Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The Writer's Alphabet - U is for Utopia

As genres for writers and readers become more and more defined (ex: New Adult deriving from Young Adult, Erotic Horror deriving from Horror) fantasy fiction was bound to develop into several different sub-genres.  And that is what has happened.  Today you can find dystopic fiction, steampunk, Ectopian and Utopian fiction.  I relied heavily on internet information regarding these genres because admittedly, I do not write in any of them.  I welcome any and all corrections and input.

  • The definition of utopian fiction is this: a novel that presents an ideal society where all social problems like crime or poverty, have been eliminated.  You have certainly read many books with this theme.  My favorites are George Orwell's 1984, Farenheit 454, The Handmaid's Tale, and Aldous Huxley's Brave New World.  More recent examples also include Matched by Ally Condie and the Hunger Games trilogy.

  • So, as utopian fiction concerns the creation of an ideal society, dystopian fiction is the complete opposite: the creation of an utterly horrible or degraded society that is generally headed to its own catastrophic end.  Examples include Cloud Atlas, and the Divergent Series.

  • Yet another off-shoot, called Ectopian fiction.  This is where the author creates either a utopian world or dystopian world which revolves around environmental conservation or destruction.  Fun examples of this would be the movies Avatar, Wall-E, and Robo-Cop. Ectopian fiction is also referred to as Cli-fi, due to it's heavy reliance as climate as nearly the star.

  • This is a sub-genre of Science Fiction that typically features steam-powered machinery especially in a setting inspired by industrialiezed Western Civilization in the nineteeth century.  Steampunk works are set in either an alternative history of the Victorian era or a post-apocalyptic future in which steam-powered machinery has regained mainstream use.  Well-known authors in this genre include Phillip Reeve's quartet Mortal Engines, and Scott Westerfeld's Leviathon trilogy

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