Welcome to This Week in Books, where we highlight books just released by small and independent presses. Books have always been a symbol for and means of spreading knowledge and wisdom, and they are an important part of our toolkit in fighting for social justice....more
Posts Tagged: dystopia
Well, it’s been one week under the Trump administration, and already we are living in a land of “alternative facts.” After Kellyanne Conway used the term to defend Press Secretary Sean Spicer’s falsehoods regarding the inauguration crowd size on Sunday, the American people were, understandably, reminded of George Orwell’s 1984, and sales of the book skyrocketed to #1 on the bestseller list by Tuesday night....more
At The Establishment, Laura Beans discusses the importance of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale as a predictive novel, drawing many connections between the novel and increasing attempts to control women’s bodies:
Instead of seeming further from the truth, the novel’s warnings only seem to echo louder in recent years.
At the Huffington Post, Maddie Crum and Maxwell Strachan ask 7 science fiction authors to hypothesize about what a dystopian Olympics might look like. While most of the authors acknowledge the influence that climate change and technology will have on the Olympics, Crum and Strachan note that the authors’ responses are surprisingly optimistic....more
Some people write about dystopian futures, or reimagined folktales, or ghosts, or science fiction. Sequoia Nagamatsu, author of the upcoming story collection Where We Go When All We Were Is Gone, does it all. The debut collection, out this month from Black Lawrence Press, weaves Japanese folklore and pop culture into fantastical plots and futuristic settings to create stories that illuminate the human heart in modern times....more
Imagine a world in the late 21st century: countries are underwater from the rising oceans, Europeans have become refugees, and a mathematical formula has been discovered that explains the entire universe, the applications of which include human flight (sans airplane) and the ability to remove pain and grief....more
The stories we tell ourselves can help us understand, and maybe even adapt, to this new world. But the dour dystopias and escapist fantasies of our current science fiction diet just won’t do. We need something new: a form of science fiction that tackles the radical changes of our pressing and strange reality.
The church on Siegfeldstrasse was open to anyone who embarrassed the Republic, and Andreas Wolf was so much of an embarrassment that he actually resided there, in the basement of the rectory, but unlike the others—the true Christian believers, the friends of the Earth, the misfits who defended human rights or didn’t want to fight in World War III—he was no less an embarrassment to himself.
The Harry Potter series might have been helping make young kids more open and accepting of diversity, but a new crop of young adult novels might be push kids in the opposite direction of the political spectrum. Heroines like Katniss Everdeen and Tris Prior aren’t just strong women–they’re exceptionally special people oppressed by nanny states politics, claims Ewan Morrison, writing over at The Guardian, who suggests that instead of encouraging young people to question authority, these young adult dystopias are simply reinforcing technocratic libertarianism ideals:
What marks these dystopias out from previous ones is that, almost without exception, the bad guys are not the corporations but the state and those well-meaning liberal leftists who want to make the world a better place.
Adam Sternbergh, author of Dystopian novel Shovel Ready, asked whether readers are burning out on the Dystopian novel. He goes as far as suggesting that perhaps the next great novel will be a Utopian one. Emily Temple, writing at Flavorwire, explains why Utopias don’t make good novel settings:
The reason that utopian novels are far and few between is that a utopia is, on a very basic level, just not a good topic for a novel.
If you, like us, are drooling in anticipation for the conclusion to literary empress (and Rumpus interviewee!) Margaret Atwood’s MaddAddam trilogy, well, mop up your chin and then check out this mini-profile of Atwood and her most recent speculative-fiction series....more
In Don LePan’s dystopian novel, the animals are all extinct and the weaker people have taken their place in the food chain....more
“Fantasy is not avoidable. The very act of writing fiction is a sin, a lie. One of Disch’s most haunting stories, ‘Getting Into Death,’ is about a writer (one who uses two pseudonyms, at least one of which Disch used himself) who orchestrates her death by fabricating warmth and sentiment toward everyone she has ever known, creating a surfeit of charmingly mawkish moments....more