My article on the politics of five major science fiction and fantasy series

|The Volokh Conspiracy |

Babylon 5 - 2

After the GOP and Democratic conventions, even many of us who follow politics closely might need a break from this year's awful presidential election. If you are one of them, you might be interested in my new article on the politics of five major science fiction and fantasy series, just published at the Institute for Humane Studies' Learn Liberty site:

The politics of science fiction and fantasy series may seem like a frivolous topic at a time when we have so many serious real political problems. But it's nonetheless worth considering, if only because far more people read science fiction novels, and watch genre movies and TV series than read serious nonfiction literature on political issues. Besides, the politics of imaginary worlds is a lot more fun to contemplate than the dismal real-world political scene.

And so, without further ado, here are some thoughts on the politics of several major science fiction and fantasy series-chosen partly because of their popularity, but partly also because they are among my personal favorites.

The five series I picked are Babylon 5, Battlestar Galactica, Game of Thrones/Song of Ice and Fire, The Hunger Games, and The Lord of the Rings. I did not include Star Trek and Star Wars, because I have discussed their political themes in some detail elsewhere (see here and here).

I decided to include Babylon 5 even before the passing of Jerry Doyle, one of the series' best actors, yesterday. But this post now doubles as a modest tribute to him. For those interested, here is a more extensive tribute by Jan Michael Straczynski, creator of Babylon 5.

Note: The headline on the IHS website refers to seven series, rather than five, perhaps because there is a brief discussion of Star Trek and Star Wars at the end. But only five are actually analyzed in detail.