessness, austerity and all the rest. But that’s the blinkered, self-interested and risk-averse world we live in.

My apologies for the whinge. It comes from the feeling that I am wasting my time even talking about these issues when I should be focusing on unrelated paid work. This is not self-pity (I am luckier than most - I have secure housing and even live beside a beach!). But when faced with the multiple tradgedies in the news each day, the accelerating decay of our politics, and an awareness of the mass horrors to come, it strikes me as insane that the deep and core ideas behind it all are so irrelevant and ignored - especially in the practical ways (i.e. money) that count the most. I think it is a stupid, self-destroying, blinkered, idiotic and sheer waste.

My story about how we might live in 2068 and how we might get there is a positive one, but it is only one of the many futures we can choose for ourselves. All the pieces are there, waiting to be connected and expressed. If just a small fraction of a fraction of a fraction of the funding and support flowing to the symptoms were directed to the core causes and solutions I think we could have a real chance. But that’s just my opinion.

Thank you very much for your response to my story and again, my apologies for the negativity.

Best regards,


P.S. In terms of why US business currently supports carbon dividends and would support a candidate like Curbello, they do so because they recognise reality and see this carbon pricing policy as a way to keep the market free. This is also the reason for the substantial support by many rich and powerful business people for a Basic Income and, to a much lesser extent, for LVT and QE for People. These policies provide universal financial and other security for every man, woman and child while keeping the market free and within the ‘safe space’ of Raworth’s doughnut. They support both the Left’s core value of universal security and the Right’s core value of freedom (especially market freedom). These policies are also firmly grounded in the universal value of equality of treatment for all.

Noted. Are you American? From where I stand, American consensus around hydrocarbons, fracking, cars, aircon, golfing in deserts – even coal, for the love of Chtulhu – seems unbreakable. But I live in Europe, what do I know. Maybe it would only take a deep conversation at a critical cocktail party, and everything would change.

No need to apologize. This is Edgeryders. We know dread.

I’m Canadian-Irish, mostly Irish and living in Ireland. I’ve followed US climate politics closely for many years and have lobbied in Ireland for carbon dividends as a member (and Irish coordinator) of Citizens Climate Lobby.

To expand on the quote above, there are essentially 3 ways to price carbon. The first, trading systems, has been tried and found not to work very well. That leaves straight carbon tax (even if imposed as a ‘price floor’ on trading systems), and there are 2 models of carbon tax, differing by who gets the money. The first, tax-and-subsidise, involves government taxing carbon and then spending the money on carbon saving programs. Everybody’s costs and prices go up, and the government decides who gets the money. The second way to tax carbon is by returning the proceeds of the tax equally to all. That way everybody’s costs and prices go up, but everybody also gets a cheque in the post. Most people come out ahead (making it politically possible), the poor benefit the most (satisfying the socialists), and the government is largely kept out of it (satisfying the capitalists). And the core human values of freedom, equality and fairness are reinforced.

Old-style, market freedom-loving American (and other) conservatives who recognise scientific reality support carbon dividends because, while they are even more aware of the importance of a price on carbon than the Left are, they don’t like government, don’t trust government, and don’t think government is efficient or effective at micro-managing the market that we depend on for our modern, globalised, high-tech lives. As somebody whose outstanding electricity bill includes a carbon tax used to give rich people €5,000 grants to buy €100,000 EVs, I tend to agree with them. Government often does not pick-and-choose either fairly or effectively (after all, there’s €5,000 grants for €100,000 EVs, but not a penny for someone who has never owned a car).

There’s no ‘American consensus’ around anything, but polls show people ahead of politicians on climate (especially among the young) and some of the world’s best climate scientists, activists, organisations, businesses, thinkers, etc. come from the United States. Of course there’s stupid, irrational, self-defeating and very powerful US resistance to climate/carbon action, and there’s no guarantee of anything. Maybe America’s future is a decent into a hell hole under Trumpian rule? Who knows? But it’s undeniable that there is a serious policy movement towards carbon dividends coming largely (but not entirely) from the American political center-right (or what’s left of it). I can also tell you from both national and EU-wide experience that there is very little awareness of carbon dividends as a policy option in Europe (although CCL’s 22 European chapters are doing what they can).

