Christian Speculative Fiction discussion

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Dystopian/Apocalyptic: Not the end?

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message 1: by Lara (new)

Lara Lee | 500 comments Mod
Have you ever read an optimistic dystopian story? Do you think it is possible to write a story in which the characters are rebuilding or feeling hopeful about the future? Would that even be dystopian any more?


message 2: by Smaug (new)

Smaug the Unmerciful Editor (goodreadscomsupremedrake) | 28 comments I recall that as the premise of Scythe where people live forever because of fancy future technology and nanobots in the blood, so the government sends Scythes (basically executioners)to go around slaying all the people who are in drugs or aren't perfect citizens or are threats to society or what-have-you. The world is portrayed by the MCs as an almost perfect utopia. Government controlled and everything.

Lots of books START OUT as optimistic dystopian (like people living behind a wall, protected from monsters by the government--- there are more books like that than I can count), but then the MC inevitably discovers the truth and it's not so optimistic anymore.

Another, Divergent (which I stopped reading because of tewibble things) was sort of hopeful for the future, with farms and whatnot, but again the deeper truth about the whole thing was that the government hides all the bad stuff going on.

Do those count? It seems hard to find a truly optimistic dystopian.


message 3: by Christine (new)

Christine Norvell Lara wrote: "Have you ever read an optimistic dystopian story? Do you think it is possible to write a story in which the characters are rebuilding or feeling hopeful about the future? Would that even be dystopi..."

Yes! Lois Lowry's Giver Quartet. By the end of Gathering Blue and into Messenger and Son, people are drawing into community and rebuilding. Granted, the new world is a reversion like the Middle Ages, but it is clearly hopeful.


message 4: by Stan (new)

Stan | 288 comments Mod
Optimistic? I guess it depends on one's point of view as to what is optimistic. I read The Iron Heel by Jack London, which was being billed as "dystopian". It is London's forecast of the victory of socialism after their "long game" is complete. It is told from the standpoint of socialist victory recounting the exploits of one of the key figures in the revolt and overthrow of capitalism. So, for a socialist it would appear to be optimistic. For a non-socialist it reveals great naivete on London's part. It is apparent that he could not see the greed in his MC and the socialists in their fight against the greed of capitalism. Ironic!


message 5: by David (new)

David  | 4 comments Lara wrote: "Have you ever read an optimistic dystopian story? Do you think it is possible to write a story in which the characters are rebuilding or feeling hopeful about the future? Would that even be dystopi..."

Lara, Noah's ark is the fundamental dystopian story. Noah finds himself in a terrible world. Through his creativity,faith in God and devotion he turns it around and it is a Very optimistic story.


message 6: by Lara (new)

Lara Lee | 500 comments Mod
David wrote: "Lara, Noah's ark is the fundamental dystopian story. Noah finds himself in a terrible world. Through his creativity,faith in God and devotion he turns it around and it is a Very optimistic story. "

You know, I never thought of Noah's arc as dystopian, but it fits perfectly!


message 7: by Sean (new)

Sean Padraig | 19 comments Lara wrote: "... a story in which the characters are rebuilding or feeling hopeful about the future..."
Made me think of the Outlaw Josey Wales. Where everything is continually tragic. A marked man with nothing to live for has Union soldiers and bounty hunters gunning for him. Certain doom on the way, but an odd assortment of people with devastated lives keep clinging to him and they all keep moving toward this tiny hope. An old woman whose lost her whole family insists that her dishonorable son was actually honorable, in telling her about a small destitute ranch house where they could all stay and eek out an existence. And when they arrive the Indian tribes attack them all, and they come to realize the peace they all seek is really fulfilled in them needing each other.


message 8: by Stan (new)

Stan | 288 comments Mod
Sean wrote: "Lara wrote: "... a story in which the characters are rebuilding or feeling hopeful about the future..."
Made me think of the Outlaw Josey Wales. Where everything is continually tragic. A marked man..."


