I think most of the books I’ve read and loved were written by conservatives or libertarians – the fantasy I’ve read was written largely by conservatives, I think because good fantasy plays on themes of decentralization (the villain often attempting to shore up and centralize their control) and tradition. The science-fiction often as not came from libertarians, because like libertarianism itself, science fiction warns us against the perniciousness of the all-encompassing state, the uses of technology by the government to strip away civil liberties, etc. So in many ways, a good deal of my formation politically has been between these two dynamics – fantasy and science fiction; traditionalism and classical liberalism.
I just finished A Lion Among Men, the third installment (picking up where Son of a Witch left off) in Gregory Maguire’s Wicked series (an alternative vision of Oz). It’s a good read, and has a strong decentralist message – the Emerald City is essentially the heart of Oz, an upstart capitol that has begun to centralize the economic and political and natural resources of Oz itself into a bastion of power and corruption and increasing militarization. Even after the departure of the Wizard of Oz, who began this centralizing trend, successor after successor maintains their grip on power, even expands it – continuing the persecution of Animals and moving, by the third book, to retake the secessionist state of Munchkinland. Fascinating stuff – dark, and lovely, and sardonic. A bit tilted toward the anti-hero, but that was the premise all along, I suppose, when detailing the “life and times of the Wicked Witch of the West.”
From here I think I will read, based on commenters’ recommendations either Witch Week or The Steel Remains or probably both at once. It’s nice to have a blog if only to have a fantastic comments section to plant questions in.