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Sunday, July 11, 2010

Book Review - From Utopia to Apocalypse, by Peter Y. Paik

Book Review - From Utopia to Apocalypse, by Peter Y. Paik

This dense, heavily foot-noted academic thesis is targeted more to the political scientist than to the science fiction reader. In fact, most of the "literature" cited consists of comic books and movies.

Reading the Introduction is like jogging through Jello. The thesis, clouded in a haze of equivocation, seems to be that the leadership must employ violent and repressive means to achieve and maintain Utopia, which of course is a contradiction and ultimately leads to failure. Paik explores the Soviet and Chinese Communist experiments, while conveniently overlooking the American experiment in liberty.

In the same way, Paik ignores the vast genre of science fiction while setting up superheroes as his examples of those who live under an obligation not to abuse their great gifts, no matter what the ultimate goal.

This book is interesting and belongs on the academic bookshelf, but do not expect to find an exploration of science fiction between its covers.

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