This door swings both ways...

I am so hearing '60s British Invasion songs on brain radio tonight!  I promise - I will tie this in with dystopian!

Beth's post yesterday about Among the Hidden by Margaret Peterson Haddix - and it's population control theme got me thinking about the reverse. Which is seen in P.D. James (adult) dystopian thriller, Children of Men, where all men on earth have become sterile and no babies are being conceived. And, two movies - Waterworld and Tank Girl - one, the overabundance of water, the other the scarcity.

Those opposite views of the future are what I love, love, love about writing dystopian novels. Anything can become unwanted if it's too much - and just the opposite is true, too.

There was much talk around the blogosphere last week about Mary E. Pearson's The Adoration of Jenna Fox - which has its roots in a world where bio-engineering is controlled to the extreme - one side of the coin. I'm sure you can find a dystopian novel where medical science has been all but forgotten and the world needs bio-techno advances. (Actually, if you can't find one - maybe one needs to be written!)

Often, when I am noodling out ideas of future books, I take an event or technological advance and spin it out to the extreme. Once there - I look to see if that extreme can be viewed as both good and evil - depending on the lens through which one is looking. Then, I get to decide if it's story-worthy and, if it is - will it be the sought-after utopia or the present dystopian nightmare. My guess is, that, depending on the day & my frame of mind - it could be either!

5 comments:

Angie said...

I'm adding Jenna Fox to my to-read list!

Julia Karr said...

It's a great book!

Jemi Fraser said...

Going to the extreme end of the what if scale is so much fun. It sure makes for some interesting stories :)

Elana Johnson said...

Great post, because something as simple as water can be used to build a world. It's all about making it different, yet similar enough, to our world, and causing people to think about what their life would be like without water -- or with too much.

Julia Karr said...

Thanks, Jemi - Extremes are fun (mostly in stories though - not so much in real life! lol!)

Thanks, Elana. It does take only one small thing - either excess or scarcity - that can make us think.