Dystopia is very popular in fiction, but how close is it to future reality?
Dystopia is everywhere we look in the world of books. Next to vampires, and guys without shirts, it seems to be the most popular and wide-spread of all genres.
When I looked up the word in the dictionary it read: ‘an imaginary community or society that is undesirable or frightening.‘
It made me wonder if there is a word for an ‘actual community or society that is undesirable or frightening.’ If there’s not, we should probably create one. Leave your suggestion below!
Although I’m not a big fan of dystopian, I have enjoyed a few books such as Anthony Burgess’ A Clockwork Orange, Orwell’s 1984, and more recently Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro. If the success of The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, and Divergent by Veronica Roth is any measure, I’m in the minority.
Why is this genre so popular? Is it a way for us to feel better about our current situation?
It was 1971 that I read Clockwork Orange, and at about the same time, attended a Hawkwind concert at St Andrew’s Hall, Norwich. It was the ‘In Search of Space’ tour, and Silver Machine had recently been high in the charts. If they have psychedelic rock bands in futuristic dystopian worlds, these guys are it.
I was eventually to see Hawkwind on many occasions, but none of them stuck like that first mind-altering concert. The music was loud and psychedelic as hell, the air thick with weed. But all of that fades to grey compared to seeing the amazing Stacia Blake dancing on a smoke-filled stage, wearing nothing but body paint, and lit by strobes and oil wheels. It’s one of my more enduring memories.
I scoured the internet for some authentic concert footage, but the only video I could find is a sanitised and very tame TOTP version. Anyway, turn the sound right up (push in your earbuds if you’re on one of those things) and slide sideways through time with Hawkwind. I hope you enjoy it.
This one’s for you, Stacia …