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Mythmakers & Lawbreakers

May 30, 2010

Back in August last year Magpie asked me to review his book and I promised I would, albeit with the caveat that I’d wait while I reestablished my blog.  Back in August.  The problem, the actual reason I’ve postponed posting anything, is that while I wish Magpie success 1) I feel morally obliged to share any copyrighted material I get access to online and 2) in an honest review I don’t feel that Mythmakers & Lawbreakers was that deserving of publication.  The notion of bringing explicitly anarchist strands in fiction (and particularly SF) to the foreground is nice and some of the interviews are enviable scores (Le Guin, Moore), they never really go anywhere.  There’s simply not much content in Mythmakers & Lawbreakers.

My lengthy original review has been lost on one hard drive or another.  But a summary is easy:  Few of the authors are actually all that recognizably anarchist or noteworthy.  Several of them are laughable or deplorable (Starhawk, Jensen).   And few of them end up saying anything particularly interesting.  I recognize that an AK Press compendium allows for distribution to a wider audience — particularly the sort of bleh liberals that most of the interviewed authors seemed to be speaking to, but at the end of the day I preferred Mythmakers and Lawbreakers as a zine series.

The only bit that stuck with me was one of the minor authors talking about how they’re no longer drawn to fiction the way they used to be because the intensity, stakes and adventure of the anarchist struggle eventually puts everything else imaginable to pale.  This.

UPDATE:  Magpie just put the book’s entire content online as the original zine series.  Much approval.

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