Monday, May 16, 2011

The Rise of the Dystopian

I have been a mega Dystopian fan for a long, long time.  I remember reading The Giver in middle school, then rereading it at least once a year after that.  I suck in stories like Equilibrium and Farenheight 451 as if they are air.  Just a year ago, when I told my friends that my favorite genre was dystopian, they would do one of two things:

1.  Wrinkle their noses in confusion and ask what the heck that is.
2.  Nod and walk away, obviously unsure of what I had just said but figuring it was better than asking.

It used to be nearly impossible to find a good dystopian that I hadn't already read, skimmed, devoured.  I actually became quite frustrated.  While I do adore many other genres, there was something about this particular one that had captured me.  I was hooked.

Now?  Now everyone loves dystopians.  Just in the last year, I have watched as the adoration for the genre has spiked.  Shelves at the bookstores are jam-packed with dystopians and people are raving about this brilliant take.  While I do relish the fact that I don't have to dig as hard at the stores now to find my favorite genre (I just bought three this week), I find I am also somewhat dismayed.

Movies have been rampant with dystopians for ages.  If you like scifi, you like dystopian movies.  Many of the required reading in school consisted of select dystopian titles.  So, why is it that everyone is acting like this is a new fangled genre?  As a fan of years, I feel almost put off that it hadn't recieved this love so much sooner.

But hey, at least it is getting love now.

My other issue?  I write dystopian.  While I do write other genres, my current WIP and few other future ones are dystopian.  A few years ago, my novel stood a great chance at being picked up in the market.  It was unique and different.  Now?  Now the market is flooded and almost impossible for my little dystopian here.  I have even heard it first hand from an agent.  The competition is so high, it is almost rediculous.  So, do I stand a chance?

I think that is my biggest worry.

Readers.  Enjoy these awesome takes on the future.  The fun part is the crazy ideas the author turned into almost reality as you flip the pages.  The scary part is seeing them come true in the world around us.
Let's hope the love stays long enough, at least, for these few futures I have written and plan to write. *crossing fingers*

Now the big question stands: What will the next big thing be? 
We have gone through Vampires.  Werewolves.  Zombies.  A touch of angels.  Is there another new craze just around the corner?  Will dystopians stay, or fade into the memories of once turned pages?


Afton said...

I read a while back that the next thing would be mermaids, but I haven't seen it yet.

Shallee said...

Um...amen. I've loved dystopia forever, and I started writing one before the genre really exploded. Now I'm worried about the same things you are-- standing out in an over-saturated market.

Good luck! I hope your story makes it through the market gauntlet. :)

Trisha said...

I can see why you're concerned, but I still think you definitely stand a chance - just make sure yours is really special! :D

Keary Taylor said...

I think dystopians are here to stay for a while. Like you said, it's been around forever. Maybe all they hype around it right now is just a fad but I don't think it will completely go away.

I could see something with aliens kicking up. We've already seen "I am number four" so maybe something like that will be the new thing ;)

Andrew Leon said...

I would guess that dystopians have a good chance for the next five years or so, at least. They're popular because people see the future as being a very bleak place, and it's going to be a while till that changes. At least until the economy starts to recover.


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