And a quote for the day, directly relevant to the recent discussions about dystopias and post-cataclysmic fiction.
On Utopia and Dystopia:
To me the important thing is not to offer any specific hope of betterment but, by offering an imagined but persuasive alternative reality, to dislodge my mind, and so the reader's mind, from the lazy, timorous habit of thinking that the way we live now is the only way people can live. It is that inertia that allows the institutions of injustice to continue unquestioned.
Fantasy and science fiction in their very conception offer alternatives to the reader's present, actual world.
-Ursula K. Le Guin, from "A War Without End" in The Wave in the Mind