Tuesday, October 22, 2013
The History of the Dystopian Novel
Ink Tank gives a brief overview, here.
From the piece...
Dystopia has been a recurrent theme of popular and literary fiction since way back in the eighteenth century. Evolving not simply as a response to fictional utopian concerns, but also as a response to the prevalent or ominous ideals and politics of the writer’s time, the dystopian novel tends to use its make-believe guise as a front to critique the ideologies under which they’ve been forged.
When it seeks to explore political and social shortcomings, then, these books don’t tend to be shy about their revolutionary aims. Nasty visions of totalitarian regimes and post-apocalyptic disaster scenarios litter the genre’s history, and it’s got strong links to other literary scenes, too, like travel writing, satire and, not least, science fiction.