The Atlantic

Science Fiction’s Preoccupation With Privacy

Two ambitious new novels build techno-futures in which surveillance offers disturbing new threats.
Source: Soho Press

I titled “,” the great science-fiction writer Ursula K. Le Guin took her genre to task. Science fiction, she began, centers on “the question of The Other—the being who is different from yourself. This being can be different from you in its sex; or in its annual income; or in its way of speaking and dressing and doing things; or in the color of its skin, or the number of its legs and heads.” In American science fiction, she noted, human aliens—women, people of color, the poor—mostly got sidelined or subjugated by space aliens, who, in turn, mostly got murdered or had their planets colonized. Enough, Le Guin wrote. Time to make the genre truly face the future. In order to do that, writers needed to take an anti-racist, anti-sexist, and anti-colonial approach to their work. They had

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