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Today as part of the Academic Track at Worldcon 2009, I am giving the presentation "Anticipating Worlds Gone Wrong: Contemporary Young Adult Dystopias." For those attendees and others who may be interested, I am posting the bibliography of primary and secondary sources used to prepare my talk.

(Note added 2/21/10: This is no longer the most recent version of this list. If you follow/bookmark this link, you'll always be directed to the most recent iteration of the list.)


Half a Century of English-Language Young Adult Dystopias

1960s
The Time Quintet by Madeleine L'Engle (1962-1989) (original trilogy counted: dystopian elements)
The City Underground (a.k.a. Surreal 3000) by Suzanne Martel (1963)
The Changes Trilogy by Peter Dickinson (1968-1970)
The Tripods Series by Samuel Youd (as John Christopher) (1968-1988)
The Day of the Drones by A.M. Lightner (1969)

1970s
The Sword of the Spirits Trilogy by Samuel Youd (as John Christopher) (1970-1972)
Andra by Louise Lawrence (1971)
The Far Side of Evil by Sylvia Engdahl (1971, revised edition 2003)
The Guardians by Samuel Youd (as John Christopher) (1971)
Out There by Adrien Stoutenburg (1971)
Sleep Two, Three, Four! A Political Thriller by John Neufeld (1971)
The Morrow Duology by H.M. Hoover (1973, 1976)
House of Stairs by William Sleator (1974)
Outside by Andre Norton (1974)
The Pale Invaders by G.R. Crosher (as G.R. Kestavan) (1974)
Wild Jack by by Samuel Youd (as John Christopher) (1974)
The Girl Who Owned a City by O.T. Nelson (1975)
No Night Without Stars by Andre Norton (1975)
Noah's Castle by John Rowe Townsend (1975)
Ransome Revisited and The Travelling Man by Elisabeth Mace (1975, 1976)
Z for Zachariah by Robert C. O'Brien (1975)
City of Darkness by Ben Bova (1976)
The Missing Person's League by Frank Bonham (1976)
No Man's Land by Simon Watson (1976)
The Delikon by H.M. Hoover (1977)
Empty World by Samuel Youd (as John Christopher) (1977)
I Am The Cheese by Robert Cormier (1977)
The Ennead by Jan Mark (1978)
The Justice Trilogy by Virginia Hamilton (1978-1981)
Keep Calm (a.k.a. When the City Stopped) by Joan Phipson (1978)
The Tomorrow City by Monica Hughes (1978)
A Quest for Orion and Tower of the Stars by Rosemary Harris (1978, 1980)
The Awakening Water by G.R. Crosher (as G.R. Kesteven) (1979)
Beyond the Dark River by Monica Hughes (1979)
Dark Wing by Carl West and Katherine MacLean (1979)

1980s
The Creatures (a.k.a. King Creature, Come) by John Rowe Townsend (1980)
A Rag, A Bone, and Hank of Hair by Nicholas Fisk (1980)
Red Zone by Tom Browne (1980)
This Time of Darkness by H.M. Hoover (1980)
The Green Book by Jill Paton Walsh (1981)
The S.I.L.V.E.R. Series by Tanith Lee (1981, 2005)
The Voyage Begun by Nancy Bond (1981)
The Vandal by Ann Schlee (1981)
An Alien Music by Annabel and Edgar Johnson (1982)
The DNA Dimension, Fusion Factor (also published as It's Up to Us), Zanu, and Me, Myself & I by Carol Matas (1982, 1986, 1987)
by Carol Matas (1982)
The Huntsman Trilogy by Douglas Hill (1982-1984)
The Last Children of Schewenborn (also spelled Schevenborn) by Gudrun Pausewang (1983)
Waiting for the End of the World by Lee Harding (1983)
After the Bomb and Week One by Gloria Miklowitz (1984, 1987)
Brother in the Land by Robert Swindells (1984)
The Colsec Series by Douglas Hill (1984-1985)
The Danger Quotient by Annabel and Edgar Johnson (1984)
The Devil on My Back and The Dream Catcher by Monica Hughes (1984, 1986)
Futuretrack 5 by Robert Westall (1984)
Guardians of Time by Peter Baltensperger (1984)
The Shepherd Moon by H.M. Hoover (1984)
Beyond the Future by Johanne Masse (1985)
Children of the Dust by Louise Lawrence (1985)
Earthchange by Clare Cooper (1985)
Quest Beyond Time by Tony Morphett (1985)
Strange Tomorrow by Jean E. Karl (1985)
The Time Keeper Trilogy by Barbara Bartholomew (1985)
The Winter Trilogy by Pamela F. Service (1985-2008)
Wolf of Shadows by Whitley Strieber (1985)
The Keeper by Barry Faville (1986)
The Others by Alison Prince (1986)
Taronga by Victor Kelleher (1986)
The Fire Brats Series by Barbara Siegel, Scott Siegel, and Barbara Steiner (1987-1988)
The Makers by Victor Kelleher (1987)
Orvis (a.k.a. Journey Through the Empty) by H.M. Hoover (1987)
The Paperchaser and The Catalyst by Penny Hall (1987, 1989)
The Sword and the Dream Duology by Janice Elliott (1987, 1988)
The Obernewtyn Chronicles by Isobelle Carmody (1987-2008, ongoing)
Cityscape by Frances Thomas (1988)
Escape to the Overworld by Nicole Luiken (1988)
Eva by Peter Dickinson (1988)
The Lake at the End of the World by Caroline Macdonald (1988)
Children of Time by Deborah Moulton (1989)
The Glimpses by Laurence Staig (1989)
I Feel Like the Morning Star by Gregory Maguire (1989)
The Last War by Martyn Godfrey (1989)
Plague 99 (a.k.a. Plague) and Come Lucky April (a.k.a. After the Plague) by Jean Ure (1989, 1992)
Why Weeps the Brogan? by Hugh Scott (1989)

