Hi there! I'm Julia Karr (bio on the right) and today's my day on the blog!
I'd like to look at the question of "why I write dystopia" through the lens of this Lewis Carroll quote, "If you don't know where you are going, any road will get you there."
It would be pretty amazing if governments and people had any idea where they were going - but, for the most part, they don't. That's not to say that many individuals don't have a perfectly good idea where they are headed - at least career-wise. And, goal-setting gurus have tapped into an incredibly lucrative market filled with seminars, books, cds, dvds, and so on to help people achieve their dreams. But, the truth is - if you look at the big picture - most peoples and countries are just living day to day. There may be some set agenda (as with political parties in the United States - each with their set agendas and when they get into power they try to implement them, which usually means spending 4 to 8 years of battling the other party to get even a quarter of their campaign promises through congress) but, for the most part - we just muddle along, following the status quo and living our lives, occasionally jarred out of our singular path by outward or personal events.
So, what does that have to do with writing dystopian novels? Well, while the majority of us are cruising along on auto pilot, things are happening. Some of those things seem good and some have a bit of a sinister undertone if, like me, one takes works such as George Orwell's 1984 to heart. I wonder at how easy it is for people to accept that Chicago has 10,000 cameras taking constant pictures of residents... and not to think beyond how "safe" that might make Chicagoans feel and how easy it will be for the city to add even more surveillance as they deem it necessary.
And, that is just one small example of what fascinates me about how we come to accept certain things as "just the way things are."
When I write speculative/dystopian fiction - I'm exploring those "any roads" that will get humankind where they are going - whether they really want to be there - or not.
Now you know why I write what I do. So, the logical next question is... why do you read dystopian novels?
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