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Marooned! on Mars with Matt and Hilary

116 EpisodesProduced by Matt Hauske & Hilary StrangWebsite

a kim stanley robinson read-along podcast with regular forays into utopia. hosted by some friends who are into communism, science fiction and other stuff

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The Ministry for the Future 1-17: An Exercise for the Reader

We're back from the movies, ready to do our podcast old school, like a couple of old fools. We're SO EXCITED to start reading Kim Stanley Robinson's BRAND NEW novel, The Ministry for the Future!

Matt has finished it, Hilary is about halfway through, so there are sort-of spoilers but not really, but you should try reading the whole book first before you start listening anyway. This book is expansive, complex, harrowing, hopeful, and above all provocative. It challenges the reader to confront the realities of our day related to the climate, our politics, morality, ethics, violent direct action, and the desire for the future that falls under the name "utopia." What is the situation that confronts us today, and what are the options available to us, today, to change it?

This book is in many ways, especially its opening sections, a blunt instrument, refusing to let us escape from the seemingly intractable and overwhelming crises and catastrophes that confront us. In other ways, the book is subtle and sharp, cutting into the uncomfortable realities of our (America's, Americans', the First World, the reader's) complicity in the climate crisis that is threatening to destroy organized human life, and asking what we are prepared to do to fix it. What does justice look like, if it exists at all? Can this be done within the rule of law? How can we create a new relationship to the world and to ourselves that will create a path for us to follow that is not only compelling but regenerative and reparative?

We talk about uneven development, justice, metaphor, realism, ideology, estrangement, literary style, empire, blame, trauma, guilt, happiness, the rule of law, hegemony, capitalism, and, as always, history, the past, and the future. We share some laughs about ISAs. This is a book of uncomfortable provocations and serious challenges, and it invites and encourages its reader to think more, to generate ideas, to wrestle with assumptions, to get mad, to be hopeful, to not give up. We hope you'll read it and listen along!

Please feel free to email us, tweet at us, or leave us a voicemail. You can also donate to the show through (but only if you really really really want to).

Next week: PTSD, cognitive behavioral therapy, Gini coefficients, happiness indexes, and so much more!

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