Tuesday, April 24, 2012

A to Z: Utopian vs Dystopian Fiction

It's quite possible that all you other bloggers/writers/readers out there are more brilliant than I and this is quite possibly NOT news to you. But the other day someone mentioned something about a book being Utopian instead of Dystopian and I had that moment where I was at a loss.

Mostly because, as most of you know, the YA market for Dystopian literature is so HOT right now. It's what we've been reading. So when I heard Utopian, I had to pause. Is it a joke? Something someone made up? I've heard the word before and knew it was a proper term, but was it a proper GENRE of book?

According to Wikipedia, which is never wrong *snicker*, it is. Also, I found it on Goodreads, which I consider to be much more legit.

Utopian is based on the creation of an ideal world as the setting for a novel, whereas Dysopian is the opposite, the creation of a "Nightmare" world if you will.

Obviously the latter (in my opinion) lends itself to being much more interesting to read about. Then again, is there really any Utopian society? Like people, society has its flaws. There will always be something to "rise up" against. So maybe the two terms are more intertwined than they seem at first.

All I know is that this genre has some of my most favorite books, the ones that tend to stick with you in the long term.

A few among the Utopian/Dystopian crew: The Hunger Games, Divergent, Delirium, The Uglies Trilogy, 1984, Matched, A Clockwork Orange, The Stand, V for Vendetta, Animal Farm, Lord of the Flies...the list goes on and on.

What about you? Are you a fan of the genre? Have a favorite?


  1. I'm definitely an Orwell fan.

  2. Interesting post. Can't say I am one or the other. Never thought of these terms as writing genres, I just read the words and if I like them I read on :) Stopping by from the A-Z challenge. Nice to meet you.