Imagined Worlds & Design Fiction: Science Fiction

Invisible Cities, Italo Calvino (1972)

Looking Backwards, Edward Bellamy (1888)

News from Nowhere, William Morris (1890)

We, Yevgeny Zamyatin (1929)

1984, George Orwell (1949)

Dystopia: A world of forced conformity, no individuality or self-expression, where society bends the knee to corporations and billionaires.

Utopia: A world of equal rights for everyone, enough food, water and land for everyone. A stable and fair political situation, no war and with animals and humans living peacefully together.

Story: An advert plays before the latest blockbuster movie, advertising a Utopian space station or colony called Babylon. It shows an ideal colony where everyone shares equal rights with a kindly Overseer watching over everyone. Everyone would have a home with supplies of food and water. There would be a democratic political system, monitored by the Overseer, no war or conflicts and animals, humans and other species would all live together safely and side by side. The advert talks about the price and it seems moderately affordable but small print talks about extortionately high rates of interest etc. The entire advert ends as the Babylon Colony is sponsored by a mega-rich corporation and the main feature starts being played, a film adaptation of Lord of the Flies.

Joanna Russ, Marge Piercy, Sam Delaney, Ursula Le Guin – the subversive imagination of Utopian society.

He, She and It, Marge Piercy (1991)

Xenogenesis Trilogy, Octavia Butler (1987-2000)

The Last Angel of History, John Akomfrah (1997)

Triton, An Ambiguous Heterotopia, Samuel R Delaney (1976)

NASA Space Colonies, Rick Guidice – Toroidal Colonies



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