Tor.com content by

Eleanor Konik

Five SFF Stories That Shed Light on Obscure History

There’s a whole sub-genre of books that can be described as “History… IN SPACE!”—for example, Valor’s Choice by Tanya Huff and David Weber’s Honor Harrington series—and are a wonderful means of introducing readers to different historical periods in a thoroughly engaging way. Most of what I know about the Zulu and Napoleonic Wars I encountered first in one of those books. In the realm of fantasy, Rebecca Roanhorse’s Black Sun exposed readers to cultural aspects of Mesoamerican societies that they had potentially not previously encountered. And of course there exists an entire website devoted to exploring the well-known connections between Game of Thrones and the War of the Roses, along with other historical inspirations for the Song of Ice and Fire series.

In many cases, those relationships between historical events and people and the fiction they inspire are relatively obvious—right there on the label, as it were. But of course, there are more subtle influences and echoes of history that reverberate through SFF, parallels that might be harder to pick up on, but which can still inform and challenge the way we think about the world…

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Five Unconventional Economic Systems as Imagined in SFF

The modern world runs on money: No matter one’s opinions of capitalism, in our reality, that is an unavoidable fact. Fiction, though—particularly speculative fiction like SF and fantasy—is perfect for exploration, imagination, and escapism, helping us set aside the drearier aspects of reality and envisioning other systems, other sorts of economies…

[Cash is king. Except when it’s not…]

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