A People’s Future of the United States
Ed. by Victor LaValle and John Joseph Adams
For several years now SF has had a good claim to being the most socially aware or “woke” genre of fiction. This is most likely because SF is by its nature more political and speculative in its imaginings, with its various utopias and dystopias representing critiques of our current ways of doing things. In the 2018 volume of The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy there was even a call by editor N. K. Jemisin for resistance to the “fascist” Trump regime by using SF stories to speak truth to power.
A People’s Future of the United States, which borrows its title from Howard Zinn’s lefty landmark People’s History of the United States, is an anthology very much in the same mode. The editors called for stories that would imagine a more hopeful, liberal, just future America. As you might expect, the results can sometimes get preachy with their calls for greater tolerance and diversity, and appeals for an end to oppression. It is not all virtue signalling, however, and there a lot of really good stories here that go in unexpected directions and achieve their ends with subtlety.