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Mythmakers and Lawbreakers: Anarchist Writers on Fiction

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  148 ratings  ·  23 reviews
“Basically, anarchy is in fact the only political position that is actually possible.”—from the interview with Alan Moore, author of V for Vendetta

We all know that there is a deeply entwined relationship between personal politics and works of fiction. For centuries, authors have used the veil of fiction to cast a critical eye toward the larger society around them: think of
Paperback, 140 pages
Published October 1st 2009 by AK Press
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The Dispossessed by Ursula K. Le GuinAnarchism and Other Essays by Emma GoldmanV for Vendetta by Alan MooreOn Anarchism by Noam ChomskyHomage to Catalonia by George Orwell
Anarchist books
373 books — 284 voters
Anarcho-Syndicalism by Rudolf RockerAnarchism and Its Aspirations by Cindy MilsteinOn Anarchism by Noam ChomskyThe Accumulation of Freedom by Deric ShannonHow Nonviolence Protects the State by Peter Gelderloos
AK Press Books
146 books — 23 voters

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4.07  · 
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 ·  148 ratings  ·  23 reviews

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Joshum Harpy
Feb 15, 2010 rated it really liked it
Dang. A book about anarchism and writing fiction. What could be more up my alley...

The interviews were all pretty sweet. There is a crystal clear distinction between the authors who are reclusive type anarchisty thinkers (Ursula K. Leguin, Alan Moore) and the younger anarchist authors clearly immersed in contemporary anarchist subculture (crimethinc., octavio). Mostly that the younger (I assume) subculture saturated writers took the opportunity to talk some trash and fight the good in-fight, whe
Fascinating and thought-provoking reading. A lot of different perspectives on anarchism, activism, and the role of fiction. I am familiar with very few of the authors interviewed, but that didn't take away from my ability to engage with the material. It's interesting to reflect on how technology and the publishing industry have changed over the past decade, and how that might change some of these discussions.

There are, of course, various things I disagree with in many of the interviews, but I'm
Steev Hise
Sep 20, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: political-minded fiction readers, activists
Recommended to Steev by: bht
Shelves: politics, own-it
This is pretty interesting stuff. It gets a bit redundant by about 2/3 of the way through. Some of it is sort of like reading celebrity interviews in something like People magazine, only more niche-market of course, but still with the more famous authors it's a little bit... fawning or fannish. Then the other lesser-known authors are mostly traveller kid types like the editor, so it sort of devolves into a friendly compare-notes kind of chat about lifestyle and "war stories" and such. But, overa ...more
Elevate Difference
Feb 04, 2010 rated it it was amazing
When the term “anarchy” is heard, most people think of the “circle-A” graffiti on crumbling buildings and the T-shirts of punk rock kids, or else imagine a state of complete lawlessness and the breakdown of society. Popular culture does nothing to dispel these collective thoughts. In theory and philosophy, anarchy refers to the absence of a state or rulers and a society in which there is no vertical hierarchy of class, but instead a horizontal equality of societal participants. Margaret Killjoy, ...more
Aug 27, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anarchists and writers
"Any book that doesn’t start from the fact that this culture is killing the planet and work to resolve that is unforgivable. We’d be better off with blank pages."
-Derrick Jensen

"I guess when I was 17 or 18 and I started doing Food Not Bombs and working with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers in south Florida. ... I was becoming an activist outside of my brain, outside of creating art. And by being more involved in the world, I started thinking about my identity: who fucked me over, why am I the
Carole B
Jan 26, 2018 rated it liked it
"At this point in time, however, a lot of words have been written. There are an awful lot of them. I don't think we need any more words to know that we need to stop this nightmare world around us. Words seem to only push our actions off into the future. But in the darkness they are very nice to have. Our words are burning veins of memory stretching away in every direction, carrying with them lessons from other times and places and people."
-Octavio Buenaventura
This is an interesting and highly va
Maria Longley
Nov 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
Various authors of all sorts of types of writing and users of many forms of publishing methods talk are interviewed by Margaret Killjoy. They specifically ask the authors about their fiction writing, which is really fascinating as I'm a massive fiction reader, and about how anarchism affects the writing. The project starts with an interview with Ursula K Le Guin which is a great way to start anything. People have very different views on the anarchist thought but that is really interesting too as ...more
Lee Ann
Jun 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018
This book was fascinating. It's made me look at authors I've always enjoyed for entertainment in a whole new light, it's made me look at my own writing differently, and it's made me question my own stance on government.

Of course, some interviews were more interesting to me than others, but overall I really enjoyed reading them. The appendices were interesting as well.

