Science Fiction/Dystopian Genre Discussion

For April 2019, we'll be reading books in the Science Fiction/Dystopian genre!
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hsimone
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Science Fiction/Dystopian Genre Discussion

Post by hsimone » 10 Apr 2019, 16:28

Welcome to the Science Fiction/Dystopian Genre Discussion! It should be a fun month for reading :techie-studyingbrown:
  • Science Fiction can be thought of as, "a genre of speculative fiction, typically dealing with imaginative concepts such as advanced science and technology, spaceflight, time travel, and extraterrestrial life."
  • Dystopian is a genre that explores social and/or political practices. The following could be included in this genre: "mass poverty, public mistrust and suspicion, a police state or oppression."
As we dive into this genre, maybe we can keep in mind the following questions as we share what we are reading or have read:
- What are you reading?
- Was this strictly Science Fiction or did it have Dystopian elements? How do you know?
- Were there other genres woven into the story?
- Overall impressions? Would you recommend the book?
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Lindsey Klaus
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Post by Lindsey Klaus » 10 Apr 2019, 19:04

I absolutely love both of these genres. Dystopia usually brings a lot of character anguish to the game and plays off scifi really well. The last Dystopian I read was actually The Hunger Games trilogy (or reread, I should say). The books really know how to tug at the heartstrings. The characters are mostly sympathetic and you desperately want them to survive. It's really good. And it's a plus that the pacing is lightning quick. I definitely recommend the series to the 2 people who haven't actually read it yet, if they enjoy YA fiction and/or resourceful female protagonists.

Another dystopian sci-fi story I absolute love is Worm my John McCrae (also known as Wildbow). It's an online web serial that is very long with fantastic world building. It takes place in a universe with its own very dark twist on superhero tropes, and takes on many shades of gray rather than sorting its world into black and white. Heroes aren't who they seem, and villains aren't always evil. While it is definitely a superhero story, it has a lot of sci-fi in it and definitely takes place in a dystopian world. I love how the author applies real world logic and science to explain how powers work in his story. It does start off rocky though, as it was the author's first serial, but trust me, it's worth continuing.

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Post by hsimone » 16 Apr 2019, 16:45

I really enjoyed The Hunger Games trilogy, too, but I never heard of Worm by John McCrae. I may have to check this one out - thanks for the recommendation!
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Post by Dragonsend » 16 Apr 2019, 17:23

Of course at the top of my favorites, a Handmaids Tale, Farenheight451, and Stephen Kings The Running Man, ooh what about Waterworld? Any way I like all of those. Would Mad Max qualify? That movie was insane!
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Post by hsimone » 18 Apr 2019, 08:55

Dragonsend wrote:
16 Apr 2019, 17:23
Of course at the top of my favorites, a Handmaids Tale, Farenheight451, and Stephen Kings The Running Man, ooh what about Waterworld? Any way I like all of those. Would Mad Max qualify? That movie was insane!
I wasn't too big of a fan with Handmaids Tale - I liked the concept/premise, but I wasn't a fan of how it ended. Fahrenheit 451 is one that I've been meaning to read, and I haven't read anything by Stephen King - I've been worried to try one of his books, lol. I haven't seen Waterworld - is that just a movie or is it a book, too? Mad Max I think is Dystopian, too. Thanks for sharing these! :)
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Post by gali » 18 Apr 2019, 09:27

I have read the Hunger Games trilogy, Handmaids Tale, Farenheight451, The Running Man and loved them all.
In the case of good books, the point is not to see how many of them you can get through, but rather how many can get through to you." (Mortimer J. Adler)

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Post by Dragonsend » 18 Apr 2019, 12:15

I love he whole dystopian genre, the heroes are always fighting for something "normal", the basics of freedom and justice and those are things worth having. I just started reading 1984 by George Orwell and I am enthralled with this book . I had just finished reading The Turn by Matthew Tysz and I was always interested in Nietzche and nihilistic sociology. In my opinion the absolute epitomy of what leads to the loss of love, hope and in the end, life. They are truly horror stories. As stated earlier you are drawn into the story wanting the people that want to live and love and to give that to people that have lost those things, makes for great reading and motivation.
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Post by Dragonsend » 18 Apr 2019, 12:23

Waterworld is indeed a book and a movie . A world that has been flooded for quite some time and they have built atolls out of things that were salvaged in the past, they have been with no land for quite some time, for there are now a few muties, mutations, however there is a legend of dry land and the plot revolves around this. Very good.
The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. 2 Peter 3:9 :angelic-grayflying:

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Post by Dragonsend » 18 Apr 2019, 14:26

Sorry for so many posts but here is a question? What would you do if you lived in a society that was oppressed by a lie about something fundamental that led to oppression or pain? Should that be a new topic? I would risk my life for change..
The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. 2 Peter 3:9 :angelic-grayflying:

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Post by Nisha Ward » 18 Apr 2019, 17:04

I've read The Hunger Games and seen Divergent, but my favourite Sci-fi series is the Ender's series. There's something very profound about that one that seems to transcend authorial intent.
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Post by Lindsey Klaus » 19 Apr 2019, 12:24

hsimone wrote:
16 Apr 2019, 16:45
I really enjoyed The Hunger Games trilogy, too, but I never heard of Worm by John McCrae. I may have to check this one out - thanks for the recommendation!
I hope you like it! The protagonist is incredibly resourceful and strategical with a unique skill set, making each fight interesting and different from most others you see in the genre. The story has definitely made me gasp out-loud several times during climactic battles. It helps that the main cast are incredibly lovable, you can't help but root for them - even when you know they're in the wrong. They're a bright spot in a very dark world.

