Monday, August 25, 2014

Why are Dystopian and Post-Apocalyptic Stories So Popular?

Over vacation this year, I read The Giver, by Lois Lowry. It was an outstanding dystopian novel, penned back when dystopian literature hadn't yet hit the level of Hunger Games or Divergent popularity. So what has spawned the rage of these modern stories? Post-apocalyptic literature and dystopian tales are more popular than ever before. Perhaps it's the fact that, as the world becomes increasingly modern and interconnected through technology, people see mirrors of their own societies in books. Maybe it's the fear that at some point, life as we know it will change, and we will be forced into a new way of living. 

Post-apocalyptic survival stories play, in part, on people's fears. We live in a world that is so incredibly futuristic by 20th century standards (cellphones, electric cars, touch screen technology, social media, electric cookware, etc.), that we can't help but wonder what would happen if it were all gone. This premise, of course, is why I wrote State of Emergency and began writing survivalist/post-apocalyptic novels. Everyone wonders what would happen. Books show us how it might play out. 

So, perhaps we see dystopian in our own futures, or even a total collapse. Post-apocalyptic ties into dystopian, because a dystopian story always comes after an apocalyptic collapse of some sort. I'm not saying that there's going to BE a collapse - I'm just saying that the idea those scenarios are very realistic...and that is one major reason books like In The After by Dimetria Lunetta are so popular. It makes it real. 

What do YOU think?

1 comment:

  1. I love what you are saying here and agree whole-heartedly. Our culture is moving so fast with its technological advances and we have little time to even consider the implications of one change before another is upon us. I think these movies, books and shows are in a way a chance to imagine what it could mean. I love them, especially if they are thoughtful and have a range of characters and reactions.


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