Dystopian Fiction

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Even better than the real thing: Counterfeit realities and twentieth century dystopian fiction

Even better than the real thing: Counterfeit realities and twentieth century dystopian fiction

Form harbours ideology, and the refusal to present the imagined future in a unifying, inclusive perspective precludes any attempts to label Neuromancer as either dystopian or utopian, and goes a long way forward to explaining the radical "newness" of cyberpunk as a literary phenomenon. Neuromancer was regarded by some critics not as a "mere" novel, but rather as a conceptual map or key to the new cultural terrain of the post-industrial society. LSD-prophet-turned- Internet-prophet Timothy Leary, never hesitant to overstate the case, claimed that Gibson "had produced nothing less than the underlying myth, the core legend, of the next stage of human evolution". 123 Media theorist Douglas Kellner claims that Gibson forms a sort of social theory, continuing the critical tradition of Jean Baudrillard and "mapping our present from the vantage point of his imagined future", "charting the ways that new technologies are impacting on human life creating new individuals and new technological environments". 124 Film theorist Scott Bukatman attempts to convey the post-literary status of Neuromancer by referring to it as a cyberspace in its own right, a metafictive project aimed at bringing the "complexities of cybernetic culture to a kind of [...] sensible [...] cognitive experience". Its technical jargon and "absence of traditional pacing" makes the novel "best experienced as something other than narrative", and the non- literary method for reading Neuromancer is finally described metaphorically, in terms of the post-literate activity the novel’s protagonist excels in: "The reader must jack into Neuromancer – it’s a novel for would-be cyberspace cowboys." 125
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2019_Rigsby.pdf

2019_Rigsby.pdf

For an author to establish a credible and detailed society is one of the most critical aspects of dystopian literature. Without the creation of that environment, readers may not fully believe or immerse themselves in the text. World-building is important in creating a believable narrative; without the fictional reality for the characters to exist in with an acceptable degree of verisimilitude, it is difficult to construct an authentic and compelling story. One key facet of those fictional realities is the language used and the specific words which are crucial in determining that the worlds are unlike our own. The often innovative ways in which both characters and narrators communicate in dystopian fiction give readers insight into and context for the psychology and rationale of the dystopia, whether it be that of the characters themselves or the government or creator of the dystopia. Beyond just insight into the dystopian psyche, creative use of language establishes a sense of novelty for readers that can often override or mask the true horrors of these fictional worlds. Authors use and distort existing language in order to change meaning based on circumstance and allow readers to accept outlandish fictions as reality within their respective narratives. Accepting or not accepting these realities can impart on readers a sense of conflicting morality, often between that of their own world and the fictional world.
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No future : the realist impulse in dystopian fictions in Britain, 1973-1987

No future : the realist impulse in dystopian fictions in Britain, 1973-1987

By the examining the bleak times of the 1970s and 1980s in Britain and the outgrowth of powerfully negative fictions from this period, we can easily take critics and historians of dystopian fiction to task for their neglect of this unique body of work. I remind the reader again of Erika Gottlieb’s claim “that the postmodern critic’s overly broad use of the notion of dystopia is counterproductive to a clear definition of what is unique about dystopian thought or dystopian fiction.” 61 The simple question to raise is, How in the world does broadening our understanding of dystopian fiction through the lens of postmodern culture become counterproductive? If anything, Adorno and Horkheimer’s and Marcuse’s theories of society during the contemporary period of the late twentieth century enable us to see our times more clearly as dystopian cultures that are littered with abuses of human rights. If the overall goal of dystopian fictions is to raise immediate awareness about certain present-day human or technological tendencies that could go awry in the near future, then revising our understanding of dystopian fiction to include works of realism or social realism written during oppressive contemporary periods only serves to bring us closer to such an awareness. Despite the intense pessimism and brutality of Ballard, Amis, Barker, and Cliff’s works, their dystopias of the present ultimately create utopian possibilities for greater political and social
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Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake: an Ecocritical Approach

Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake: an Ecocritical Approach

Oryx and Crake, is a dystopian fiction, echoing the theme of The Handmaid’s Tale. (1985) It is typically an environment literature, describing how the future world losses its ecology, how disasters happen, and how human beings come to the devastation. The novel deals with the contemporary issues like worldwide warming, genetic engineering, declining resources, scarce species, sexploitation and a wearing down of kindness. This paper attempt to apply an ecocritical approach to Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake. It aims to study the ecological consciousness reflected in Oryx and Crake from the perspective of ecocriticism. Ecological crisis can be categorized into three layers- environmental crisis (population explosion, natural disasters, epidemic diseases, wrenched animals, human extinction), social crisis (gender crisis, loss of language), and spiritual crisis (loss of culture and loss of belief). The causes of the crisis reflected in the novel are- human manipulation of nature, egoism and malfunctions of belief. Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake alerts man about the environmental disaster. By exhibiting the horrible scenes that might happen in the future, Atwood arouses the ecological consciousness in the readers, leading them to think about the way to avoid the destruction path in the fiction. Investigation on the environmental awareness in Oryx and Crake is of immense importance to literature and culture. It warns people to reflect on the path man has pursued. It leaves the question of how to reconstruct the green civilization.
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It rained fire : "The Running Man" from Bachman to Schwarzenegger

It rained fire : "The Running Man" from Bachman to Schwarzenegger

Considering the vast number of genre pictures connected to King, it might seem puzzling that The Running Man (Glaser US 1987) and Thinner (Holland US 1996) are the only two films adapted from a book originally credited to Bachman. However, given the tonally grim and politically radical nature of the Bachman books, it is not a great surprise that of seven novels published under King’s literary double, five have never made it to the screen. Thinner’s adaptation is perhaps understandable; of all the Bachman books, it most resembles the larger part of King’s body of work. John Sears notes that Thinner’s basic narrative is strikingly similar to The Shrinking Man (1956) by sf stalwart Richard Matheson (85–6). But while it could reasonably be considered a work of sf, Thinner is most easily categorised as a horror novel; it concerns an obese lawyer who is cursed by gypsies to grow thinner and thinner until he wastes away to nothing. The Running Man, however, is typical of Bachman’s angry dystopian fiction: a novel penned in 1971 under Richard Nixon’s Republican administration and published in 1982, shortly after the election of Ronald Reagan and the rise of the New Right. Both at the time of its writing and its publication, then, The Running Man – like Rage, The Long Walk and Roadwork – should be considered a work of political protest.
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Women Marginalization and Political Corruption in Margaret Atwood’s the Handmaid’s Tale

Women Marginalization and Political Corruption in Margaret Atwood’s the Handmaid’s Tale

In dystopian fiction, moreover, women are ―ultimately subjects and not citizens. Humanism, for example, undermined this vision. It thus presented a potential threat to the social and political values that were derived from traditional thought. In other words, feminism could theoretically view men as free citizens taking equal part in fashioning the body politic and determining its course of marginalizing women‖ (Hoagland 56). Cora, in The Handmaid‘s Tale, is depicted in inferior position to men. She only does house work: ―Cora has run the bath. It steams like a bowl of soup. I take off the rest of the clothes, the overdress, the white shift and petticoat, the red stockings, the loose cotton pantaloons. Pantyhose gives you crotch rot, Moira used to say. Aunt Lydia would never have used an expression likecrotch rot. Unhygienic was hers. She wanted everything to be very hygienic‖ (32). She is divided between; ―modesty, prudence, diligence, self– control, and self– restraint issue, thus, from his general image of men and women in society‖ (72). In addition, Offred suffers from the same problem: ―As for the subversive Waterford was accused of harboring, this could have been ―Offred‖ herself, as her flight would have placed her in this category.
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The Conundrum of Language: Controlling Reality through Language in Dystopian Novels

