Monday, January 10, 2011

Why Do People Love Dystopian Novels?

Dystopian novels are huge right now. In the aftermath of the enormous (and well deserved) success of The Hunger Games Trilogy, more dystopian novels are being released than ever before.

I love a good dystopian novel. Many years ago, I read The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood. Blew. My. Mind. I rushed out and immediately read George Orwell's 1984 and Aldous Huxley's Brave New World. These three novels cemented my love of the dystopian genre.

And then, as things usually go in life, I forgot about the genre completely. There weren't a lot of books set in dystopian societies being released regularly and those that were weren't getting enough attention to show up on my radar. Since I started blogging, I've been reintroduced to dystopia through such amazing books as Margaret Atwood's Oryx and Crake, The Hunger Games Trilogy (obviously) and Matched by Ally Condie. Mind. Blown. Yet. Again.

I've added a large amount of dystopia to my TBR and wish list. I'm stalking publishers catalogs looking for great new books in the genre. I may have started to become slightly obsessed. And it made me wonder, why dystopia?

Not just why do I like dystopia, but why does anyone? It's not exactly the most uplifting of genres. Of course, I also love horror and those aren't usually feel-good books either. For me, I think it's a natural progression from my love of horror. Horror is awesome, but many times it includes a supernatural element that negates any realism. With dystopia, it's all possible. And if done right, it feels likely. The scariness is in the chance, no matter how small, that this could be a glimpse at the not-to-distant future.

Do you love dystopia? Why? What are some of your favorite books in the genre? Any soon to be released books you can't wait to get your hands on?

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