1990s
Invitation to the Game by Monica Hughes (1990)
Smart Rats by Thomas Baird (1990)
The Survival Squad by Floyd Priddle (1990)
A Time of Darkness by Sherryl Jordan (1990)
The Eye Witness by Caroline Macdonald (1991)
The Crystal Drop by Monica Hughes (1992)
The Dark Future Series by Laurence James (1992)
Dead Water Zone by Kenneth Oppel (1992)
Future Thaw by Audrey O'Hearn (1992)
River Rats by Caroline Stevermer (1992)
The Baby and the Fly Pie by Melvin Burgess (1993)
Guardian of the Dark by Beverley Spencer (1993)
The Giver Trilogy by Lois Lowry (1993-2004)
The Last Oasis by Sue Pace (1993)
Winter of Fire by Sherryl Jordan (1993)
The Disinherited (a.k.a. The Patchwork People) by Louise Lawrence (1994)
The Electric Kid by Garry Kilworth (1994)
The Parkland Series by Victor Kelleher (1994-1996)
Phoenix Rising by Karen Hesse (1994)
Time Ghost by Welwyn Wilton Katz (1994)
The Tomorrow Series by John Marsden (1994-1999) and The Ellie Chronicles (2003-2006)
The His Dark Materials Trilogy by Philip Pullman (1995-2000) (dystopian elements)
Fall-Out by Gudrun Pausewang (1995)
Foundling (a.k.a. Found) by June Oldham (1995)
Galax-Arena and Terra-Farma by Gillian Rubenstein (1995, 2001)
Waterbound by Jane Stemp (1995)
Into the Forest by Jean Hegland (1996)
Cave Rats by Kerry Greenwood (1997)
The Scavenger's Tale by Rachel Anderson (1997)
Shade's Children by Garth Nix (1997)
The Virtual War Chronologs by Gloria Skurzynski (1997-2006)
The Ark Trilogy by Stephanie S. Tolan (1998-ongoing)
Evan's Voice by Sallie Lowenstein (1998)
Forbidden Memories by Jamila Gavin (1998)
Off the Road by Nina Bawden (1998)
Originator by Claire Carmichael (1998)
The Shadow Children Sequence by Margaret Peterson Haddix (1998-2006)
Bloodtide and Bloodsong by Melvin Burgess (1999, 2005)
Cloning Miranda, The Second Clone, and The Dark Clone by Carol Matas (1999, 2001, 2005)
The Copper Elephant by Adam Rapp (1999)
The Cure by Sonia Levitin (1999)
Fabricant by Claire Carmichael (1999)
The Hermit Thrush Sings by Susan Butler (1999)
Out of Nowhere by Gerard Whelan (1999)
Star Split by Kathryn Lasky (1999)

