Recently, I finished a book set in an unknown future. It was pretty grim, so I'm assuming that it would fall under the category of dystopia (even though it wasn't marketed that way).
According to several online dictionaries, the definition of dystopia is: An imagined place or state in which everything is unpleasant or bad, typically a totalitarian or environmentally degraded one. Yep. That sums it up pretty well.
They sheer misery of this future really got to me for some reason. I started thinking about several other dystopian stories I've read the past few years and, according to them, our future looks pretty bleak.
My response? Blech!
Why does the future have to be so full of despair? I'm certainly no Pollyanna, but one thing I could never understand was why anyone would allow society to deteriorate to this miserable level. Didn't anyone ever stand up and proclaim that it was wrong to allow children to fight to the death? That it wasn't okay for 16 year old girls to be used as sexual toys? That maybe burning all the books was a little foolish? That no, forced polygamy wasn't okay? Aren't people better than that?
Yes, life will be tough after the zombie apocalypse or plague or war or whatever caused society to fall, but still....
I don't think I've read any futuristic stories that didn't have a miserably bleak setting. Why? The Jetsons was set in the future and they weren't miserable. They had cool flying cars, a great house, and even a robot maid! Nothing bleak there! And Star Trek! Star Trek was always optimistic about discovering new civilizations and that we would all get along. What happened to those futures?
I seem to be in a funk, but maybe I'm just getting tired of dystopia with their predictions of misery and despair. Our present has more than enough of that to go around, so why not dream of a better future? Books are my escape, and no one has ever wanted to escape to someplace worse than where they already were.
Anyone know of any good books that aren't so miserable? I'm really tired of it being okay for children to fight to the death, being forced to procreate, or be used as chattel. *sigh*