Category Archives: Cultural reviews

Reviews of literature, art, etc.

Avatars of the Advanced-Capitalist Psyche – Capitain America: Civil War

My 11 year old son asked me what I thought of Captain America: Civil War, upon leaving the cinema. What follows is approximately what I told him (and consequently, perhaps such questions are a mistake he will not make again). … Continue reading

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The Politics of Bioshock Infinite – a review

“Bring us the girl and wipe away the debt”. With this instruction, Booker DeWitt is dispatched to Columbia, a sprawling city that floats above the United States after a political and geographic secession. DeWitt is a fomer Pinkerton and veteran … Continue reading

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Review: A Very British Coup

A socialist Labour Party government has finally come to power in Britain. Harry Perkins, a third generation communist, wins the position of Prime Minister. He and his cabinet immediately embark on a programme to break up media monopolies, nationalise industry, … Continue reading

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Orthogonal, by Greg Egan: a review

Greg Egan’s books are remarkable for two rather unrelated reasons: on the one hand, the attention to detailed world-building which makes of his work “diamond-hard” science fiction, often including a great deal of mathematical rigour; on the other, a deft … Continue reading

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Adam Kotsko’s Why we love sociopaths – I wish I could love it but I really can’t

This was a book that meets my interests almost perfectly – I’m fascinated both by the study of empathy and cultural representations of sociopathy. And I love watching TV. But Adam Kotsko‘s approach to the subject fits evidence to argument … Continue reading

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Reds in space: socialist science fiction

There’s a general view that science fiction is a literature of reaction. Michael Moorcock, tracing the pulp origins of its so-called “golden age” mocks the notion that it’s a literature of ideas in his Starship Stormtroopers–titled after Heinlein’s Starship Troopers, … Continue reading

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