1. Zoe Jackson

    Zoe Jackson New Member

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    Urban Any Disaster/Dystopian Fans?

    Discussion in 'By the Genre' started by Zoe Jackson, Mar 21, 2017.

    Hey all, I have no idea if this actually can go here but I really need some opinions and I thought who better to ask.

    I'm writing my first novel and the genre is mixed between disaster and dystopian, as in everything books, movies and TV they are my favourite genres. I'm drawn to these genres for specific reasons, especially the effect this setting has on characters and what they're drawn to do, how they come to live life that has changed drastically and how certain characters step up against the higher power. I'm drawn to the hope and faith people maintain and their beliefs when the shit has hit the fan. That's something I've always loved so writing something on those lines has been amazing, but I'm curious.

    If you are a disaster/dystopian genre fan please, I would love to know what it is about them that has you hooked and keep coming back for more?
     
  2. Pinkymcfiddle

    Pinkymcfiddle Banned

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    I find it funny how many Dystopian/ post-disaster TV shows there have been in the US over the last ten years, it seems that the acknowledgement of an Empire's slow decline has fully entered mainstream media. I don't enjoy these series too much though, even the biggest of them, The Walking Dead, had a promising first season but swiftly turned into a tedious soap opera.

    Why do I like Dystopian drama? Because it strips people down to their most basic. Sometimes I would like to see a lot of the strange fabrication we have created removed; fiat currencies that have no intrinsic value outside of government decree, wage/ debt slavery, ever-expanding wealth inequality, a system of law that protects the huge immorality of the rich while punishing the most basic needs of the poor, a psychopathic form of capitalism that rewards the worst human behaviour, economic colonialism.... I would happily see some of these structures burn to the ground, and it would make a pleasant change to solve some issues with just a fist rather than a fist hidden behind weasel words.
     
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  3. Lew

    Lew Contributor Contributor

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    I have enjoyed this genre since before it had this name. One of my earliest was "A Canticle for Leibowitz," a post-nuclear apocalyptic world. Growing up in the sixties when nuclear war was an ever-present possibility (I was a freshman in High School for the Cuban Missile Crisis, and yes, we all watched the news intently), I read that book about that time. How would the world look after nuclear war?

    I have just started one, "The Carrington Event," about a solar flare that destroys almost all of the planet's electrical and electronic infrastructure. I like exploring such scenarios as writer, to see just how we would survive, without the things that make the things that make the things we think we can't do without. And there would be many who would not survive. There would be the best aspects of humanity, and the very worst: which would prevail and why?
     
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  4. Tenderiser

    Tenderiser Not a man or BayView

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    I don't like dystopian because it always seems to come down to a group of people hiding out in fear, and a stranger/s joining them who may or may not be trustworthy, and a lot of shooting people. It's all about mistrust and selfishness and misery, and that's not my thing.

    I love disaster stuff though. Rather than focusing on the worst of human nature it usually focuses on characters who find strength and skill they didn't know they had, helping strangers selflessly and surviving against the odds. It has all the tension of dystopian without the doom and gloom. I like a generous dose of science mixed in, with science-y characters explaining what's happening and coming up with an ingenious way to stop it.
     
  5. pyroglyphian

    pyroglyphian Active Member

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    I'm into dystopian, though of a less disaster-orientated kind. One of the many ideas I liked in Marcuse's One-Dimensional Man was that an evaluation of advanced industrial society is difficult because there are few external vantage points from which to view its behaviour. By extrapolation and exaggeration, dystopian sometimes offers a frame of reference within which to contemplate the less savoury forces that influence our lives. A recent example of this I guess is when 1984 sold out during Kellyanne Conway's 'alternative facts' saga; people seeking a wider framework to aid in understanding the significance of the event. Others may look to historical examples for a similar reason.
     
  6. NateSean

    NateSean Senior Member

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    I like the different ways an author explores how the world would work if we all had to reset. What would we lose? What remains? What would we gain and would it be enough to keep us going?

    There's always going to be plot holes. You're not going to plug them all.
     
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  7. peachalulu

    peachalulu Member Reviewer Contributor

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    I love disaster and dystopian but I like the more interesting aspects that the stories don't seem to touch like the old British 70s Survivors series which was about a pandemic killing off 90% of the population and the series followed the survivors trying to restart civilization. It was less about who's a psycho and more about cities being unlivable because of the dead bodies decomposing, and what to do when someone is hurt -- no doctors, how to actually survive when you have no real skills to survive. To me that's the fascinating angle. Characters trying to remake themselves at ground zero.
     
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  8. Lew

    Lew Contributor Contributor

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    I have a real-world dystopian situation. A friend of mine went to visit her 93 year old mother in Beaumont Texas just recently released from surgery, in time for Hurricane Harvey. Home flooded, rescued by the "Cajun Navy" who took them to St Charles, LA, put them up in a Holiday Inn at their own expense for two nights, Called to make sure they were OK and did they need more nights? Dystopian can be good.
     
  9. making tracks

    making tracks Active Member

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    The type of dystopian I love to read is things like Brave New World and Faranheit 451. They're uncomfortable to read because there are so many parallels with where we are, which is also why they're so good. I love the way they comment on society while still having a gripping plot and characters. Similar to what Charlie Brooker has done with the Black Mirror tv series. They really make you take a hard look at yourself and the world around you.
     
  10. Mrs.Smith

    Mrs.Smith Member

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    We used to call this TEOTWAWKI (The End of the World as We Know It), back in the day. I've always liked reading it even though most of the time you had to turn off your inner editor or lose your freakin' mind at all the mistakes. There was good work (A Canticle for Leibowitz, mentioned above is an excellent example), Lucifer's Hammer was another one. But a large majority of the teotwawki books back in the day weren't picked up by "professional" publishers and the editing was atrocious.

    I prefer disaster to straight Dystopian. I want to see hope and enduring spirit rather than desolation and despair, but that's just me.

    What I like about this genre is similar to what the OP likes - humans stripped down to the basics with all the noise of modern civilization gone and the character's ability to find solutions, make do, rise above.

    What I've complained about for decades with this genre is that women are always portrayed as property to be traded, helpless damsels to be protected, or confused and frightened servants whose only value is their ability to feed and care for the valiant warrior lead characters. Which is utter horse shit.
    Natural leadership does not require male genitalia. Nor does it require a Sarah Connor with all the femininity of a stick of furniture. Women can be strong, respected leaders (even of men) and still be emotionally stable and innately female. I'd love to see a well-written female lead a post-apocalyptic group to safety and security in a well-prepared compound defending it's place in new world. Write it and I will buy it!
     
  11. Jacob Rausch

    Jacob Rausch New Member

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    I enjoy dystopian fiction, but I also find it tobe a guilty pleasure. There's so many dystopias that we seem to have given up trying to envision a better tomorrow. That's something I'd like to write.
     

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