Tuesday, March 10, 2015

What's wrong with the economics of sci-fi?

[This article was reposted from my main blog, NardiViews]

Economist David Berri has an article in Time criticizing the depiction of economics in science fiction. In particular, he argues that sic-fi stories frequently depict technologically advanced galactic empires despite the fact that, in the real world, autocracy sniffles economic growth. Historically, empires have seized private wealth, making citizens more reluctant to invest in technology and innovation. By contrast, inclusive governments, such as democracies, allow people to reap the rewards of their investments, thereby encouraging investment in technologies that stimulate economic growth.

I know something about both political economics and science fiction, and unfortunately Berri gets both wrong.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

BOOK REVIEW: "Heir to the Jedi" by Kevin Hearne

There are some nice character moments in Kevin Hearne's Heir to the Jedi, but I can't shake the feeling that it's not the same Luke we saw in the films...

From the publisher's summary:
A brilliant alien cryptographer renowned for her ability to breach even the most advanced communications systems is being detained by Imperial agents determined to exploit her exceptional talents for the Empire’s purposes. But the prospective spy’s sympathies lie with the Rebels, and she’s willing to join their effort in exchange for being reunited with her family. It’s an opportunity to gain a critical edge against the Empire that’s too precious to pass up. It’s also a job that demands the element of surprise. So Luke and the ever-resourceful droid R2-D2 swap their trusty X-wing fighter for a sleek space yacht piloted by brash recruit Nakari Kelen, daughter of a biotech mogul, who’s got a score of her own to settle with the Empire.