The simplest way of defining dystopian novels is to know what the word dystopia means. A dystopia is a society that has gone wrong. It may be due to a natural disaster such as an atomic explosion or floods wiping out the population. Equally it can be due to a repressive government or robots taking over the world.
The idea of a dystopia is the opposite of a utopia. This term is taken from the Thomas Moore novel of the same name. The concept of utopia is a perfect society in which everyone is satisfied and everything works properly without any problems or fear. In some cases a story about a dystopia may appear to be describing a society like this but will often go on to reveal this is not the case.
In a dystopia everything has gone wrong. One of the most famous examples of this is the George Orwell novel 1984. In this vision of the future a repressive government uses surveillance and propaganda in order to watch over people and to ensure that they obey their government.
It is from 1984 that concepts such as Big Brother, Room 101 and doublethink entered the public consciousness. The ideas have since been used in other media such as the graphic novel V For Vendetta and the science fiction film The Matrix.
A common feature of a dystopian novel is that it will have a bleak ending. In the case of George Orwell he had worked for the government and had seen the effects of propaganda. In many respects his vision of the future was how he feared the world would become if totalitarianism was left unchecked. The point of these stories is often that the writer wants to warn people of how society could potentially change for the worse.
While dystopian novels may be cynical this does not necessarily mean they are hard to read. Brilliant concepts and fascinating debates about what could potentially happen in the future often mean the story stays with people long after they finished reading the stories. Look online to find various titles and read reviews to see what you would like to read.
There are a variety of genres of of novels currently on the market, like spy fiction and detective stories, butdystopian novels have recently seen a surge in readership. One of the newest series in the genre is “Save the Pearls”, a trilogy by American writer Victoria Foyt. Set in a post-apocalytpic future, it’s the adventures of a teenage girl that must find a mate to survive in the harsh world she inhabits.