Been a long time since I've seen the Outlaw Josey Wales. Was it a book before it was a movie? I've never checked on that.


message 9: by Sean (new)

Sean Padraig | 19 comments Stan wrote: "Been a long time since I've seen the Outlaw Josey Wales. Was it a book before it was a movie? I've never checked on that."
Whippoorwill Publishing of Arkansas published only 75 copies (at the time of the film) The Rebel Outlaw Josey Wales. The appeal to me of the film was that it didn't romanticize war or the west.


message 10: by Stan (new)

Stan | 288 comments Mod
Sean wrote: "Stan wrote: "Been a long time since I've seen the Outlaw Josey Wales. Was it a book before it was a movie? I've never checked on that."
Whippoorwill Publishing of Arkansas published only 75 copies ..."


Wow! Only 75 copies. I bet the originals that remain are worth quite a bit. I'm surprised no one has bought and rereleased it! And, I'm sure it'll be under copyright for quite a few more years before going into the public domain.


message 11: by Sean (new)

Sean Padraig | 19 comments Stan wrote: "Wow! Only 75 copies. I bet the originals that remain are worth quite a bit. I'm surprised no one has bought and rereleased it! And, I'm sure it'll be under copyright for quite a few more years before going into the public domain." I just round one on Amazon. "The Rebel Outlaw Josey Wales" by Forrest Carter, hardcover $900.


message 12: by Stan (new)

Stan | 288 comments Mod
Sean wrote: "Stan wrote: "Wow! Only 75 copies. I bet the originals that remain are worth quite a bit. I'm surprised no one has bought and rereleased it! And, I'm sure it'll be under copyright for quite a few mo..."

Turns out there were other printings too. So, other editions are more affordable. But, I looked into the author. Seems he was a member of the KKK and got kicked out for killing two other members. Must have been an "interesting" fellow.


message 13: by Sean (new)

Sean Padraig | 19 comments Stan wrote: "Turns out there were other printings too. So, other editions are more affordable. But, I looked into the author. Seems he was a member of the KKK and got kicked out for killing two other members. Must have been an "interesting" fellow."
Eeeek!


message 14: by John (new)

John Sellers | 11 comments The Book of Revelation is as Dystopian and Apocalyptic as you can get but it has a great ending where the forces of evil are destroyed and God and those who follow him are saved. Then, if your a millennialist, there's a thousand years of peace and happiness. The tough part will be getting there but God has put the world through the refiner's fire many times before. I write about it in Half Hour of Silence.


message 15: by R.A. (last edited Aug 14, 2020 12:48PM) (new)

R.A. Derdeyn | 2 comments A few years ago, I beta read Paladin's Odyssey by Bruce Fottler, an indie writer. It is a Dystopian novel told in retrospect, but, in fact, it has a very positive theme. It tells an engaging story.


message 16: by Jonathan (new)

Jonathan Yanez | 3 comments David wrote: "Lara wrote: "Have you ever read an optimistic dystopian story? Do you think it is possible to write a story in which the characters are rebuilding or feeling hopeful about the future? Would that ev..."

See! That's one of the things I really enjoy about the Bible that so many people miss. There's so much of it that really reads more interesting than fiction. I hadn't thought of the Flood story as Dystopian but it absolutely is.


message 17: by Jonathan (new)

Jonathan Yanez | 3 comments R.A. wrote: "A few years ago, I beta read Paladin's Odyssey by Bruce Fottler, an indie writer. It is a Dystopian novel told in retrospect, but, in fact, it has a very positive theme. It tells an..."

Interesting. Just added to my TBR list. I'll have to check it out.


message 18: by Jonathan (new)

Jonathan Yanez | 3 comments As an author, Hope is always a central theme in my stories. I could (and often do) write my characters into the direst of situations but I include a flicker or a flame of hope. It's what keeps the reader going and it's true to the life we as believers live - no matter what 2020 throws at us! ;)


message 19: by Glenn (new)

Glenn Wilson | 19 comments Recently finished Paladin’s Odyssey and besides bring a bit too close to home (H1N1 flu variant anyone? Published 2016) it does end in an overtly positive ending.


message 20: by J (new)

J W (johnwozniak) | 2 comments Hi, New member here. I like this thread. I am specifically writing a series with an optimistic post-apocalyptic setting, over a century after the Tribulation, during the 1000 year reign of Christ. Decades ago I speculated about what it would be like to rebuild the earth after seven years of utter destruction. I couldn't find a book like that to read, so I started writing. It's been years of painstaking research to get both the science and Bible of it correct. I've found over 900 pertinent Bible verses so far.


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