4/5 stars.
Mar 27, 2010 rated it it was amazing
So you wouldn't naturally put an anarchist press and together, but here's the news. You can buy a book entitled Myth makers and Lawbreakers edited by Margaret Killjoy with a forward by Kim Stanley Robinson on amazon. This is a lovely book in terms of feel and size, but wait until you begin reading what these anarchist writers have to say.

In this book that also includes an interview with Ursula K. Le Guin, you will find an interview of one Octavio Buenaventura. I know dear Octavio fro
Nicole Cushing
Jun 15, 2011 rated it really liked it
My rating for this one teetered between three and four stars. This book is mostly a collection of interviews with authors who have expressed an interest in anarchism that's expressed in their fiction. Many of the interviews are with anarchist activists who happen to have an interest in fiction. In addition, there are four or five interviews with significant figures in speculative fiction/comics (Alan Moore, Ursula LeGuin, for example). Kim Stanley Robinson provides a nifty introduction.

The reaso
Pippypippy Madden
Jan 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
Very inspiring. The authors interviewed actually have wildly varying degrees of anarchist-ness, or political leanings. What makes it interesting is the d.i.y. spirit and the ways the authors have of looking at publishing as a business and writing as a political act, or not. I really enjoyed the casual nature of many of the interviews, and the open-endedness of the discussion. A thread throughout seems to be that we tend to put the author on a pedestal and emphasize the work of art as a commodity ...more
When the term “anarchy” is heard, most people think of the “circle-A” graffiti on crumbling buildings and the T-shirts of punk rock kids, or else imagine a state of complete lawlessness and the breakdown of society. Popular culture does nothing to dispel these collective thoughts. In theory and philosophy, anarchy refers to the absence of a state or rulers and a society in which there is no vertical hierarchy of class, but instead a horizontal equality of societal participants. Margaret Killjoy, ...more
Ryan Mishap
Oct 28, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: anarchy
This rules!--er, doesn't rule, but works cooperatively to enhance our understanding of stories and their importance!

I started doing zines in 1993, and I've had fiction in them since I started. From Mishap #17:

"...we fucking need new stories. I'm not making a claim for the greatness of my own, but we need stories whose values and reference points are located within anarchy and our hopes for a better world."

Within Killjoy's collection of interviews nearly every point I would make about the importa
Doug Brunell
May 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: anarchism
If you are a fiction writer, especially one of the anarchist bent, this book is required reading.

Killjoy interviews writers, some more explicitly anarchist than others, about the writing process, anarchism (a given), the role of the writer in the world, propaganda, Dungeons and Dragons, comic books, intent and more, and it makes for not only a fascinating read, but an inspiring one.

There are self-published authors here alongside more well-known ones like Michael Moorcock and Alan Moore. And not
Nuno Ribeiro
A great collection of interviews that intersects anarchism and fiction. Margaret Killjoy was able to gather in this book the thoughts of authors from all corners of the creative world. Award winning sci-fi writers, comic book legends, underground zine activists, colaborative authors, they all talk with Margaret about anarchism and the role of fiction. The interviews are good, with relevant questions, and they show how diverse ideas can be about anarchism. It is an exciting read, and an oportunit ...more
May 21, 2010 rated it really liked it
A compilation of interviews with writers who incorporate Anarchism and Anarchist themes in their work. To those who don't understand or misunderstand Anarchism, this book will enlighten. To those who do know something about Anarchism, it is an introduction to the most progressive fiction writers in the world today and a barometer of the growing dissatisfaction with corporate and government authoritarianism. These are not just 'fringe crazies'. These are thoughtful people with an alternative pers ...more
Aaron Urbanski
Feb 22, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: anarchism
A very interesting collection of interviews with anarchist fiction writers. I like the overall them the author held throughout the book; a story can explore possibilities and have a tendency to stick better versus theory. I have read nothing but non-fiction for the past couple years and I look forward to the refreshing references Margaret offers. The best part about this book, I think, is the anarchist fiction writer appendix.
Dea G.
Aug 29, 2009 rated it really liked it
Margaret does an excellent job interviewing anarchist writers, but I wanted more: essays on the history of anarchist fiction, excerpts. Nonetheless, this little volume has inspired me to try my hand at short stories again (maybe a bad thing, as my few attempts have been absolutely dismal!). Books that inspire are my favorite books of all.
Artnoose McMoose
Oct 28, 2009 rated it really liked it
Interviews with writers of fiction who are anarchists, self-described or otherwise.

Also, if you have a chance to see the "power point presentation" I recommend it.

very good
Nov 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
awesome introduction to sci fiction authors
Helen Damnation
Feb 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
I was worried when I bought this that the content might not be worth the price, but this is a good book of interviews; interesting and thought provoking.
Mar 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
They're not all, to me, the most interesting interviews, but enough of them are super interesting!
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Margaret is an itinerant author, editor, and photographer whose interests include forest defense, anarchism, and the serial comma.