About AnarchySF

AnarchySF is an online archive of the intersection between anarchy and science fiction. This archive is an open-source repository of anarchist or anarchy-adjacent science fiction. Featured on the site are books, movies, and other media which are either anarchist in their politics or of interest to anarchists.

This archive was first collected and organized by Ben Beck, who gathered and maintained it for the better part of three decades (!) As of 2019, it was redesigned and re-built by Eden Kupermintz and Yanai Sened as a collaborative effort (follow us on Twitter!).

Even though the archive was revamped, the basic mission of the archive has stayed much the same as it has been for the last three decades. In Ben's own words, the original curator of the archive: *"Science fiction is inescapably the most suitable genre for speculation about an anarchist or libertarian (left or right) future, and utopian fiction is itself sometimes seen as a sub-genre of science fiction. As such, science fiction has long been attractive to anarchist readers.

There is, too, a natural tendency to view space, and space exploration, as a metaphor for the freedom so dear to anarchists. But this is not to say that science fiction is in itself quintessentially anarchist. This website seeks only to explore such science fiction as has been created by anarchists or anarchist sympathisers, has been subject to notice by anarchist critics, or indeed has been attacked by anarchist critics. Just an anarchist take on sf, if you like"*.

Our goal with rebuilding the site is to use modern content management frameworks to allow a community to form around the archive and help maintain it. No one person could ever keep it fresh and accurate for long and, besides, that wouldn't the anarchist way of running it. Instead, relying on the principles of mutual aid, we would like to invite others to help us maintain the archive. Read our Contribution guide to learn more about how you can help!

Why Anarchism?

Naturally, this site has anarchism at its core. For some of the contributors and maintainers of the site it may be a political perspective or a way of life. However, not all who maintain or contribute to the site have to be anarchists; in general, anarchists tend to come in many colors and we do not wish to "divide the left", as the cliché goes. Instead, this archive views anarchy as an object to be discovered, an ideology to be studied, and aims to be a repository of knowledge for all who are interested in anarchy, regardless of political affiliation.

There's probably a degree of in-built bias against anarcho-capitalism, free-market anarchism, and the libertarian right, though some works with this orientation are included. None have been deliberately excluded.

Why Science Fiction?

As Ben's intro above hints at, science fiction has had a long and fruitful romance with anarchy. This relationship started in the very first days of the genre but has exploded in popularity ever since the 70's, where it enjoyed its second renaissance. Thus, the topic of science fiction and anarchism is already one on which much discourse exists and gathering that discourse seems like a fruitful and productive exercise (this site includes both a page which collects quotes from anarchists on science fiction and an extensive bibliography for more reading on the subject). In addition, the maintainers of the site simply have a passion for both science fiction and leftist ideology, wherein their interest in maintaining and updating this site was formed.

However, it is definitely true that science fiction "objectively" lends itself well to the expression of anarchy. This propensity might stem from the fact that anarchy is inherently a revolt against the current order of things and is thus focused on the future. Science fiction also looks to the future, beyond our current society, offering a kind of "tabula rasa" onto which can be imagined a future where anarchism is the form (or, to be accurate, set of forms or lack of forms) along which society is organized.

Who Are We?

Eden Kupermintz. Eden is best reached on Twitter. You can find his fictional writing over at his blog. He's also the Editor in Chief for Heavy Blog is Heavy (a mostly metal focused music blog).

Yanai Sened, who chooses to remain mysterious.

Coded with verve using Jekyll and GitHub