Christian Speculative Fiction discussion

16 views
Dystopian/Apocalyptic: The scariest thing

Comments Showing 1-14 of 14 (14 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Lara (new)

Lara Lee | 507 comments Mod
I think dystopian books are among some of the grittiest I read. They aren't horror, but I do think they feed off of our fears about the future. What do you think is the scariest troop in dystopian novels?

For me, the idea of worldwide plagues is terrifying. I have seen this used in fantasy to good effect, but it shows up a lot in both dystopian and apocalyptic novels. War, zombies, monsters, technological crashes, and world dictatorships are not nearly as disturbing to me as plagues. What about you?


message 2: by Smaug (last edited Apr 15, 2019 07:44AM) (new)

Smaug the Unmerciful Editor (goodreadscomsupremedrake) | 28 comments I think I agree. Sickness and plagues (especially the kind that turns you into ghouls and zombies) really freak me out. Technological crashes are really only scary for the business-people and phone-obsessed, and world dictatorships really don't affect all that much people (you know, the peasants are always pleasantly far from royalty and its cruelty).

There's one more thing, though: atomic destruction. That's the worst, scariest one, I think, because it doesn't seem all that implausible. If you read into it a little more, the effects on people and society are even more terrifying than the actual bombs.

Maybe I'm a little more scared than the average person just because I watch a "Science of Mad Max" video recently.


message 3: by Stan (new)

Stan | 288 comments Mod
I'm not sure I agree.

When I think of total lawlessness and the evil that men do in a survival of the fittest situation I have to pause and wonder what could be worse than man at his most immoral. We don't read books that describe just how bad it would be. We like sterile, morality based dystopian and post-apocalyptic tales. We don't like tales that include sexual slavery, human trafficking, and people bent on rape and pillage. The sad part is, all those exist on the planet today without a dystopian or (post) apocalyptic situation.


message 4: by Smaug (new)

Smaug the Unmerciful Editor (goodreadscomsupremedrake) | 28 comments Stan wrote: "I'm not sure I agree.

When I think of total lawlessness and the evil that men do in a survival of the fittest situation I have to pause and wonder what could be worse than man at his most immoral...."


You make an excellent point. A book based on what people REALLY might do in that situation would be horrific.

Come to think of it, that's what Mad Max is like--- and it's rated R.

Yikes.


message 5: by Stan (new)

Stan | 288 comments Mod
Smaug wrote: "Stan wrote: "I'm not sure I agree.

When I think of total lawlessness and the evil that men do in a survival of the fittest situation I have to pause and wonder what could be worse than man at his ..."


The original Mad Max actually, if memory serves, includes rape or the possibility/imminent threat of rape.

I think The Walking Dead also kind of shows what mankind is capable of and the thin line that the "good" characters have to walk to survive against those who have abandoned morality for survival.


message 6: by Glen (new)

Glen Robinson (glenchen) | 172 comments That, I think, is really the essence of what these stories are all about. I firmly believe that all these stories are not about plague, or zombies, or monsters, per se, but they are about how people deal with adversity. And the thing that eventually turned me off of The Walking Dead from a Christian perspective was that they take a nihilistic view of everything: in the end, nothing really matters. Good doesn't matter. Honor doesn't matter. Life doesn't even matter. We have to believe in something. That's the difference between us and them, I think.


message 7: by Stoney (new)

Stoney deGeyter | 134 comments I think that's a fine line that storytellers have to walk. How to make a story that truly gets the reader/watcher to fear the possibility without reaching a point where either the actions are being glorified or are just too dark to watch. Though I also think that's the mark of a good storyteller, being able to do that.


message 8: by Stan (new)

Stan | 288 comments Mod
Stoney wrote: "I think that's a fine line that storytellers have to walk. How to make a story that truly gets the reader/watcher to fear the possibility without reaching a point where either the actions are being..."

And, no two readers really have that line in the same place. So - it is a hard task!


message 9: by Stoney (new)

Stoney deGeyter | 134 comments That's true stan. I wanted to say that I'd rather err on the side of caution, but I can't because that would mean appeasing people with completely different interests and never really being able to write a good story.


message 10: by Stan (new)

Stan | 288 comments Mod
Stoney wrote: "That's true stan. I wanted to say that I'd rather err on the side of caution, but I can't because that would mean appeasing people with completely different interests and never really being able to..."

Yeah. I understand. Because you might err on the side of caution for one reader and be way across the line for another while the third finds what you wrote to be Puritanical. No way to please everyone, so just focus on pleasing God with what you write!


message 11: by Lara (new)

Lara Lee | 507 comments Mod
Stoney wrote: "I think that's a fine line that storytellers have to walk. How to make a story that truly gets the reader/watcher to fear the possibility without reaching a point where either the actions are being..."

I think this is a good point. I have often wondered about Christian fiction that I felt was too dark. It sometimes feels like Satan is more powerful than God. These books are more common among indie writers, though. Mainstream Christian fiction feels a bit too tidy theologically. I think the truth is a bit more in between. Life is tough. We often never know why some things happen, but God still is in control. That is again the line you were talking about. It's the place where sometimes the person we pray for does end up dying from the terminal illness or that we lose our job right before closing on the house we thought God gave us. It's the world in which martyrs are sometimes eaten by the lion or burned in the fire, yet God is still in control. Sometimes the Deus ex Macina doesn't happen, but we still need the story to show us God is there and still in control and not overpowered by the enemy.


message 12: by Stoney (new)

Stoney deGeyter | 134 comments All great points Lara. I would guess that the world of Christian fiction suffers from the same problems as political fiction. And by that, I mean artists, whether in books or movies, are so intent on making the point that they create an extremely manipulative story perfectly crafted to drive the point home in such a way that you can't disagree with it. I hate stories told like that. It may be "real" but it's not the norm.


message 13: by John (new)

John Sellers | 11 comments The Bible is full of apocalyptic events. War, drought, disease, rape, muder, etc. The Bible also has redemption, survival, inspiration, God's grace, the small still voice speaking to His people. A good novel will show both sides. Even in death we can win.


message 14: by Stan (new)

Stan | 288 comments Mod
John wrote: "The Bible is full of apocalyptic events. War, drought, disease, rape, muder, etc. The Bible also has redemption, survival, inspiration, God's grace, the small still voice speaking to His people. A ..."

Excellent point John! I believe it is in Habakkuk that Israel questions God's use of the Assyrians as the army through which He would bring judgement upon them. The Assyrians were THE BAD BOYS of the ancient world and Israel knew what they would bring with them. "The evil that men do" may very well have been defined by them for their era! So yeah, there's so much in Scripture and you don't have to read between the lines to find most of it. I've said before, the Bible would be at least rated R if it were accurately portrayed in film.


back to top