I think we need a new term: Political Denial. By this I mean the denial of the reality of politics by academics, NGOs, think tanks, grantees and all the other apparatus of the multi-billion euro climate, sustainability and social transformation industry. The reality of politics is that the Afd are now the second largest party in Germany, that Macron is less popular in France than Trump in in the US, and that the UK has tied itself into a self-absorbed Brexit knot. I don’t know what country you live in but I do know that, whatever country it is, your country too has rising ‘populists’ and a rising anger at the dysfunction and unfairness of the business-as-usual status quo - all overhung by a background of environmental despair. I know that your country’s politics are changing too. That’s because the core causes and the ‘system’s’ inability to address these core problems are similar everywhere.

Maybe it would only take a deep conversation at a critical cocktail party, and everything would change. After all, at a time when the thinking world is screaming out for a “new economic paradigm” one is already emerging in front of our eyes, with existing cross-political and expert support, based on evidence, politically and institutionally realistic and possible, just waiting to be connected into a coherant and widely communicable whole. One consultation and discussion process, one week of focused and facilitated discussion, and one social platform incentivising focused action might have a chance. I mean, if Hayek managed to do it, it can be done again.

But right now there’s more chance of getting funding for “raising awareness of climate through the medium of interpretative dance”, or for walking to the North Pole to draw attention to the fate of polar bears, or for writing an obscure paper about how climate change threatens farmer’s mental health - than there is of getting funding to develop and influence the core political-economics ideas and politics behind climate change itself (and the same goes for inequality, etc.). If there is ever a deep conversation at a critical cocktail party that changes everything, I’ll bet that conversation will essentially be about one person convincing another person that an idea is important enough to let go of a little money. And that idea will be a real, defined political idea encompassing practical, specific, implementable policies.

Because anything else would just be more empty, vacuous, safe, vague, risk-averse, business-as-usual, normal, respectable, mediocre and ultimately suicidal horse manure. And that’s well-funded already.

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A somewhat Quirky little SF series that has a lot of economics in it, is the 'Old Guy" books, by Timothy J. Gawne. On it’s face, it is about a civilization of sentient cybertanks who have moved into a post- scarcity economy (where the cybertanks essentially do stuff to make ‘cool’ points). However it often tracks back to when the human “Neoliberal Economists” were in charge, and details the many devious things these Neoliberal economists did to keep the population in economic slavery, and the great hated the protagonist (Old Guy) has for them. And I mean EXTREME hatred in that the second book is titles “Neoliberal Economists Must die!”

The books are actually a lot of fun, while still staying in the basic parameters of science (as we know it). Honestly, I find them hysterical at times, yet generally learn something from each book as the author explains a lot about how various systems in his worlds work. I find his explanation of dealing with aliens quite credible (everyone keeps to themselves and doesn’t want to exchange much information, as information about a culture can be used against it). And yes, there is another civilization formed out of office copies. You kind of have to be there I guess.

Anyway, other that the above mentioned books these have the most economics in them I can think of.

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Noted, @JGG. Thanks for the heads up, I was not aware of Timothy Gawne’s work. And welcome!

I’d also like to mention Jack Vance (personally one of my favorite authors). In his series of novels known as “The Demon Princes” and into his other ‘Gaean Reach’ shared universe works), he uses an economic system based on the 'standard value unit (SVU) see Demon Princes - Wikipedia (spoiler there) however of special note is that one of the novels is based around how the actual bank notes are verified as being real, in a time when one would think counterfeiting would be easy.

While not economics per say, Vance’s system of magic (as developed in his Dying Earth books) deserves some mention, as it was a groundbreaking idea of the “economics of magic”- which was later adopted and used in the original D&D system - the idea of a magician having limited mental resources to actually do magic, and had to stuff spells into their brain, only to spend them when the spell was utilized, and needed to be re- memorized later on.

