No maps, this time. Fictional worlds and fandoms instead.
Why the Culture Wins: An Appreciation of Iain M. Banks: I may never know if it was intentional or not, but there was an argument of sorts across the body of Banks’ work. The Culture might be what you imagine as the ultimate endpoint of cultural evolution if you’re a socialist. But he doesn’t go straight to it. Certain stages of culture go hand-in-hand with certain levels of technology. When the Culture intervenes in a primitive species’ development, they just nudge them along to the next level. Not “Here, abandon government and scarcity and become near-immortal.”
This is a very long post and I’m bookmarking it here so I can read the whole thing and find out if it says anything about this.
The Only Good Online Fandom Left is Dune: By contrast, a far-future feudal society with giant deadly sandworms. I re-read the first novel a few years ago, after not looking at them since high school. I did not appreciate the sheer cold-bloodedness of the Bene Gesserit eugenics program. I mean, blimey.
Dead Fandoms: The link is to part 3, but it contains links to parts 1 and 2. Fascinating discussion of fandoms that were once alive and vital, but have fallen by the wayside. Were any of these yours? Can you see their influences in later works? Or is a reboot on its way?
The revamp of the Star Wars franchise has, I think, relegated one of my favourites to a slow decline. The Expanded Universe has thousands of years of history fleshed out before the movies. I found it all far more interesting than what came afterwards.