The Conundrum of Language: Controlling Reality through Language in Dystopian Novels

On 13 May 2019 The New Yorker published a cartoon by Joe Dator, picturing a librarian replacing dystopian novels such as Nineteen Eighty-Four, The Handmaid’s Tale and Fahrenheit 451 from the fiction shelves to the non-fiction shelves. This recent cartoon exemplifies the interest in dystopian fiction in the non-academic world, which is mirrored in academic research. The numerous articles 1 and essays regarding dystopian novels focus on an astounding variety of angles, from climate change to surrogate motherhood, from future medicine to gender equality. This thesis will explore three dystopian novels, George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949), Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale (1985), and Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 (1953), from an internal, rather than external, point of view by exploring the manipulation of language by powerful parties within the novels, in order to analyse how language is exploited to control society and to control society’s sense of reality, as well as keeping that perception of reality in place. Chapter 1 will discuss the dystopian novel as a genre. It will also introduce key concepts from structuralist and formalist approaches to literature, such as the arbitrariness of language, approaches of exclusion through language and defamiliarization, which will serve to analyse the methods of manipulating language. The subsequent chapters will present the insights provided by these tools for each of the three novels, revealing the different and yet similar approaches to control over language and reality.
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The Association of Gender, Age, and Coping with Internalizing Symptoms in Youth with Sickle Cell Disease

The Association of Gender, Age, and Coping with Internalizing Symptoms in Youth with Sickle Cell Disease

Offering no solutions, only an avenue into the unknown, the marvelous combines the real and the imaginary in such a way as to incite an individual to explore what is only hinted at. Just as the ghosts are unable to be tangibly held in Matthew Gregory Lewis’ The Monk they also play “un rôle logique, puisque l’esprit critique ne s’en empire pas pour les contester” (“a logical role in the book, since the critical mind does not seize them in order to dispute them”; Manifestes 25, 14 translation Lane and Seaver). The critical mind cannot offer a solution, and neither can the marvelous. However it incites us to explore further the mystery presented. Just as a concept retains its meaning due to its historico-cultural context Breton notes that “le merveilleux n’est pas le même à toutes les époques; il participe obscurément d’une sorte de révélation générale dont le détail seul nous parvient . . .” (“[t]he marvelous is not the same in every period of history: it partakes in some obscure way of a sort of general revelation”; 26, 16 translation Lane and Seaver). These fragments can be found in the haunted castle in Gothic fiction “ou tout autre
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5051.pdf

5051.pdf

My first chapter, “The Detective’s Story: Narration, Persuasion, and Justice in William Faulkner’s Fiction,” discusses Faulkner’s engagement with the centrality of narrative conventions in the representation of the past in both major novels like Absalom, Absalom! and Go Down, Moses and his detective fiction. I contend that Faulkner’s fiction shows not only that law is narrative and rhetorical in nature, as Jay Watson has previously argued, but that investigation itself—the search for and interpretation of evidence—is narrative and rhetorical, as well. The readings in the chapter demonstrate that Faulkner’s work anticipates the claims that scholars such as White later made about style and narrative conventions determining the shape of historical writing. Additionally, they suggest that Faulkner’s understanding of the nature of historical research and writing is even more radical than White’s: where White sees imagination at work “at the last stage of [the historian’s] labors, when it becomes necessary to compose a discourse or narrative in which to represent his findings, that is, his notion of ‘what really happened’ in the past,” Faulkner, in Intruder in the Dust and his short detective fiction, represents the investigation of crimes or other past happenings as inflected, from the moment the investigation begins, by the shaping force of the end narrative that the detective figure knows he will eventually have to tell about what has happened (Content 67-68). The presence of this end narrative is so strong during the course of the investigation that it causes the detective to identify some facts and objects, but not others, as evidence for the emerging story, even as those facts and objects are first encountered. Narrative
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The religion of heritage:  The Manawaka fiction of Margaret Laurence.

