I love dystopian fiction. It’s the best, honest! No matter how pessimistic I generally am on any pre-caffeinated morning, these guys seriously take the cake. The difference being that while I tend to get sulky about the dwindling amount of tobacco in my pouch or the heat outside, sharp-penned fiction writers have the ability to cut up their current norms and trends then glue together a snapshot of the possible future. And their concern is likely more warranted.
But it’s not all doom and gloom. There’s an inevitable and gratifying mix of philosophy and history needed to paint convincing a dystopia. It’s about building a world which can project uncomfortable concepts, unlikable characters and a distorted societal structure (sci-fi is also wonderful for this, Phillip K Dick especially). However, probably more importantly than that, they motivate you to attempt a rebuttal. Like satire during revolution, dystopian fiction is something that should itch you into questioning the state of things. It’s admittedly far from the escapism offered a lighter holiday read, but valuable nonetheless. It also enabled Huxley to quote or reference other great minds almost incessantly without sounding like too much of a prat (unfortunately this is the only time outside a uni essay anyone is likely to get away with it).
So, after this little spiel hopefully I’m not the only one who submitted an excessive amount of practise essays when studying Nineteen Eighty-Four.
My dear wordnerds, what is the most convincing and well written piece of dystopian fiction you’ve come across?
What aspect most disturbed or intrigued you?