There is without question a growing pandemic of dystopian fiction in which we are all but drowning. It’s certainly not new but it appears to me to be a constantly growing genre. From ‘Planet of the Apes’ where the monkeys take over, to the soon to be released ‘World War Z’ where zombies take over, we are seeing a familiar drum beat. Things are going to get much worse.
Over the last couple of years I’ve been think about the driving force behind such an obsession and I want to highlight a couple of half baked, work-in-progress concepts I’ve fiddled about with.
Dystopian fiction is an exclusively created by white men.
Is that correct? All the research I’ve done into the writers of the genre points in that direction. The stars are generally a single white male, the directors are generally white and male and the writers are always white and male.
Dystopian fiction only emerges from the most technologically advanced and materially wealthy cultures.
Am I correct? Are there any dystopian authors from say, Africa, India, Cambodia?
Dystopian fiction is in essence a very conservative (small c) genre, created by the most powerful people on earth (white males) who lie awake at night in fear of loosing that power. They may really fear women, homosexuals or people of other races and cultures and fictionalize that fear into aliens and zombies, computer virus’ and machines hell bent on destruction.
White males still hold pride of place in the media industry and the mass production of such stories is therefor reflective of this. Dystopian fiction rules, they are telling us with skill, brutality and gripping drama that the world is going to get worse, things are going to hell, that zombies/aliens/machines (or possibly women, homosexuals and people of other races) are going to take over and destroy them and their power base.
Or, it’s just a cheap and easy way of creating a gripping, 3 act drama which contains the regulation number of explosions, shocks and fabulous aerial balletics and slow-mo sequences of massive destruction.
I would appreciate your input; I am currently writing the second in a trilogy of utopian science fiction, starting with News from Gardenia (already available) and soon to be launched ‘News from the Squares.’