My pal Henry Farrell, a poli-sci prof, is conducting an "open seminar" on sf/fantasy writer China Mieville's brilliant novel Iron Council. Mieville is a second-generation Marxist, and his works are extremely politicized; Farrell's seminar is bound to be very interesting. The whole thing is licensed under a CC license for you to distribute, teach, remix and play with.
China’s most recent novel, Iron Council was published in August. Michael Dirda of the Washington Post describes it as “a work of both passionate conviction and the highest artistry.” A few months ago, the Mieville Fraktion within CT decided that it might be fun to put together a mini-seminar around Iron Council, and to ask China to respond. He very decently said yes; you see the result before you. We’ve invited two non-CT regulars to participate in the mini-seminar. Matt Cheney blogs on literature and science fiction at The Mumpsimus; he also writes for Locus magazine and SFSite. Miriam Elizabeth Burstein blogs at The Little Professor, and teaches Victorian literature at SUNY Brockport. Miriam very kindly agreed to join the project in its later stages, revising a long comment/review that she had already written (and that China had independently cited to).