Contemporary
Floodland by Marcus Sedgwick (2000)
The Heaven and Earth Trilogy by Richard Harland (2000-2003)
Incognito by Claire Carmichael (2000)
The Last Book in the Universe by Rodman Philbrick (2000)
Songs of Power by Hilari Bell (2000)
The White Fox Chronicles by Gary Paulsen (2000)
Hole in the Sky by Pete Hautman (2001)
Memory Boy by Will Weaver (2001)
Mortal Engines Quartet and prequel (a.k.a. The Hungry City Chronicles) by Philip Reeve (2001-2006, 2009)
The Noughts and Crosses Series by Malorie Blackman (2001-2008)
The Remnants Series by K.A. Applegate (2001-2003)
Violet Eyes and Silver Eyes (sequel Angel Eyes pending) by Nicole Luiken (2001)
The Wintering Trilogy by Stephen Bowkett (2001-2002)
Bootleg by Alex Shearer (2002)
Feed by M.T. Anderson (2002)
The Fire-Us Trilogy by Jennifer Armstrong and Nancy Butcher (2002-2003)
Green Boy by Susan Cooper (2002)
The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer (2002)
The Books of Ember by Jeanne Duprau (2003-2008, ongoing)
The Dirt Eaters by Dennis Foon (2003)
The Lionboy Trilogy by Zizou Corder (2003-2006)
The Silver Sequence by Cliff McNish (2003-2005)
The Bar Code Tattoo by Suzanne Weyn (2004)
The Big Empty Series by J.B. Stephens (2004-2005)
Bringing Reuben Home by Glenda Millard (2004)
Epic and Saga by Conor Kostick (2004, 2006)
How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff (2004)
The Pack by Tom Pow (2004)
Sharp North and Blown Away by Patrick Cave (2004, 2005)
The Supernaturalist by Eoin Colfer (2004)
Thinner Than Thou by Kit Reed (2004)
The Truesight Trilogy by David Stahler, Jr. (2004-2007)
Useful Idiots by Jan Mark (2004)
The Destiny of Linus Hoppe and The Second Life of Linus Hoppe by Anne-Laure Bondoux (2005)
The Diary of Pelly D and Cherry Heaven by L.J. Adlington (2005, 2007)
The Goodness Gene by Sonia Levitin (2005)
Hunted by Alex Shearer (2005)
Maddigan's Fantasia by Margaret Mahy (2005)
Pure by Karen Krossing (2005)
Surviving Antarctica: Reality TV 2083 by Andrea White (2005)
The Secret Under My Skin and The Raintree Rebellion by Janet McNaughton (2005, 2006)
Siberia by Ann Halam (2005)
Stolen Voices by Ellen Dee Davidson (2005)
The Traces Series by Malcolm Rose (2005-2o08, ongoing)
The Uglies Series by Scott Westerfeld (2005-2007)
GemX by Nicky Singer (2006)
Ads R Us (a.k.a. Leaving Simplicity) by Claire Carmichael (2006)
The Caretaker Trilogy by David Klass (2006, 2008, ongoing)
Life As We Knew It, The Dead and the Gone, and This World We Live In by Susan Beth Pfeffer (2006, 2008, 2010)
Rash by Pete Hautman (2006)
The Six of Hearts Series by Jack Heath (2006-ongoing)
The Declaration and The Resistance by Gemma Malley (2007, 2008) [O] [R 1st]
Escape from Genopolis and Fearless by T.E. Berry-Hart (2007, 2009)
Fearless by Tim Lott (2007)
First Light by Rebecca Stead (2007)
Hybrids by David Thorpe (2007)
Incarceron by Catherine Fisher (2007)
The Inferior by Peadar ó Guilín (2007)
The Rule of Claw by John Brindley (2007)
The Silenced by James DeVita (2007)
Silverhorse by Lene Kaaberbøl (2007)
Titanic 2020: Cannibal City by Colin Bateman (2007)
Tug of War by Catherine Forde (2007)
Unwind by Neal Shusterman (2007)
The Witness by James Jauncey (2007)
The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary Pearson (2008)
Bad Faith by Gillian Philip (2008)
The Carbon Diaries 2015 and The Carbon Diaries 2017 by Saci Lloyd (2008, 2009 forthcoming)
The Cure by Michael Coleman (2008)
The Compound by S.A. Bodeen (2008)
Daylight Runner by Oisín McGann (2008)
Exodus, Zenith, and Aurora by Julie Bertagna (2008, 2009, third book pending)
Gone and Hunger by Michael Grant (2008, 2009)
The Grassland Trilogy by David Ward (2008-ongoing)
The Hunger Games and Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins (2008, 2009)
In the Company of Whispers by Sallie Lowenstein (2008)
The Knife of Never Letting Go: Chaos Walking, Book One and The Ask and the Answer: Chaos Walking, Book Two by Patrick Ness (2008, 2009)
The Last Free Cat by Jon Blake (2008)
Little Brother by Cory Doctorow (2008)
The Lost Art by Simon Morden (2008)
Neptune's Children by Bonnie Dobkin (2008)
The Other Side of the Island by Allegra Goodman (2008)
Shift by Charlotte Agell (2008)
The Sky Inside and The Walls Have Eyes by Clare B. Dunkle (2008, 2009)
Truancy and Truancy: Origins by Isamu Fukui (2008, 2009)
Bones of Faerie by Janni Lee Simner (2009)
Candor by Pam Bachorz (2009)
The Enemy by Charlie Higson (2009)
The Forest of Hands and Teeth and The Dead-Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan (2009, 2010 forthcoming)
Furnace: Lockdown and Furnace: Solitary by Alexander Gordon Smith (2009)
Genesis by Bernard Beckett (2009)
Last Midnight by Parker Peevyhouse (forthcoming in 2009)
Legend by John Brindley (2009)
Libyrinth by Pearl North (2009)
Lifegame by Alison Allen-Gray (2009)
The Maze Runner by James Dashner (2009)
Skinned and Crashed (third in trilogy forthcoming) by Robin Wasserman (2009)
X-isle by Steve Augarde (2009)
Dark Life by Kat Falls (forthcoming in 2010)

