Thursday, April 30, 2015

Types of Dystopias

My slight digression on dystopias (or is that dystopians?) got me to thinking about how dystopia books could actually be split into different categories, so I decided to give it a shot (including False Utopia because it is a type of dystopa), Disagreements? Additions? Feel free to leave comments!

Fight The Man

This is your typical "overpowered government being overthrown by a group of rebellious teens" type of story. It has existed for as long as the Little Guy had negative feelings about the Big Guy. The world sucks, and the main difference between your Fight The Man and False Utopia is that in Fight The Man everyone knows it sucks but are powerless to stop it (also, everything is gritty and dirty). Here are some examples:

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Divergent by Veronica Roth
Worldshaker by Richard Harland (this one is both Fight The Man and False Utopia, because it has two main characters, each at both extremes. See Technology Girl and Tribal Boy for more details on instances of this.)
Wool by Hugh Howy
The Host by Stephanie Meyer

What Used to Be

One way or another the Big Thing has already happened. People died by the thousands, our knowledge and use of technology have been lost for at least a hundred years or more. Usually there are ruins of skyscrapers in the background at all times during the story. Sometimes the characters live underground and discover the surface world, or live on the surface and discover a technological underground base. Zombies are sometimes a part of these stories, but the requirement is that zombies have to be part of the characters lives since birth. If it was only in the last few days/weeks/years that zombies came about (like The Walking Dead), then it technically counts as part of the Apocalypse genre. Examples of What Used to Be are:

Envlave by Ann Aguirre
The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau
The Maze Runner by James Dashner (I only read book 1, but I suspect it belongs in this category.)
Wither by Lauren DeStefano
Angelfall by Susan Ee
The Road by Cormac McCarthy
Rot and Ruin by Jonathan Mayberry
Green Angel by Alice Hoffman
Daybreak-2250AD by Andre Norton
Z for Zachariah by Robert C. O'Brien
The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan
Blood Red Road by Moira Young
It Takes a Wizard (don't know the author, it's a manga though.)

The False Utopia

Everything is great, everyone gets along, everything is usually white, shiny, and well lit.
Until it all comes crashing down, of course (usually with the power of love for some reason). This sometimes includes fighting The Man, but the difference is that the False Utopia includes the implied "Wake up, sheeple!" Examples include:

Uglies by Scott Westerfield
The Giver by Lois Lowry
Matched by Ally Condie
Starters by Lissa Price
Feed by Matthew Anderson

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