Another difference between yesteryear's dystopias
and today's: The older authors were usually either trained in the sciences (Heinlein was a naval engineer; Anderson earned a B.A.
From the start, I noticed a typical formal split in the author's approaches to dystopia
. On the one hand, some seem to refuse to assume the kind of shared intimacy with their object literary critics so often accept as a part of their endeavour.
In classic dystopias
, the dissemination of history is strictly controlled and manipulated, with knowledge of 'real' history a potentially dangerous element for resistance--from Nineteen Eighty-Four's protagonist rewriting the history books to Brave New World's 'history is bunk'.
The silent prototype for elitist dystopias
is "Metropolis." In Fritz Lang's 1927 masterpiece, the affluent live in fabulous skyscrapers, while the lower orders toil in misery, underground.
A New York Times forum on the grim dystopia
boom featured one novelist in the genre asserting that teens in our mismanaged times are demanding to read "something that isn't a lie." Writing on the phenomenon in The New Yorker, critic Laura Miller wondered if the authoritarian societies that dominate the trend are analogues to the oppressive world of high-school students, who are constantly monitored and hassled and forced to compete.
Given the divergence of Butler and Atwood from "critical dystopia
," it will be more feasible if we can consider the possibility of adopting another label--"post-apocalyptic dystopia
"--to describe dystopias
around the millennium.
Of the dystopias
here, Hughes's achieves this balance best, although it must be said that the didacticism becomes more heavyhanded as the trilogy progresses.
Similarly, in her compelling study of "Utopia and Dystopia
in Gisele Pineau's L'Exil selon Julia  and Fleur de Barbarie " (180-192), Bonnie Thomas looks at the strikingly different manner in which two generations of exiles live the tensions between Guadeloupe's idyllic image, its somber colonial past, and the later move to Parisian suburbs.
Gottlieb's definition of 'dystopia
' raises further questions.
I choose to take a mirror-opposite view of the surge in dystopian fiction in general, and feminist dystopia
The book begins with a chapter on untranslated Portuguese language sf by Luana Barossi, "Through Different Eyes: Relative Dystopia
in Post-Apocalyptic Topoi"--a good choice because it offers a glimpse into non Anglo-American production.
Extraction is a dutiful servant to the recently minted formula for young adult dystopias
. It features a repressive government, a life-altering exam administered to teenagers, and a heroine with that special something that enables her to bring down the system.