Dystopian fiction has attained cult status. Take The Handmaid’s Tale, Nineteen Eighty-Four, Brave New World, Station Eleven and Never Let Me Go. The new-found popularity of these novels reflects the preferences of a readership who are unable to make sense of the grim realities of the present day. Adam O’Fallon Price explores various premise that need to be taken into account to comprehend the construction of worlds that have been annihilated. He identifies patterns in dystopian fiction – the concept of memory is warped and misinterpretation of time leads to the damage in the first place.
Dystopias, like Utopias, succeed or fail based on how convincingly and relevantly they correspond to the real world. Both dystopia and Utopia share the root topos, “place” in Greek, and purport to tell us about the possibilities of our own place through fictional exaggeration. It therefore seems reasonable to expect they might tell us not only about the mess we’re in but how we got into it—and how to escape.
Read How to Live in a Dystopian Fiction here.