Note:
Books translated into English are listed by the original date published in language of origin.




A Select Bibliography on Young Adult Dystopias

Ahtezak, Janice. "The Visions of H.M. Hoover." Children's Literature Association Quarterly. 10 (1985): 73-76.

Applebaum, Noga. Representations of Technology in Science Fiction for Young People: Control Shift. New York: Routledge, 2009.

Braithewaite, Elizabeth. "'When I Was a Child I Thought as a Child…': The Importance of Memory in Constructions of Childhood and Social Order in a Selection of Post-Disaster Fictions." Papers: Explorations into Children's Literature. 15:2 (September 2005): 50 (8).

Brians, Paul. "Nuclear War Fiction for Young Readers: A Commentary and Annotated Bibliography." Science Fiction, Social Conflict and War. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1990. 132-150.

Butts, Dennis. "The Adventure Story." Stories and Society: Children's Literature in Its Social Context. Dennis Butts, ed. New York: St. Martin's, 1992. 65-83.

Crew, Hilary S. "Not So Brave a World: The Representation of Human Cloning in Science Fiction for Young Adults." The Lion and the Unicorn. 28 (2004) 203-221.

Deane, Paul. "Science and Technology in the Children's Fiction Series." Lamar Journal of the Humanities. 16:1. (1990): 20-32.

Esmonde, Margaret. "After Armageddon: The Post Cataclysmic Novel for Young Readers." Children's Literature: The Annual of the Modern Language Association Group on Children's Literature and the Children's Literature Association. Philadelphia: 1977. 211-220.

Hintz, Carrie. "Monica Hughes, Lois Lowry, and Young Adult Dystopias." The Lion and the Unicorn. 26 (2002) 254-264.

Hintz, Carrie and Elaine Ostry, eds. Utopian and Dystopian Writing Children and Young Adults. New York: Routledge, 2003.

James, Kathryn. Death, Gender and Sexuality in Contemporary Adolescent Culture. New York: Routledge, 2009.

Kennan, Patricia. "'Belonging' in Young Adult Dystopian Fiction: New Communities Created by Children." Papers: Explorations into Children's Literature. 15:2 (September 2005) 40(10).

May, Jill and Perry Nodelman. "The Perils of Generalizing about Children's Science Fiction." Science Fiction Studies. 13:2: "Nuclear War and Science Fiction." (July 1986) 225-229.

Mendlesohn, Farah. "The Campaign for Shiny Futures." The Horn Book Magazine. (March/April 2009) Online here.

___. The Inter-Galactic Playground: A Critical Study of Children's and Teens' Science Fiction. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Co., 2009.

