For this challenge Karin the Librarian asks us to create a list of books we've read with similar themes. From Big Brother (1984) to The Sisterhood (The Forest of Hands and Teeth) I like reading about a protagonist desperately trying to figure out what's wrong the prevailing order. So, some of my favorite dystopias from this year are:
The Maze Runner - Thomas wakes up in an elevator without any idea where he is or who he is. Turns out he's one of many boys living in a community surrounded by huge walls that open each morning into a labyrinth and close each night to keep out monsters. But when the elevator brings new surprises the boys realize that time is running out to solve the maze and figure out who's behind it all.
What makes a good dysopian story? For me, the powers that be need to be spooky, deceptive, dangerous, manipulative and wield a lot of unchecked power over the lives of those they govern. And they usually govern through fear. They don't have to be a hated power. Take for instance The Sisterhood who the villagers trust and only through circumstances does Mary find out they withhold information to heighten fear in order to maintain power. In The Maze Runner the boys feel incredibly manipulated which leaves them feeling powerless and resentful of "the man behind the curtain."And Katniss feels manipulated by the Capitol as well as scared of its unbridled use of power to stifle lives in the Districts. A mark of each story's ruling power is deception. The control of information is usually what keeps protagonists jumping through hoops - they never know what's happening, things are not often as they seem and their plans are often laid to waste because they are misinformed.
What makes a good dytpopian society to you? What are some of your favorite messed-up fictional communities?