Well-thought Out, Anarchist, Sci-Fi
By Britt A. Green on July 3, 2000
This author writes under the name of Lefty Hooligan for the stalwart punk zine, Maximum Rock-and-Roll. Enjoying his column, I eagerly bought this book when I found it in the catalogue of AK Press.
My money was really well spent. Make no mistake about this: “Lefty” gets his nickname because he is far to the left of Ralph Nader. Fans of Tom Clancy will probably not enjoy this. His politics are intertwined with an amazing story of a student uprising in the near future Bay Area.
Unlike a lot of far left literature, all of his characters are very human. The author never falls into the easy trap of using caricatures of people. Everyone is very believable, and even the government agents can be sympathetic.
Furthermore, Lefty is an incredibly intelligent and rational writer. His reasoning is very well thought out (both in terms of politics and story progression.) As hinted at above, this book is very pragmatic and realistic. It avoids the typical extremist idealism that permeates many other books of the genre.
I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a good piece of anarchist literature. The fact that its somewhat sci-fi is a definate plus, as well! ….
A great piece of agit-prop
By Randall Barnhart on April 6, 2001
Yup, this is the greatest piece of anarchist agit-prop since…well, since forever. There is nothing better.
Having said that, let’s look at the book from the science fiction angle. Matiasz knows and effectively uses every tropism of modern SF to very good effect. The use of “other sources” to push the exposition, the plot devices (missing atomic weapons, a Hidden Hero, the idealistic young protagonist who, by learning, reveals all). Wonderful.
And even if Matiasz uses trops, he never, ever sinks to stereotypes. There are cops that, while trapped in the System, are also caring and real. And a lot of the comrades are also idiots and buttheads. Every character is real.
This book is nothing like the stuff so-called Libertarian SF. It is profoundly and wonderfully great.