Social fiction

From Academic Kids

Social fiction (also called political fiction) is sub-genre of science fiction focused on possible development of societies (most often set in near future or a fictional country), very often dominated by totalitarian governments. The term generally refers to fiction in Europe (particularly Eastern Europe) and the Soviet Union written in reaction to communist rule and the domination of the Soviet Union.

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Social fiction written during the lifetime of USSR

Social fiction was very popular during the Cold War as a satire of the communist rule, on both sides of the Iron Curtain. It began with We, written by Yevgeny Zamyatin in 1921. While the most famous Western social dystopias alluding to the Soviet Union (Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four, Huxley's Brave New World) were written in 1930s and 1940s, in Poland the genre was most common in the 1980s among Polish science-fiction writers like Janusz A. Zajdel (Limes Inferior, Paradyzja) or Edmund Wnuk-Lipinski (Apostezjon trilogy).

In Soviet Union the genre was represented with the works of bros. Strugatsky, Bulgakov, Evgeny Shvarts (The Dragon). Since it was impossible to criticize the state ideology in the Soviet Union(outside GULAG), they wrote books, passing (hardly) censorship, but anticommunist for thoughtful readers. Though their works are much deeper than simple anticommunism.

Post-USSR Social fiction

After the fall of communism in Europe, the genre became less popular. At least, it began losing anticommunist emphasis.

Modern Russian scifi has strong influence of social fiction. Sergey Lukianenko in novel Zvjozdnaja Tenj (Sidereal Shadow) described 'society of absolute freedom', in which everyone could choose a planet satisfying one's subconscious feelings. Earth-like world in which Doomsday happens every two decades is shown in Marina and Sergey Dyachenko's Armaged-dom (Armaged-Home); the authors wrote undescribable Pandem, in which superbeing Pandem tried to help Earth people evolving... and what about Civilization of intelligent sheeps, struggling to survive in Volchya sytj (Wolves' food)?

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