Marxism, science fiction and utopia
Marxist theory has played an important role in sf criticism, especially in the last third of the past century. Since the 1960s, many of the most sophisticated studies of sf have been either explicitly Marxist in orientation or influenced by Marxist concepts adopted by feminism, race-criticism, queer theory and cultural studies. Although relatively few critics and writers in the genre have been avowed adherents of Marxism, sf and the closely related genre of utopian fiction have deep affinities with Marxist thought in particular, and socialist thought in general. In its simplest terms, sf and utopian fiction have been concerned with imagining progressive alternatives to the status quo, often implying critiques of contemporary conditions or possible future outcomes of current social trends. Science fiction, in particular, imagines change in terms of the whole human species, and these changes are often the results of scientific discoveries and inventions that are applied by human beings to their own social evolution. These are also the concerns of the Marxist utopian and social imagination.