The religion of heritage: The Manawaka fiction of Margaret Laurence.

The religion of heritage: The Manawaka fiction of Margaret The religion of heritage: The Manawaka fiction of Margaret Laurence.. Melanie Dawn Mortlock University of Windsor.[r]

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Narrative Immunities: The Logic of Infection and Defense in American Speculative Fiction

Narrative Immunities: The Logic of Infection and Defense in American Speculative Fiction

Narrative Immunities: The Logic of Infection and Defense in Narrative Immunities: The Logic of Infection and Defense in American Speculative Fiction.. American Speculative Fiction.[r]

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Назаренко О. В., Великодна А. І. Семантичні особливості ономастичного лексикону в сучасному фентезійному дискурсі (На матеріалі романів Джорджа Р. Р. Мартіна «Гра престолів»)

Назаренко О. В., Великодна А. І. Семантичні особливості ономастичного лексикону в сучасному фентезійному дискурсі (На матеріалі романів Джорджа Р. Р. Мартіна «Гра престолів»)

The article deals with the semantic features of onomastic lexicon in contemporary fictional discourse. It is based on the novels «The Game of Thrones» by George R. R. Martin. In this study, considerable attention is paid to the problem of the determination of onomastic lexicon and its significance in shaping a broad panorama of fictional reality. The analysis was carried out to determine the main tools used to deprive the fictional work of an automated and standardized form. It is determined that proper names are used to single out a particular detail of the character’s image: personality traits, profession, social status, etc. The semantic and expressive features of the onomastic vocabulary in the fiction literature, as well as its role in the author’s accent on the problems of a writing are analyzed. It has been established that the onomastic lexicon is a tool for expressing the emotional and value component of the image by the author, helping to create an additional conceptual context.
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Ganefs and prophets, philosophers and fools : literary and genre in contemporary fiction : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Creative Writing at Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand

Ganefs and prophets, philosophers and fools : literary and genre in contemporary fiction : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Creative Writing at Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand

Jay’s note of the severe cropping of the canon between 1890 and 1950 is important, as it still directly affects contemporary critical evaluation today. Theo D’Haen’s essay “Genre Conventions in Postmodern Fiction” casts a light on the efforts to categorise and define literature during this period. The most influential categorisation was F.R. Leavis in The Great Tradition (1948), who defines the literary novel as one that depicts “life in its entire physical, emotional, and social complexity…by primarily realist techniques” (qtd. in D’Haen 406). D’Haen writes that this definition, and Leavis’ elevation of “psychological or sociological works’ rapidly became an accepted cultural precept. D’Haen believes Leavis made a value judgement that affected the canon’s historical works and future works, and inflicted his own time’s preferences even on the contemporary canon (406). Both Jay and D’Haen emphasise the danger of assuming contemporary critical value judgements will be valid in the future, as this has not been the case historically. Paul Cobley also reminds us of the transient nature of categorisation in any era. In “Firing the Canon” he argues that contemporary criticism cannot see the process behind historical texts achieving canonisation nor consider future considerations that may decide the fate of work being produced now:
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Fiction and Reality: Serial Killers as a Product of Postmodern Fiction

Fiction and Reality: Serial Killers as a Product of Postmodern Fiction

Instead of producing original crimes, serial killers are processing and converting fictional accounts and others peoples interpretations of themselves. Although people like to assume that all actions are a result of choice, people are subconsciously processing the environment, information, and experiences through their actions. Seltzer states “One effect of such a collapsing of the distinction between production and processing is a collapsing of the distinction between the life process and the machine process” (Seltzer 76). Life process is using data collected from experiences and making an individual choice, while the machine process is reflecting the data that has been inserted and acting on it. Humans act on a mix of machine process and life process, depending on the prescribed to theory, and so serial killers are subject to reflecting their inserted data. As previously explained, the looping effect is a result of serial killers responding to representations of themselves. While responding, serial killers are also processing the information into actions, instead of producing an original choice. Serial killing is not wholly an original crime, producing a subconscious persona to reflect fictional expectations. The erosion of the difference between productions of actions and processing is connected to the mixing of fact and fiction, especially for serial killers.
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Fiction Novels in the Digital Age How enhanced e-books deal with narrative linearity and the power of imagination in the realm of fictional storytelling

