Monday, February 18, 2013

The Many Causes of Dystopian Worlds

Today's Persistence of Vision Blog Tour Stop includes a Review and This-and-That Interview at Words Fueled by Love. Hop on over and check it out!

Causes of Dystopian Worlds

Over the weekend, I read an interesting article about a book called The Miracle Inspector. The reviewer talked about how it is  a dystopia, but not a typical one. In this book, the thing that's bringing civilization to an end is a slowing-down of the earth's rotation.

Now, I've done blog posts about how almost every story is technically a dystopian because there's always some undesirable, about super-hero stories as dystopias, and about the basics of a dystopian plot, but this made me think of something I hadn't thought of before:

At it's core, dystopians are about the one versus the many. The loner vs. the government, the survivor vs. mother nature, the individual vs. the collective, etc. 

Most dystopian falls under the loner vs. the government, but what different kinds of things could be the cause of the dystopia? We should brainstorm. Think outside the box! I tried to think of an example of each, though this list is in no way comprehensive.

What do you think? What other causes of dystopia did you think of? Do you think any genre can be considered a dystopia?


  1. Sleeping gods awaken? Thinking Lovecraft creatures here. Although technically they were aliens first.

  2. War ~ with the weapons that are available today, we could destroy ourselves in a few flashes.. Then again, that ultimately leads to government and structure, or the lack thereof..

    Also, people have a messy way of destroying the area around them, using up the earth in such a way that it's impossible to believe that it won't rebel at some point and reset itself. Here, I'm thinking of movies more than books ~ such as The Happening and The Day After Tomorrow..

    I'm not sure any genre could be considered dystopian ~ as I imagine it, anyway ~ but I can see how elements of a dystopia can be found in any book we read. Falling on bad times and the struggle to overcome these challenges, whatever they may be...

    Going to consider this further... Great, thought-provoking question :)

    Keely @ Realms of an Open Mind