Finding Humanity: AKA DYSTOPIAN FICTION

17 Aug

My current  novel, as most of you know (BTE) is a dystopian fiction novel. I think there are a lot of people out there who seem not to “get” the genre. So I figured I’d spend today’s post talking about why I personally write dystopia fiction, what dystopian is, and why you should read it. I’ll be doing this in Q&A format, so here we go!

Q: What is dystopian fiction anyway?

A: We’ll let WIKI handle this one:

“the idea of a society in a repressive and controlled state, often under the guise of being utopian, as characterized in books like Brave New World and Nineteen Eighty-Four. Dystopian societies feature different kinds of repressive social control systems, various forms of active and passive coercion”

In other words its about a society or group that is often corrupt and characters finding their way to defeat the system.

Q: What attracted you to the dystopian genre?

A:  i’d never really intended to write a “dystopian” novel, my original thought was just about how one person can change the direction of the whole world. Granted, this is one definition of dystopian, but it didn’t occur to me at the time.

But, the thing I really like about dystopian fiction, is that it applies to everyone. Dystopian is really about the core values of humanity, and (in BTE anyway) about people finding themselves even in a world that is drastically strict or preventative. Dystopia is about finding your humanity even in extreme circumstances. Everyone can appreciate that, because though we may not be trying to find ourselves while battling dictators, or technology gone wrong, we battle ourselves everyday!

Q: Why should YOU read dystopian fiction?

A: I said before, dystopia is all about “core values” of humanity, and gets to the basic levels of humanity and how it functions, but the great thing is that it does all this while providing a riveting story line!

Dystopian fiction also can take on many different forms. Everyone follows a different line of thought, and its never difficult to find something original or new in that genre. The spectrum of story-lines is astounding (unlike paranormal romance where all the story lines seem to fade into one horrid mess). For instance, you have The Giver by Lois Lowery which is classic dystopian about a society that has suppressed all its emotions, to the point of not even seeing color, and given all its painful and happy memories to one person the giver. Then you have the Incarceron series by Catherine Fisher which is drastically different. This book centers around a “living prison” gone wrong whose inmates have lived there for century’s but now the prison is abandoning them, and they must find a way out. Both these books are AMAZING, and BOTH are dystopian. But they are so drastically different that they can appeal to many different people.

How do you all feel about dystopia? Any favorite dystopian novels?

CURRENT MUSIC: Automatic by Weezer 😉

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4 Responses to “Finding Humanity: AKA DYSTOPIAN FICTION”

  1. gabriellan August 17, 2011 at 10:07 pm #

    I never totally understood the term Dystopian before this. I do like the genre, and I’ve heard it’s becoming more popular – hopefully replacing another genre which I’m not going to mention. The only Dystopian novel I can think of off the top of my head is Wither, and the world in that book is fascinating and made me finish reading, even if I wasn’t completely fond of the characters.

    • nkeda14 August 18, 2011 at 5:37 pm #

      I love dystopian… and yeah it would be nice for it to replace the unspeakable, but then I’m afraid it will become just as cliche!

  2. Michael Cunningham September 13, 2011 at 7:04 am #

    Good call on The Giver, I read that in high school and loved it. My favourite dystopic novels would have to be: 1984, The Beach, Lord of the Flies and Clockwork Orange. Funnily enough, they were all made into movies, but none of them can even touch the novels (except maybe Kubrick’s Clockwork Orange). By the way, you should change the background for your blog, it’s impossible to read comments on it!

    • nkeda14 September 13, 2011 at 10:18 pm #

      Yes, the movies are never as good as the books… it always seems to disappoint. I’ll have to switch the background I’ve been messing with it a lot recently. Just trying new stuff.

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