Fiction Novels in the Digital Age How enhanced e-books deal with narrative linearity and the power of imagination in the realm of fictional storytelling

chronological order of connected events. But as stated, a story can constantly change, in its events, characters and settings. What need to persist are the core elements of the story, they have to follow a certain order which proceeds chronologically from the beginning to the end although the narrative discourse may present them in a different order. But how flexible is this order of a story, what are the limits and how fixed are they? When Barthes wrote ‘An Introduction to the Structural Analysis of Narrative’ in the 1960s, he saw the tradition of narrative threatened by the world it is exposed – a world of technical achievements and changes where vanguard creators and readers of narrative started to break with existing rules. Digital publishing which started in the 1980s allowed experiments with the tradition of narrative under digital conditions. New forms of narrative found fertile ground in the field of digital publishing and storytelling: electronic literature 92 and hypertext fiction shoke the literary world to the very
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Dystopian futures: time-travel and millenarian visions in the poetry of Anna Barbauld and Charlotte Smith

Dystopian futures: time-travel and millenarian visions in the poetry of Anna Barbauld and Charlotte Smith

Barbauld's futuristic vision annoyed the Tory reviewers on two counts. Not only is it a vision of Britain in ruins, but adding insult to injury, the tour around the country's wreckage is undertaken by a New World tourist 'From the Blue Mountains, or Ontario's lake' (130). We follow this figure on his visits to various geographical locations, where once British 'statesmen, sages, poets, heroes trod' (132). He moves from the banks of the Isis, northwards up the country following its major rivers to the classic Romantic site, the Lake District, where he visits 'stern Skiddaw' and the waterall at 'Lodore' (154). It is in London with her 'faded glories' (158) that he lingers however, and it is here that Barbauld's future vision is most overtly dystopian, and the contrast between present and future most striking. Like Carthage and other once- mighty cities, London is 'fallen' (211), and all that is left are fragmentary relics of an earlier might: 'the fractured arch, the ruined tower,/Those limbs disjointed of gigantic power' (253). The young tourist climbs 'broken stairs' (172) to a 'crumbling turret' (171), and from here is granted a panoramic view of London's desolation, and of the Thames which, 'choked no more with fleets' (175), 'Through reeds and sedge pursue[s] his idle way' (176).
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The Debate about Responsible Artificial Intelligence in
the European Union: Utopian or Dystopian? :
A qualitative content analysis of utopian and dystopian visions in the debate about ‘Responsible AI’ in the European Union between 2016 and 2018

The Debate about Responsible Artificial Intelligence in the European Union: Utopian or Dystopian? : A qualitative content analysis of utopian and dystopian visions in the debate about ‘Responsible AI’ in the European Union between 2016 and 2018

Ideally, this research will contribute to the realm of research associated with content analysis in political institutional contexts. Thus, it will contribute to an understanding of how ‘Responsible AI’ is theoretically constructed in the EU and how it connects to elements of utopian and dystopian visions. The debate on how corresponding officials view and construct a responsible AI is going to be crucial for the formation of policies that are going to affect AI regulation in the future. Through the analysis of how AI and responsibility is discussed in the data, insights will be gained as to how they approach AI responsibility from a political, policy and public administration perspective. AI, especially future versions have a lot of potential to affect our lives in very direct ways. Future AI systems will have to make decisions that will decide over life and death. A near future example of this would be an autonomous car that - for whatever reason - drives into a crowd of people without the possibility to break in time. However, it can still steer the direction, leading to the ethically challenging question of where to steer and whose lives to save of those in the crowd. Possible morally challenging scenarios like these demonstrate that an ethically responsible AI is needed that integrates a deep understanding of our moral values. But how do we decide if an action or inaction by an AI is ethical or not? Scientists and engineers develop AIs through a process called ‘reverse engineering’ (Miłkowski, 2013). In this process they extract cognitive processes from the human brain, copy so called neural networks and reverse engineer them into artificial networks.
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'I am Trying to Believe':  Dystopia as Utopia in the Year Zero Alternate Reality Game