The beginning is unfortunately a bad place to make an impression, though. It reads at first like a mediocre self-insert fanfic, BUT this feeling quickly goes away within the first couple of (short) arcs. It's one of the story's biggest criticisms, because the rest of it is so, so, so good, but most people lose interest as the first few chapters turn them off from the rest. It's unfortunate, because it quickly improves and proves to be different from anything else in its genre, subsequently averting, subverting, and deconstructing multiple tropes in both the sci-fi and superhero genres. Dystopia is heavy with this one. The protagonist is easily my favorite character of all time. (Though I don't often agree with her motivations, I usually understand where she's coming from)

If you can't tell, I'm a bit of a fangirl. *Fans self dramatically and sighs*
Dragonsend wrote:
16 Apr 2019, 17:23
Of course at the top of my favorites, a Handmaids Tale, Farenheight451, and Stephen Kings The Running Man, ooh what about Waterworld? Any way I like all of those. Would Mad Max qualify? That movie was insane!
I know it's not a book, but Mad Max is a great movie. I love Fury Road, it blew my mind the first time I saw it. I believe it has a comic prequel floating out somewhere in the nebulous.

I'm ashamed to say I haven't read Stephen King's The Running Man. I know, I know. Cuff me.
Dragonsend wrote:
18 Apr 2019, 12:15
I love he whole dystopian genre, the heroes are always fighting for something "normal", the basics of freedom and justice and those are things worth having. I just started reading 1984 by George Orwell and I am enthralled with this book . I had just finished reading The Turn by Matthew Tysz and I was always interested in Nietzche and nihilistic sociology. In my opinion the absolute epitomy of what leads to the loss of love, hope and in the end, life. They are truly horror stories. As stated earlier you are drawn into the story wanting the people that want to live and love and to give that to people that have lost those things, makes for great reading and motivation.
I think that's a big reason why dystopia is so intriguing. It challenges your perspective of right and wrong, pitting characters between morals and their will to survive. It's also part of what makes it so dang depressing at times, because we like to think these things connected (morals and survival), but they aren't always. I subscribe to the thought that certain morals - like helping your fellow man - benefit society in the long-term, but it's harder to subscribe to that thought if I'm pitted against my fellows by a utilitarian government that encourages dog-eat-dog because it benefits them if the masses are divided against each other, rather than united against the government. And sometimes, for some people, it's impossible to have the energy or resources to care about anyone but yourself.

Sometimes you have to sacrifice everything you are in order to stay alive, and build yourself from the ashes of who you used to be. Dystopia pushes characters to make these profound choices that you don't often see in most other genres.

That's the point, isn't it? You have to see humanity at its worst in order to fully appreciate it at its best.
Dragonsend wrote:
18 Apr 2019, 14:26
Sorry for so many posts but here is a question? What would you do if you lived in a society that was oppressed by a lie about something fundamental that led to oppression or pain? Should that be a new topic? I would risk my life for change..
I think it's very easy to read a narrative of an oppressed people rising up against their oppressors and hope you'd be one of them. I want to say I'd be one of the people fighting the power and spreading truth. But the truth of reality is a lot more gray and gritty. In all reality, I think most people would be living the lie, unaware there was any other truth. That happens all the time in real life (albeit most of the time on a smaller scale), and unfortunately, as so often happens, fiction reflects reality.

I think the best way to start a rebellion is a whisper campaign. If I discovered the truth of the lie, I don't see myself on the front lines - not because of cowardice, but because that's not where my skill set lies - and one of the best ways of fighting oppression is knowledge and communication (it's why corrupt governments work so hard to spread lies and destroy books and education, or pit people against each other so they care less about what the other side has to say). People underestimate the power of a good whispering campaign - just ask anyone in marketing. It's a powerful tool to get people on your side without immediately setting off alarms. Because who can spread the word, if everyone who knows the truth is dead?

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Post by Dragonsend » 19 Apr 2019, 15:01

Positive change is created one step at a time, here is an example, if everyone who saw a piece of trash laying around somewhere and took two seconds to pick it up then we would have a lot less trash on the ground, if you see an injustice, based on strong moral convictions, and you take the time to explain, make an example, or take some other type of affirmative action then the truth, justice, and freedom would be uncorruptible. Sounds like American principle, I wish everyone would get involved in a positive way . Hope I haven't gotten too far away from the topic!☺
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Post by Dragonsend » 19 Apr 2019, 15:26

In the Hunger Games the protagonist is so decisive, she rules the games by her actions based on a certain belief, she only kills if attacked. Later in the story she loses a little of this decisive edginess. I believe the outcome would have been the same without that little bit of waver on her part.
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Post by gali » 29 Apr 2019, 01:12

I finished Unwind by Neal Shusterman, a very dark Dystopian with original premise. It revolves around a world where abortion is abolished, but parents can unwind their trouble-making teens (ages 13 to 18); Meaning, sending them to camps where their body parts are taken to be transplanted to those in need of them. The book follows the lot of three escapee unwinds. It was good but disturbing read, with some slow portions in between. I gave it 3 out of 4 stars.
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Post by Ekta Swarnkar » 29 Apr 2019, 01:32

I really enjoy reading science fiction and dystopian separately and these are one of my favorites...but I have never read the fusion of both of them. I hope I like it.

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