Wednesday, August 17, 2011

What is Dystopia?

Recently my friends at Figment Fiction posted an interesting Tweet. They asked people to share their own definitions of dystopia. Before long, the definitions were becoming hard to reconcile so they asked an even better question: Which novel do you think best exemplifies the dystopian genre?

I was a little surprised at how much disagreement there is out there on this topic. Some of novels were suggested that I thought were clearly sci-fi. A small discussion broke out about what anti-eutopia is. That one really baked my noodle. I went back to the novel that best exemplifies the genre.

For me dystopia is a lot of things. It can be anything from a totalitarian society and individual teenager who's struggling against a really bad environment. The stories I'm thinking of have a three book recipe. In the first book the scene is set and the problem emerges. In the second book the regime crumbles and the resistance gets going. In the third book the regime falls and the hero wins the day.

What is a dystopia to you? Answer below (don't forget your email) and you could win the latest by Harlan Coben, Shelter.

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