In my last post I reviewed the latest issue of Clarkesworld magazine, in which an article on economics in speculative fiction particularly seized my imagination. I wished that the article could have gone a little deeper into economics in popular fiction, as well as into some well-known sci-fi such as Star Trek, but this was beyond the scope of the article. The article provided fascinating ideas about how to include economics and trade when world-building, but it left me wondering - what is the potential future of economics? Are the futures presented in some science fiction novels - and all the currently-popular dystopia stories - actually possible or realistic?
Then I came across this interview with Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman, in which he discusses economics in science fiction and fantasy, with John Joseph Adams and David Barr Kirtley from the podcast 'Geek's Guide to the Galaxy' (which is well worth checking out, by the way). Clearly economics is a hot topic in spec fic right now, and this interview is fascinating.
Just some of the subjects covered: Asimov, The Foundation and psychohistory; how alien attack will end the recession in 18 months; socialism and capitalism in sci-fi; the economics of building a death star; Star Trek's utopian vision; and what evil will really look like in the future.
Listen to the interview here.
Geek's Guide to the Galaxy.