I just finished The Dispossessed by Ursula K Le Guin. As a Leftist getting increasingly frustrated with how close yet so far mainstream stories have gotten to honest discussions about anarchism, revolution, and class struggle (Killmonger was right), it was unbelievably refreshing to read something that goes ALL IN on the topic.
The book is about the capitalist planet of Urras and its anarcho-syndicalist moon of Annares. Two hundred or so years before the novel takes place an anarchist revolutionary named Odo gains a huge following on Urras and in order to prevent an overthrow, Odo and her followers are allowed to permanently settle the moon as an independent nation/colony and set up their society as they see fit. After the settlement there is a near-complete break in communication between the two worlds.
The novel alternates chapters going back and forth in time. Half the chapters are about the main character Shevek, a theoretical physicist, growing up and coming of age on Annares. The other half shows an older Shevek as the first person from Annares to go back to Urras, trying to use the universal language of science to bridge the divide between the two worlds. Both sides of the novel are equally fascinating. The earlier half gives a fascinating amount of detail about Annares’ anarchist utopia – what works, what could be improved, how people disagree on improving it, etc. It’s a fascinating dive into a type of leftism I hadn’t really considered before and seems to say pretty loudly “this could be great but it’s really hard to pull off.”. The later half gives some incredibly sharp, quotable criticisms of capitalism from the perspective of someone who has only ever known the best kind of equality and solidarity.
There’s not very much action (with one extremely notable exception) but I couldn’t put it down. I can’t recommend it highly enough for people who enjoy intellectually engaging sci-fi, and especially to people interested in leftism and a well-rounded depiction of a leftist utopia.