Dystopia Land discussion

The Meat Market (Jonathan Harkon Adventures #1)
This topic is about The Meat Market
Archived topics > Does This Qualify As Dystopian?

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message 1: by Empress, Seeker of wonders (new)

Empress (the_empress) | 1215 comments Mod
Thank you for posting this.

From the description, the book sounds to me like adventure sci-fi, but the dystopia genre is more broad and open to interpretation then some others, so I think only someone who's read it can judge.

If you want to offer the book for a review, go ahead.

message 2: by Michele (new)

Michele | 399 comments Mod
James wrote: "Hello,

I would like to offer my new book, The Meat Market, for review in this group, but I don't want to do so unless it is sufficiently dystopian for the members..."

Sounds interesting, but I don't really see any dystopian elements.

message 3: by Michele (last edited Nov 18, 2013 03:50PM) (new)

Michele | 399 comments Mod
James wrote: "Thank you both for your comments. I'm trying to get better understanding of what others believe makes a story dystopian..."

Wikipedia has a pretty good definition:

A dystopia is a community or society, usually fictional, that is in some important way undesirable or frightening. It is the opposite of a utopia. Such societies appear in many works of fiction, particularly in stories set in a speculative future. Dystopias are often characterized by dehumanization, totalitarian governments, environmental disaster, or other characteristics associated with a cataclysmic decline in society.

The summary given doesn't seem to me to rise to the level of severity needed for a dystopia. One oppressive colony, to me, isn't nearly enough to create a dystopia, although certainly the people who live in it would probably view their particular situation as dystopian. Likewise, I don't think Star Trek rises to the level of utopia. It's pretty good in some ways, but it still has quite a few issues in other ways. Things are far from perfect, and there are lots and lots of worlds and societies involved, of varying levels of openness.

Another piece that for me makes a book dystopian (or utopian) is that the society itself forms a substantive part of the plot. Think of 1984 -- a completely tyrannical government that controls everything, even the past. The focus of the story is the main character's battle against that society. Or consider Soft Apocalypse, where the focus of the book is the main characters' struggle to survive in a dystopian future.

But all of this is just my opinion -- others may differ. As Ellie said, "dystopia" is a really wide genre, and sometimes it's hard to tell from a brief summary :)

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