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Utopian Novel with Ecological Theme by Alex Shishin
by Alex S
People Making Connections
source: ECOTOPIA

•• Nov. 17, 2006 •• SolarQuest® iNet News Service ••
Part of my 1994 Ph.D. dissertation for the Union Institute (now Union Institute
and University) is the ecologically centered utopian novel, Real Time: A
Japanese Utopian Romance
. The novel expresses my ongoing concerns
with ecology, human rights, and equalitarian social organization.

The novel’s first person narrator is a resident foreign in present-day Japan
who is abducted by Japanese from the year 2347. Thomas Redburn,
photographer, recovering alcoholic, and family man, is taken in a time
machine to a world where class, hierarchy and the centralized Stare have
vanished and all aspects of life are managed democratically at the grass roots
level. War and environmental pollution are unknown. Production for
economic profit no longer exists. Gone is artificial overproduction and
planned obsolescence. Environmentally friendly technology produces things
only for the sake of utility and pleasure. The “Time Collective,” wishing to
study a twentieth century person, has justified abducting Tom by
rationalizing that they have saved him from a fatal accident. They presume
he will be happy in their beautiful world, but they are wrong. He is lonesome
for his family and wants to go home to the past. An ironically unhappy man
in a perfect world, Thomas Redburn critically questions all aspects of what his
abductors and saviors call “Real Time.” In this way, he (and the reader) learns
the inner working of a liberated society that can live within its ecological
means and cheerfully prosper at the same time.

Currently the novel is available as <1>Real Time: A Japanese Utopian
Romance, and Scholarly Commentary by Alexander Shishin from UMI
Dissertation Services, 300 N. Zeeb Road, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48106; Tel:
1-800-521-0600 / 313-761-4700. A revised and undated version of the
novel is currently seeking a publisher.

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