'I am Trying to Believe': Dystopia as Utopia in the Year Zero Alternate Reality Game

One aspect of the loss of the utopian imagination that is transcended in dystopian works is its affiliation with technology. Although once seen as quite utopian itself, technology became a major part of the loss of utopian energy after the development and use of the atomic bomb. A constant fear of atomic destruction during the Cold War brought about a pessimism toward technology that is another symptom of postmodernity. However, technology allows for utopian cultural production to be produced in entirely new ways. One example of this is the Alternate Reality Game. The Alternate Reality Game is an immersive experience that harnesses the pervasive technologies of the postmodern era. It is a multi-media genre that brings together many people that collectively seek out an alternative reality to escape the constraint of their own reality. In its very nature as an alternative to the social hegemony of late capitalism, the ARG is rich with utopian energy. This utopianism is twofold: it is manifest in the desire of gamers to seek out an alternative to the social status quo, and it provides a means to creating a real one via the technologies and methods that are central to the genre’s structure. In this way games put forth a call to action against the aspects of culture that are dystopian themselves. One example of an Alternate Reality Game whose attributes are consistent with the dystopian, yet utopian, “genre” discussed herein is Year Zero.
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Scottish fiction

Scottish fiction

backgrounds. There could be said to be little that is characteristically Scottish in her work, influenced as it is by contemporary European movements such as the nouveau roman, were it not for the fact that she was frequently aware in her writing that the circumstances of her formation were everywhere implicit in the alienated conditions of her fiction. Spark called the Edinburgh in which she grew up, a ‘place that I, a constitutional exile, am essentially exiled from.’ She added, ‘it was Edinburgh that bred within me the conditions of exiledom; and what have I been doing since then but moving from exile into exile?’ 2 Growing up a racial Jew and a woman in a city that was the home of John Knox and the historic capital of a now stateless nation, Spark was primed in childhood to understand the effects of de-centredness and disconnection: a reassuring sense of familiarity co-existing with a uneasy feeling of not quite belonging that would give her fiction its characteristically uncanny charm, blending the familiar and homely with the unsettling and alien.
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Spiral fiction

Spiral fiction

Message boxes contain arguments with audio and physical consequences. The ‘loop’ variable dictates the grain size of the sample being processed with 1 being equal to 125 ms (small) and 7 being equal to 875 ms (larger). The item ‘scal’ relates to the scaling of the function. The proportional bend sensors always oper- ate a 0–127 range, but this can be scaled to 0–60 as in message box six. This does not mean that the top end of the bend sensor becomes obsolete, but that a ‘virtual’ scaling of 0–60 is calculated across the whole 0–127 range of the sensor. In terms of the audio being manipulated by the performer, this corresponds to a change in physicality; bigger movements with, say the arm, are required to manipulate a smaller range of audio. Where the ‘scal’ function is 127, the full 0–127 range of the sensor is utilised. This means that small movements of the arm produce large audio effects. From the performer’s perspective this feels like a sensitisation in the area of the sensor/body. Roughly speaking, the greater the scale the more sensitive the physical control and range and the more profound the affect and control quality of the audio sample. However, in Spiral Fiction this is complicated by ‘rand’, an element of randomisation built into some of the message boxes that is linked to ‘loop’, the loop position or starting point of each live sample acquired. This means that if the ‘scal’ function is 127, meaning
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