Social scientists are less likely than natural scientists to star as villains or heroes in SF. Their work, however, has deeply influenced the genre.
At first or second or third hand – directly, through popularizations, and as refracted through mass media – anthropology, economics, sociology, and political theory have all raised questions to which SF writers have imagined answers.
As well as highlighting the importance of sociology and economics to the development of science fiction MacLeod suggests a reading list of suitable novels that are relevant to his topic. He also compliments us literary SF fans:
Written SF (whose core readership and reviewers are more scientifically informed than the general public) usually has to hew to stricter standards of scientific plausibility…