This month, I’m joining in Sci-Fi Month 2015 and all my science fiction-related posts will be for that! Join me, join us, and let’s have a blast together!
Today, I’m going to talk about dystopian titles and science fiction. I have separate genres for dystopian and science fiction, although some people like to have dystopian as a subgenre of sci-fi, and today I wanted to hear YOUR thoughts about it.
But first, a definition of “dystopia”:
(noun) a society characterized by human misery, as squalor, oppression, disease, and overcrowding.
Here are some of my thoughts:
- A lot of dystopian titles have science fiction elements.
I think this is dystopian titles are seen as a subgenre of science fiction. I mean, look at some of the popular titles: The Hunger Games, Divergent, and Legend. Look at their technology! There are hovercrafts, genetic mutations, super powerful computers, the ability to see into someone’s mind, etc.
Although something about these titles is that the technology is mostly utilised by the rich or the oppressive regime, while the people who are poorer and being oppressed don’t get that kind of access to technology or medicine.
But then look at some of the other dystopian titles…
No, not the bajillion THG-esque titles on the shelf, the OTHER other titles.
- The science fiction element is absent from some dystopian titles.
There are some titles where everything has gone down the drain, but the science fiction element just isn’t as present as the first group. Some examples of this are Fire Country and Not a Drop to Drink. In these titles, the technology is either like ours or not as advanced. In Fire Country, Sienna’s tribe has a sort-of hunter-gatherer kind of vibe, while Not a Drop to Drink has Lynn living in a world a lot like ours.
I guess this is why I have dystopia and science fiction as separate genres. Some dystopian titles just don’t have that crazy futuristic element that I’ve come to expect from science fiction titles.
- The science fiction element is… Vague in some dystopian titles.
Okay, so I won’t drop any example titles here because I wouldn’t want to spoil anyone, but this probably sounds familiar…
Our main character lives in a community that must be constantly on the alert and barricaded, because outside their compound lies a world overrun by shambling monsters that are totally not zombies (obviously). How did these not-zombies come about? No one knows. It just happened one day.
But little do they know of the dark secret, the experiments gone wrong…
And so on. So there is some sci-fi thrown in the mix there, because even if the characters don’t have futuristic technology, they are fighting something that science may have caused.
So those are my thoughts on the connection between dystopian titles and science fiction. I definitely see varying levels of sci-fi presence in dystopian titles, and I like that! :D
What do you think, dear reader?
Do you group dystopias and sci-fi together? What do you think their connection is?
Let me know in the comments!