And now, on the subject of YA dystopias...
* From The New York Times: "Our Young-Adult Dystopia" by Michelle Dean. There are some interesting assertions here, especially in the context of Divergent and The Bone Season:
"I often wonder if the people in charge of these decisions noticed that Rowling was 30 when she sold Harry Potter, or that Collins was 46 when The Hunger Games appeared.... Forgive the presumption, but our present circumstances lead me to suggest another item for C.S. Lewis’s list: We like these stories because they have a special relationship with time. Children’s literature toys with our chronological expectations because the best of it has always been written, actually, by the comparatively elderly. Lewis himself was 51 when the Narnia books came out; Lois Lowry was 56 when The Giver was published; Madeleine L’Engle wrote A Wrinkle in Time in her 40s, and L. Frank Baum his Oz books in the same decade of his life. Age is what the greats have in common. The long years between adolescence and middle age seem to be necessary soil for this craft."
* On a related note, from Charles Stross: "Generation Z." (Thanks to whswhs.)
Stross articulates some of the questions I've been asking in my work:
"There has been a boom market in dystopian young adult fiction over the past decade. There is a reason for this. Play and recreation is an important training mechanism in young mammals by which they practice or rehearse activities that will fit them for later adult life experiences. (It's also fun, but bear with me while I discuss the more ploddingly puritan angle for a moment.) Could it be that the popularity of YA dystopias reflects the fact that our youngest generation of readers expect to live out their lives in dystopia? (The alternative explanations hold that (a) high school in the age of helicopter parenting, fingerprint readers in the library, and CCTV in the corridors is an authoritarian dystopia anyway, and YA dys-fic helps kids understand their environment; and (b) that worse, their parents (who influence their reading) think this.)"
On a less dystopian note, happy early birthday wishes to angelinehawkes, idwoman, pseudoanorexic, vyrdolak, lyria_theringer, bistokidsfan77, catw, dragonrose1125, dduane, lexie_marie, jalara, theladyrose, elvenjoy, jan_u_wine, gondoriangirl, vivien529, and senket. May each of you enjoy many happy returns of the day!