All a bit tangential, but both came to my mind when thinking of economics in SF, and certainly all books that deserve to be read if one has not done so. Vance is often forgotten for the ideas he came up with, that are now considered commonplace in SF/fantasy

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Dune is excellent IMO for how its world-building takes into account the effect of technology on social structure. For feudalism to be possible, a number of technological presumptions were necessary, the most important being the Great Convention prohibition against use of nuclear weapons and lasers, the uselessness of projectile firearms against personal force fields, and the Butlerian Jihad’s prohibition against computers enabling guild control of space flight.

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A lot of its technological themes overlap with Gupta’s “The Unplugged,” and Communitas by the Goodmans.

Scrolling through the discussion I didn’t see any mention of Stephenson’s The Diamond Age or Sterling’s The Caryatids (although I may very well have missed them). I reviewed the former here:

Also KSR’s Mars Trilogy has a lot of interesting stuff on the Bogdanovite economic system and its influence on the larger economy of the decentralized federation of communities Mars wound up with.


Whoa, you are right! You are welcome to add them. I have not done so myself (though I love both books) because both seems to me a bit too close to cyberpunk dystopian hypercapitalism – not really the “completely different economic systems” that this thread aspires to. But I am happy to change my mind: I’ll finish this post and dig into your review of The Diamond Age

As for the Mars Trilogy, I suspect we have been had by the brilliant KSR. I also remembered Bogdanovism as an interesting economic theory, so I dug in looking for quotes. But found very little: with a sleight of hand, KSR lets the economics of Mars be explained by characters that admit “not getting it”, like Coyote and Nirgal. As a consequence, everything is pretty cloudy. :smile:

Very nice, @kevin_carson, thanks! In your reading, the book is more of a meditation à la Doctorow (artificial scarcity!) than a moonshot for a completely different economic system. But your point is well taken, and your post an enjoyable read.

Regarding The Caryatids, the economic system of the Acquis is probably the most interesting part from an economic POV. At one point Stirling explicitly refers to it as “commons-based peer production.”

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I was re-reading this thread and found this beautiful quote by @GrahamCaswell. I cannot resist the temptation of kicking it back up! Well done, Graham.

Good list. I don’t know all these. I am an economist; I have been working on economics & sci-fi. Here is my list – it’s a lot of reading, so I have made a stop at 1969 so far:

Utopias:(starting with the grand-daddy):
Thomas More. Utopia . (1516)
Looking Backward, by Edward Bellamy (1888),
S. Byron Welcome. From Earth’s Center: A Polar Gateway Message. (1895)
William Morris. News From Nowhere. (1890)
Peck, Bradford. The World a Department Store. (1899)
H.G. Wells. A Modern Utopia. (1905)
Robert Heinlein. For Us the Living. (1939)
Stanislaus Lem. Return from the Stars. (1961)

Feminist Utopias: (no offense, but as with sci-fiers generally, you are vastly white male from rich country oriented – I’m trying to adjust for my background as well as I can. This is, quite literally, the biggest problem with the entire effort of re-imagining our world.)
Griffith, Mary. Three Hundred Years Hence. (1836)
Bellamy, Edward. A Positive Romance. (1898)
Cridge, Annie Denton. Man’s Rights, or How Would You Like It? (1870)
Bulwer-Lytton, Edward. The Coming Race. (1871)
Lane, Mary E Bradley. Mizora. (1881)
Corbett, Elizabeth Burgoyne. New Amazonia. (1889)
Jones, Alice Ilgenfritz and Ella Merchant. (1893)
Grigsby, Alcanoan, and Mary P Lowe. NEQUA, or Problem of the Ages. (1900)
Hossein, Rokeya Sakhawat. Sultana’s Dream. (1905)
Gilman, Charlotte Perkins. Moving the Mountain. (1911)
Gilman, Charlotte Perkins. Herland. (1915)
Bennett, Gertrude Barrows, writing as Francis Stevens. The Heads of Cerberus. (1919)

Dodd, Anna Bowman. The Republic of the Future. (1887)
H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine, (1895)
Mantegazza, Paolo. The Year 3000. (1897)
Forster, E.M. The Machine Stops, (1909)
Jack London. The Iron Heel. (1908)
H.G. Wells. The Sleeper Awakes. (1910)
We, by Yevgeny Zamyatin, (1921) (THE essential anti-socialist dystopia)
Aldous Huxley. Brave New World. (1932)
Ayn Rand. Anthem. (1937)
Karin Boye. Kallocain. (1940)
George Orwell. 1984. (1949)
Kurt Vonnegut. Player Piano. (1952)
Sheckley, Robert. The Status Civilization. (1960)

Positivism & criticism of it/Frederick Taylor
Hugo Gernsbach. Ralph 124C 41+. (1911)
The Syndic, by C.M. Kornbluth (1953) – yes!
Pohl, Frederick. The Tunnel Under the World. (1955)
Michael Young. The Rise of the Meritocracy. (1958)
Harlan Ellison. “Repent, Harlequin”, Said the Ticktockman. (1965)

Hertzka, Theodor. Freeland. (1891)
Astor, John Jacob IV. A Journey in Other Worlds. (1894)
George Allan England. The Air Trust. (1915)
Brackett, Leigh (woman). Citadel of Lost Ships. (1943)
Asimov, Isaac. Foundation. (1951)
Simak, Clifford. Empire. (1951)
Kornbluth, C. M. and Judith Merrill. Gunner Cade. (1952)
Pohl, Frederick and C. M. Kornbluth. Gladiator-at-Law. (1955)
Reynolds, Dallas McCord. Adaptation. (1960)
Reynolds, Dallas McCord. Summit. (1960)
Reynolds, Dallas McCord. Subversive. (1962)
Reynolds, Dallas McCord “Mack”. Frigid Fracas. (1963)
Reynolds, Dallas McCord “Mack”. Depression or Bust. (1967)[1974]
Aldiss, Brian. The Interpreter. (1960)
Piper, Henry Beam. Little Fuzzy. (1962)
Strugatsky, Boris & Arkady. The Final Circle of Paradise. (1965)

Eugenics/Genetic Modification
Francis Galton. Hereditary Genius. (1869)
Flammarion, Camille. Omega: The Last Days of the World. (1894)
Rosny Aîné, J-H (Joseph Henri Honoré Boex). The Death of the World. (1910)
Stapledon, Olaf. First and Last Men. (1930)
Raymond Gallun. The Eternal Wall. (1932)
Heinlein, Robert A. Beyond This Horizon. (1942)
Clarke, Arthur. Against the Fall of Night. (1949)
Cyril M Kornbluth. The Marching Morons. (1951)
Blish, James. Surface Tension. (1952) Coined term “pantrope”
Clarke, Arthur. Childhood’s End. (1953)
Clarke, Arthur. The City and the Stars. (1956)
Dune. Frank Herbert. (1965)
Zelazny, Roger. "The Keys to December. (1966)
Philip K. Dick. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (1968)

William Henry Hudson. A Crystal Age. (1887)
Frederick Pohl & Cyril Kornbluth. The Space Merchants. (1952)
Burgess, Anthony. The Wanting Seed. (1962)
Kurt Vonnegut. 2BR02B. (1962)
**Harry Harrison. Make Room! Make Room! (1966)
**Nolan, William. Logan’s Run Trilogy. (1967)
**John Brunner. Stand on Zanzibar. (1968)
Aldiss, Brian. Supertoys Last All Sumer Long. (1969)

Robots/The Singularity
Samuel Butler. Erewhon (1872)
Edward Page Mitchell. The Ablest Man in the World. (1879)
Karel Čapek. Rossum’s Universal Robots (R.U.R.). (1920)
Campbell, John. The Last Evolution. (1932)
Harl Vincent. Rex. (1934)
Isaac Asimov. I, Robot. (1940-1950)
Williamson, Jack. With Folded Hands. (1947)
Philip K. Dick. The Defenders. (1953)
Philip K. Dick. Second Variety. (1953)
Dneprov, Anatoly. Crabs on the Island. (1958)
Philip K. Dick. Vulcan’s Hammer. (1960)
**Simak, Clifford. The City. (1962)
Nunes, Claude. Inherit the Earth. (1966)
R.A. Lafferty. Past Master. (1968)

Sufficiency (Post-Scarcity) Economy (also with Robots)
H.G. Wells. The Food of the Gods and How It Came to Earth. (1904)
E.M. Forster. The Machine Stops. (1909)
Clare Winger Harris. The Miracle of the Lily. (1928)
The Midas Plague, by Frederick Pohl (1954)
Philip K. Dick. Autofac. (1955)
Con Blomberg. Make Me an Offer. (1957)
Con Blomberg. Sales Talk. (1959)
Mack Reynolds. Mercenary. (1962)
Reynolds, Dallas McCord. Spaceman on a Spree. (1963)
Arthur C. Clarke. The Food of the Gods. (1964)
Lem, Stanislaw. The Cyberiad. Tale of the Three Storytelling Machines of King Genius, p. 168 (the planet Ninnica) (1967)
Philip Jose Farmer. Riders of the Purple Wage. (1968)

**Edgar Rice Burroughs. A Princess of Mars. (1912)
J.-H. Rosny Aine. The Navigators of Space. (1925)
Olaf Stapledon. Star Maker. (1937)
Henry Kuttner & Catherine Lucille Moore. The Iron Standard. (1943)
Aldiss, Brian. The Dark Light Years. (1964)
Roger Zelazny. This Immortal. (1965)
Christopher, John. The Tripods. (trilogy).
-The White Mountains. (1967)
-The City of Gold and Lead. (1967)
- The Pool of Fire. (1968)
Robert Silverberg. Nightwings. (1968)

Free Market/Libertarian
Kipling, Rudyard. Aerial Board of Control. (1905 & 1912)
H.G. Wells. Men Like Gods. (1924)
A. E. Van Vogt. The Weapon Shops of Isher. (1951)
Ayn Rand. Atlas Shrugged. (1957)
Eric Frank Russell. The Great Explosion. (1962)
Anderson, Poul. Trader to the Stars. (1964)
Robert Heinlein. The Moon is a Harsh Mistress. (1966)


Personally, I do not think the new system will come from the intellectual discourse of white, well-educated, earnest elites, even though I am one. I think it will come from, as LeGuin says, “the dispossessed”. An injection of, for example, West African modes of land ownership might be enlightening, although in practice it is likely to be supplanted by individual land ownership a la Kansas. I think a look at the social structure of the Mosue, a matriarchal society in China, might be illuminating, although that society is being eaten by China’s overbearing Han culture, or the Minankgabau in Indonesia. There are bits we can see in vanishing cultures which we, I think, will have to painfully re-create anew. Some people had great ideas along the way: Proudhon and mutualism; Henry George and the land tax; Major C. H. Douglas and Social Credit dividends for all from income from previously invented machinery – all of which are represented in science fiction, which might fund government services. There is the stark warning from Orwell & Ayn Rand about the dangers of government overreach. I think it would speak to current social sicknesses if we could create small, more intimate, more supportive groupings than the huge impersonal societies we have fallen into. I detest the word “greed” – it describes everything we all want, which only strong individuals can take: much better is to describe a society in which there is a place for every personality type. It will come from human social evolution, not from social engineering, however well-meant. And it will not be soon. But social evolution has an element of conscious activity and preparation – that I think we can do, though education especially.

Wow, @petussing. This is a hell of a list, and I do not know all of the works therein. I guess some of that stuff (as most SF) will have a kind of “2D economies”: for example, you see a lot of military starships, but you are unsure how their building, maintenance and crewing is funded.

i would love to hear more about your work. Are you aware that we are doing the Sci-Fi Economics Lab in Brussels next month?

I see the conference and have signed up for updates. I don’t think I’ll be able to attend, but perhaps there will be podcasts. If I could connect with some attendees I would be very pleased.

As for my work, I’ve been working on this for about a year around everything I do. It is the way any work goes: over time you build a mental image of the object of study and it takes on a life of its own. I am limiting it to science fiction (in a rather broad sense) up to 1969, as that is a reasonable cut-off for classic" sci-fi, and the moon landing, which changed many things, was of course that year.

I’ve been following your discussions, but you are in significant part looking at later science fiction, which is very understandable. Still, we agree that the current economic system does not serve humanity well, and see science fiction as a vehicle for speculation that describes from a more well-rounded perspective the consequences of a given systematic change in how the economy operates.