Milner, Joseph O. "Oathkeepers and Vagrants: Meliorist and Reactive World Views in Science Fiction." Children's Literature Association Quarterly. 10 (1985): 71-73.

Muller, Al. "Doomsday Fiction and the YA Reader." The ALAN Review. 16:1 (Fall 1988): 42-45.

Nodelman, Perry. "Out There in Children's Science Fiction: Forward into the Past." Science Fiction Studies. 12: 3 (November 1985) 285-296.

Ostry, Elaine. "'Is He Still Human? Are You?': Young Adult Science Fiction in the Posthuman Age." The Lion and the Unicorn. 28 (2004) 222-246.

Reber, Lauren L. Negotiating Hope and Honesty: A Rhetorical Criticism of Young Adult Dystopian Literature. M.A. Thesis, Department of English: Brigham Young University, 2005.

Sambell, Kay. "Carnivalizing the Future: A New Approach to Theorizing Childhood and Adulthood in Science Fiction for Young Readers." The Lion and the Unicorn. 28 (2004) 247-267.

Sullivan III, C.W., ed. Science Fiction for Young Readers. Contributions to the Study of Science Fiction and Fantasy, Number 56. C.W. Sullivan III, ed. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1993.

___. Young Adult Science Fiction. Contributions to the Study of Science Fiction and Fantasy, Number 79. C.W. Sullivan III, ed. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1999.

Svilpis, Jānis. "Authority, Autonomy, and Adventure in Juvenile Science Fiction." Children's Literature Association Quarterly. 8 (Fall 1983): 22-26.

Walton, Jo. "The Dystopic Earths of Heinlein's Juveniles." Tor.com. 5 August, 2008. Online here.

Wehmeyer, Lillian B. Images in a Crystal Ball: World Futures in Novels for Young People. Littleton: Libraries Unlimited, 1981.

Yoke, Carl B. Phoenx from the Ashes: The Literature of the Remade World. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1987.

Zipes, Jack. "The Age of Commodified Fantasticism: Reflections of Children's Literature and the Fantastic." Children's Literature Association Quarterly. 9 (Fall 1984-1985): 187-190.


Information on the Millennial Generation - USA

The Gallup Student Poll National Report - 2009
Dr. Shane J. Lopez, Senior Scientist in Residence

"Millennial Students: What Do We Know and What Does It Mean for Admissions?" - 2007
2007 College Board National Forum
Richard A. Hessel and John H. Pryor

"A Snapshot of American High Four Decades: "A Snapshot of American High Schoolers Across Four Decades: 1976; 1985; 1994; 2001" - 2006
Connie Flanagan and D. Wayne Osgood
The Network on Transitions to Adulthood Analysis of Monitoring the Future Data

"The Generation Gap Revisited" - 2004
Tom W. Smith
The Network on Transitions to Adulthood
"Generation Gaps in Attitudes and Values from the 1970s to the 1990s."



I will be posting additional reports from WorldCon 2009 soon! Thank you for reading.


"How could someone not fit in? The community was so meticulously ordered, the choices so carefully made."
- Lois Lowry, The Giver

Comments

( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
wellinghall
Aug. 9th, 2009 02:11 pm (UTC)
Good luck with your paper; I hope it goes really well.
eldritchhobbit
Aug. 9th, 2009 02:40 pm (UTC)
Many thanks indeed!
chickenfried_jo
Aug. 9th, 2009 02:58 pm (UTC)
wow, love the new journal design! lol
I wish I could go to your panel.
I remember a moment when I was around 15 when all the pressure of the 'stop drop and hide' culture caught up with me and it seemed I was facing the end of everything as we know it. I was so terrified because my imagination just would not let me go. Ever since then dystopian stories have fascinated me. I haven't read every story out there, but I do spend a bit of time always thinking what will be useful when the lights go out.
That's what we call it in our house.
When the lights go out.

You'll want someone like me when the lights go out cause I can cook over a fire. etc...

I sometimes think it was too much for a young mind to deal with but other eras have put their young through horrors we can't even contemplate now.

Hope your panel goes great!

eldritchhobbit
Aug. 13th, 2009 04:35 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much for your kind words and good wishes! The new journal design was made to fit my new official website design, so they both match. I'm so glad you like it!

I know exactly what you mean about the fascination of dystopian stories - I remember developing the taste for them when the potential for "the end of everything" seemed all toor real to me as a child.

