[LMB] Dystopias

Elizabeth Holden azurite at rogers.com
Mon Sep 23 19:32:08 BST 2013

I'm enjoying the discussion of dystopias, but I'm not sure from context what people mean by a dystopia.   What some people refer to as dystopian, I'd say was just a really depressing book with no real political angle at all. 

I don't like depressing books, but I'm sure there are dystopias I've enjoyed reading about.  I like The Hunger Games well enough... I wouldn't call the Harry Potter books dystopian because however much the reader might like or dislike the governance of Harry's world, Harry himself is more concerned with good vs. evil within the world as it exists for him.  The ending, as I understand it, lies in a resumption of the status quo, presented as a happy ending for all.  In other words, I don't think Rowling is presenting wizard society as bad, she's presenting Voldemort as bad.  (I like to think of him as Vordemort, the Barrayarn evil wizard.)

I'd say that Bujold doesn't write dystopias, though she writes books in which I'd think of some of the worlds as distopias.  But her thrust is humanistic, not political.  She makes the point that good people can and do exist in a good system, and vice versa.  

I don't like cynical books and ideas, and I find there's way too much depressing material in popular culture now for my taste; especially in movies and TV.  I like heroic, romantic, morally-introspective stories.


in Ottawa 


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