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Alternative Futures

A Booklist of Fiction and Non-fiction: utopias, dystopias, apocalyptic, visionary and practical, to Celebrate our 36th Birthday(!) on Mayday 2010, and help us envision the world(s) we want. (browse related categories Politics & Philosophy Changing the World )

Shades of Grey by Jasper Fforde - £7.99
Hundreds of years in the future, after the Something that Happened, the world is an alarmingly different place. Life is lived according to The Rulebook and social hierarchy is determined by your perception of colour.  Eddie Russett is an abov ... more
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News from Nowhere by William Morris - £7.99
'The only English utopia since More's that deserves to be remembered as literature.' News from Nowhere (1890) is the best-known prose work of William Morris.  The novel describes the encounter between a visitor from the nineteenth century, William Gu ... more
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Fire on the Mountain by Terry Bisson - £10.99
It's 1959 in Socialist Virginia. The Deep South is an independent black nation called Nova Africa. The second Mars expedition is about to touch down on the red planet and a pregant scientist is climbing the Blue Ridge in search of her great grandfath ... more
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Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury - £7.99
The hauntingly prophetic classic novel set in a not-too-distant future where books are burned by a special task force of firemen. Guy Montag is a fireman. His job is to burn books, which are forbidden, being the source of all discord and unhappiness. ... more
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The Passion of New Eve by Angela Carter - £8.99
'I know nothing. I am a tabula erasa, a blank sheet of paper, an unhatched egg. I have not yet become a woman, although I possess a woman's shape. Not a woman, no: both more and less than a real woman. Now I am a being as mythic and monstrous as Moth ... more
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The Pesthouse by Jim Crace - £7.99
A devastated America exists in an imagined future. Its technologies are forgotten, its communities have splintered and its refugees, reversing the course of history, travel eastwards in search of safety and a new start. Among them are Franklin and Ma ... more
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Herland by Charlotte Perkins Gilman - £6.99
Written in 1915, this text is about three male explorers and the utopian female society they stumble upon. This is a community where war, famine and other "man-made" disasters do not exist. An early feminist classic. ... more
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The Carhullan Army by Sarah Hall - £7.99
Set in the part of England once known as The Lake District, "The Carhullan Army" is narrated by a young woman who has adopted the name Sister. Britain after its union with the United States and numerous unsuccessful foreign wars, has found itself in ... more
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Into the Forest by Jean Hegland - £9.99
At first sight you could call this a SF novel with the classic ingredients. Something happened: a nuclear war? an accident with a biological weapon? Anyway it seems that public life has ceased to exist. There is no petrol, no electricity, no TV or ra ... more
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Brave New World by Aldous Huxley - £7.99
Far in the future, the World Controllers have created the ideal society. Through clever use of genetic engineering, brainwashing and recreational sex and drugs all its members are happy consumers. Bernard Marx seems alone harbouring an ill-defined lo ... more
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Island by Aldous Huxley - £8.99
For over a hundred years the Pacific island of Pala has been the scene of a unique experiment in civilisation. Its inhabitants live in a society where western science has been brought together with eastern philosophy and humanism to create a paradise ... more
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The Children of Men by P D James - £6.99
The year is 2021. No child has been born for twenty-five years. The human race faces extinction. Under the despotic rule of Xan Lyppiat, the Warden of England, the old are despairing and the young cruel. Theo Faren, a cousin of the Warden, lives a so ... more
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The Rapture by Liz Jensen - £7.99
An environmental disaster movie of a thriller, from the celebrated author of The Ninth Life of Louis Drax.  In a merciless summer of biblical heat and destructive winds, Gabrielle Fox’s main concern is a personal one: to rebuild her career as ... more
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The Dispossessed by Ursula Le Guin - £7.99
Shevek is a brilliant physicist from the austerely isolationist and anarchic planet Anarres working on the Principle of Simultaneity which could revolutionize interstellar civilization by making instantaneous communication possible.  But Shevek' ... more
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The Left Hand of Darkness (40th Anniversary Edition) by Ursula Le Guin - £12.99
Genly Ai is a diplomat of sorts, sent to observe the inhabitants of the snowbound planet of Winter. But the isolated, androgynous people are suspicious of this strange, single-gendered visitor. Tucked away in a remote corner of the universe, they hav ... more
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The Road by Cormac McCarthy - £7.99
The searing, post-apocalyptic novel that has instantly established itself as a modern masterpiece. 2007 winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. A father and his son walk alone through burned America, heading through the ravaged landscape to th ... more
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Psyclone by Shyam Mael - £9.99
Captured and tortured by the anti-terrorist squad, Jared's life will never be the same. Rescued by a shadowy group of revolutionary freedom fighters he begins a journey that uncovers the hidden workings of a disturbingly familiar dystopia, and reveal ... more
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He, She and It by Marge Piercy - £6.99
In the post-apocalyptic twenty-first century, Shira Shipman, a woman caught in a deadly struggle for information, becomes involved with an illegal cyborg, an involvement that has links to a seventeenth-century Kabbalist who gives life to a golem. Wea ... more
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Woman on the Edge of Time by Marge Piercy - £12.00
Marge Piercy's classic feminist novel is both a drama of survival and a utopian epic. Connie Ramos, 37, Mexican-American and unfairly incarcerated in a mental hospital, is the enduring central character in a book about differing visions of the future ... more
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Seeing by Jose Saramago - £7.99
Despite the heavy rain, the presiding officer at Polling Station 14 finds it odd that by midday on National Election day, only a handful of voters have turned out. Puzzlement swiftly escalates to shock when eventually, after an extension, the final c ... more
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Lionboy by Zizou Corder - £7.99
Charlie Ashanti can speak Cat.  He takes it for granted - but when his Mum and Dad go missing, the cats are the only friends he can turn to. Setting out to find his parents, Charlie stows away on an incredible circus ship bound for Paris. On board he ... more
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Little Brother by Cory Doctorow - £7.99
The ultimate tale of teen rebellion...  Marcus is only seventeen years old, but he figures he already knows how the system works - and how to work the system. Smart, fast and wise to the ways of the networked world, he has no trouble outwitti ... more
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Manifesta: Young Women, Feminism, and the Future by Jennifer Baumgardner & Amy Richards - £9.99
From Lilith Fair to Buffy the Vampire Slayer to the WNBA--everywhere you look, girl culture is clearly ascendant. Young women live by feminism's goals, yet feminism itself is undeniably at a crossroads; "girl power" feminists appear to be obsessed wi ... more
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A World Without Bees by Alison Benjamin and Brian McCallum - £7.99
The strange case of the vanishing western honeybee has led to fears that we are dangerously out of kilter with nature. This important and compelling book will dramatically examine the environmental, political and economic forces shaping the honeybee' ... more
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The Porto Alegre Alternative; Direct Democracy in Action. by Iain Bruce (Ed/Trans) - £14.99
Porto Alegre in Brazil is famous as the city that pioneered a revolutionary kind of local democracy. Started over a decade ago by the municipal administration of the Brazilian Workers' Party (PT), this process - called the 'participatory budget' - ha ... more
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The Faber Book of Utopias by John Carey - £12.99
Every age has its utopias, from Plato's Republic to contemporary sci-fi visions. In this spellbinding anthology John Carey charts the course of every conceivable dream world - whether communist, fascist, anarchist, green, golden age, techno-fantastic ... more
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Utopia Britannica: British Utopian Experiments 1325-1945 by Chris Coates - £16.50
This book provides a wealth of information about communities, communes & co-operatives, of all types and scales, that existed in the UK from the 14th century until World War II. It brings the various characters to life, assisted by plenty of photogra ... more
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Villages of Vision: A Study of Strange Utopias by Gillian Darley - £14.99
All over Britain and Ireland there are planned villages: for aesthetic, philanthropic or political reasons, for convenience and for ideals – the best known being Portmeirion, Port Sunlight, New Lanark and Bournville. Gillian Darley covers many hundre ... more
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Killing Rage: Ending Racism by bell hooks - £12.99
One of our country’s premier cultural and social critics, bell hooks has always maintained that eradicating racism and eradicating sexism must go hand in hand. But whereas many women have been recognized for their writing on gender politics, the fema ... more
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Archaeologies of the Future: The Desire Called Utopia and Other Science Fictions by Frederic Jameson - £14.99
In an age of globalization characterized by the dizzying technologies of the First World, and the social disintegration of the Third, is the concept of utopia still meaningful? Archaeologies of the Future, Jameson’s most substantial work since Postmo ... more
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How Shall I Live My Life? On Liberating the Earth from Civilization by Derrick Jensen - £14.99
In this collection of interviews, Derrick Jensen discusses the destructive dominant culture with ten people who have devoted their lives to undermining it. Whether it is Carolyn Raffensperger and her radical approach to public health, or Thomas Berry ... more
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Utopian Dreams: In Search of a Good Life by Tobias Jones - £7.99
From the author of the bestselling The Dark Heart of Italy comes a different kind of travel book, a diary of one year spent living in communes and amongst unusual dreamers.  Utopian Dreams offers one writer's attempt to retreat from the 'real wo ... more
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Creative Community Organizing: A Guide for Rabble-Rousers, Activists & Quiet Lovers of Justice by Si Kahn - £11.99
Why can't there be enough food, shelter, jobs, health care, homes, schools, education, safety and security for everyone? How can people work together to challenge the way things are, to help redistribute wealth and power, to create a more just and hu ... more
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The Challenge for Africa by Wangari Maathai - £8.99
In this urgent yet optimistic new work, Nobel Peace Prize Winner Wangari Maathai provides a unique perspective on the fate of Africa.   Informed by her three decades as an environmental activist and campaigner for democracy, The Challenge for ... more
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Utopia by Thomas More - £4.99
In Utopia Thomas More painted a fantastical picture of a distant island where society is perfected and people live in harmony, yet its title means 'no place', and More's hugely influential work was ultimately an attack on his own corrupt, dangerous t ... more
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Local Money: How to Make it Happen in Your Community by Peter North - £12.95
An inspiring yet practical new book, Local Money helps you understand what money is and what makes good and bad money. It draws on the considerable track record of experimentation with local money, like the Totnes pound, around the world and gives id ... more
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Visions of the City: Utopianism, Power & Politics in 20th Century Urbanism by D A Pinder - £22.99
Visions of the City is a dramatic account of utopian urbanism in the twentieth century. It explores radical demands for new spaces and ways of living, and considers their effects on planning, architecture and struggles to shape urban landscapes. Such ... more
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Small is Beautiful by E F Schumacher - £8.99
First published in 1973, this study looks at the economic structure of the western world in a revolutionary way. Schumacher maintains that man's current pursuit of profit and progress, which promotes giant organizations and increased specialization, ... more
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Real Utopia: Participatory Society for the 21st Century by Chris Spannos (ed) - £14.00
What if we had direct control over our daily lives? What if society's defining institutions - those encompassing economics, politics, kinship, culture, community, and ecology - were based not on competition, individual ownership, and coercion, but on ... more
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Mark Thomas Presents the People's Manifesto by Mark Thomas - £4.99
Mark Thomas has been touring the country for months, getting audiences to come up with policies aimed at sorting out the country’s political chaos and taking back the power for the people. Sick to death of bailing out bankers and subsidising MPs home ... more
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The Left Alternative by Roberto Mangabeira Unger - £7.99
One of the leading social and political thinkers in the world today asks the question: What should the Left propose today? A manifesto that engages a vital question of our time: where should the Left go from here? Confronting the major debates in the ... more
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(browse related categories Politics & Philosophy Changing the World )