I do spend a bit of time always thinking what will be useful when the lights go out.
That's what we call it in our house.
When the lights go out.
You'll want someone like me when the lights go out cause I can cook over a fire. etc...


Yes indeed! Those classic, so-called "primitive" skills would make all the difference in a disaster scenario. As I read some of these newer dystopian works, I'm struck by just how much I don't know - or how much I take for granted in terms of electricity, technology, etc. Being without those things would be a very rude awakening indeed. But it's good to think about those things before, perhaps, we're forced to do so...
(Deleted comment)
eldritchhobbit
Aug. 13th, 2009 04:26 pm (UTC)
Yay for well-stocked libraries! I'm still working my way through the list as well, but I've managed to get quite a few titles under my belt thus far. If you're looking for recommendations for any particular kind of YA dystopias, let me know!
st_crispins
Aug. 9th, 2009 07:31 pm (UTC)
Good luck!

I'm impressed by the list. Certainly a lot of dystopias --- any utopias? Because I find YA lit, at least what my son is assigned in school, very depressing.
eldritchhobbit
Aug. 13th, 2009 04:30 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much! I was really thrilled by how it went; we were scheduled close to the Hugo Awards, and yet the session was extremely well attended.

I've only come across a couple of utopian YA titles. The depressing aspect of this is one in which I'm very interested; I myself love a good, bleak tale, but I think it's significant that "old school SF YA" balanced fairly well the doomsday books with the optimistic, sense of wonder books. Today, YA dystopias have exploded, but there's not a similar rise in optimistic, "sense of wonder" science fiction books; instead, the trend is toward fantasy and paranormal books that look away or back rather than forward to a hopeful future. I have some theories about why this is so, but it definitely represents a change in publishing.
zornhau
Aug. 12th, 2009 10:16 pm (UTC)
Transcript...?
I don't suppose that now you've given the talk, you'd like to post a transcript?
eldritchhobbit
Aug. 13th, 2009 04:25 pm (UTC)
Re: Transcript...?
Unfortunately, I don't really have a transcript; I spoke from general notes. However, I've been invited to give an expanded version of this talk next month at the University of Louisville, and my understanding is that a recording of this longer version will be available as a free download via the StarShipSofa podcast. I'll post more when I know the exact details. I'm grateful for your interest - thank you!
(Anonymous)
Aug. 20th, 2009 06:31 am (UTC)
I'm astonished and impressed by the rigour of your research. I didn't know anything about Worldcon till I noticed you were referencing my novel The Last Free Cat and would be fascinated to know more about the event, and how your talk went down.
Jon
eldritchhobbit
Aug. 22nd, 2009 08:04 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much for visiting my blog and for replying to my post! I appreciate your kind words. Worldcon is the annual World Science Fiction Convention; this year was the 67th such event, and it was held in Montreal, Canada. Next year's will be in Melbourne, Australia. Approximately 4,000 or so people attend, and the programming includes literary, academic, media, publishing, art, and fan tracks, among others, as well as the Hugo Awards ceremony. I gave my talk as part of the academic track, and I must say, I was thrilled by the response. Not only was it well attended (standing room only!), but the Q&A session that followed spilled out into the next hour. I am grateful for the attendees' interest and support! I'll be giving a longer version of this talk as a guest speaker at the McConnell Center at the University of Louisville next month.
(Anonymous)
Aug. 20th, 2009 06:43 am (UTC)
Apologies - somehow missed the last comments, so congratulations on your success. I'm interested to know how a novel is defined as dystopian: TLFC describes an oppressive future society (not that far removed from present reality) but is in no sense a pessimistic book a la 1984. Is that unusual?
Jon
www.feela.co.uk
eldritchhobbit
Aug. 22nd, 2009 08:10 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much! The critical literature itself disagrees on how to define dystopia; there are at least half a dozen different perspectives on the subject. For my practical purposes in looking at the YA novels, I defined dystopia as a world - most likely our world - gone wrong; in order to cast a wide net, I included not only stories of bad regimes that had emerged, but also post-apocalyptic and post-disaster novels that focused more on the oppressive or problematic world that had developed in the wake of great crisis rather than on the disasters/apocalypses themselves. All of these are united by the warnings, both explicit and implicit, that they contain for readers ("If things don't change...").

Edited at 2009-12-17 01:58 am (UTC)
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )