Sunday, May 5, 2013

Dystopian Fiction

Hey All!

I wanted to do a little informal poll - not the blogger-type polls because they're too constrictive, but a little question and answer thingie-ma-bob.

So, in the comments, if you would be so kind, tell me:

Do you read dystopian fiction?  And by that I mean, anything futuristic (but not hard science SF) that shows the world's culture in some negative light.  Classic examples would be - Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, Anthem by Ayn Rand, Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, 1984 by George Orwell.

Which leads me to another part of the question - since the majority of the most recently published and popular dystopian fiction is for the Young Adult market, how would you feel about seeing adult dystopian start hitting the shelves? 

I know the great majority of my followers here are over 18 - in fact, I'd venture a guess that most of you are over 30.  So, I'll put a little poll over there in the sidebar - totally anonymous - where you could tell me what age range you fall into, so I get a better idea of who's visiting. I had to take the poll down, since it wasn't working.

The reason I'm asking this is that I have several manuscripts that are adult dystopian.  I'd really like to see them sell, but I think the industry is under the assumption that adult dystopian won't sell - and YA dystopian is on the decline.  Not that the information here will stop me from trying to sell my work one way or the other, but I'd like to know (if only in this totally non-scientific way), if they're right.

So, chime in.  I'd sure appreciate it.

Oh, and if you're in the neighborhood tomorrow, stop by The Unpublished Writers' Guide to Survival.  Debra Webb is guest posting.  SQUEE!


  1. I've read some dystopian fiction before, both adult and YA an I liked the adult ones much better than the YA, to be honest. I also love dystopian movies (Equilibrium, FTW). So I'd be ecstatic to see some new adult dystopian.

  2. Not sure if it took my vote, since my age didn't reflect a vote after I voted. Oh well...

    As for dystopian fiction, I've read the Hunger Games trilogy and "Shattered" (by Taherea? Mafi), which are all YA (I'm not a huge fan of YA, by the way). Don't know if I would read adult dystopian. It's not like I went out of my way to find those - they just sounded like good stories. So I guess it doesn't matter too much.

    Is that vague enough for you? Ha ha!!

  3. Thanks, KD. And I'd be ecstatic to provide it for you. Whenever you're not doing other things, and want to read, let me know. (KD is my daughter - just so you don't think I make that offer to just anyone.)

    I think something's up with the poll, Stacy. It had at least two other votes before now. :shrug: Thanks for voting and for your answer - even if it was vague. ;o)

  4. I've read dystopian adult before and probably will again. It has much more to do with the story and the author than it does the genre. I don't read much YA at all so I'm not a good judge there.

    Publishing runs in cycles and sometimes, those cycles aren't driven by readers, but by industry "insiders." Just my opinion. I believe that is the story and writing are strong, the work will find an audience somewhere.

  5. I hope so, Silver. And I'm in agreement with you on the 'insiders' thing.

  6. I like post-apocalyptic fiction which isn't necessarily dystopian. I've never been fond of doom and gloom.

    For what it's worth, my post-apocalyptic novel, Touch of Fire (Samhain) is still selling even after five years.

  7. Hello! I'm taking a blog break but I thought I'd stop in and say hello. Hello :)

    Yes, I'd be all about some adult dystopian. I have a sociology degree, so I love to think about the "what ifs" of people and society. And I'm 30... no secret there :)

    I read a few of your other posts - yay on the big push to dust off some of your old books and send them out! Go girl! I'm trying to decide what my next step is as well.

  8. I don't do the gloom and doom well either, Maria. Sure, the world's gone to hell in a handbasket for some reason, but my characters win in the end. Congratulations on your continuing sales, too. It gives me hope. =o)

    Hi Alexia! Thanks for taking a break from your break to stop by. I love thinking about the 'what ifs', too. Good luck with your decision. We both need to figure out something and get ourselves published. =o)

  9. I'm not huge on the dystopian genre. I've read some in the Young Adult category, and I've read the classics like 1984. I do think the genre lends itself better to adults, though. It seems darker and more dangerous *shrugs*

    And I'm 23. ;)

  10. I have read dystopian but it's not one of my favorite genres and all of them were YA dystopian. BUT- I know Susan Kaye Quinn has come out with an episode-type series that has a dystopian-like setting and it's catching like wildfire so i say go for it!

  11. I've only read dystopian fiction written by a really good friend - it's not something I gravitate to (nor do I enjoy SF, Vampires, etc). But I agree with Silver - if it's a good story with strong writing, it will sell (I believe my friend's falls into that catagory :)

    Oh, I'm way over 30!!

  12. Thanks for the input, Nat. I know this isn't your genre of choice. And I can't believe you're 23. That means we've been talking over the net for like 4 years. How cool is that? =o)

    I'll have to look her up, Katie. And thanks for the encouragement!

    I wouldn't say 'way over', Janet. Besides, in our heads, we're still thirty-something. Thanks for the input and I'm sure your friend thanks you for saying her writing is strong. =o)

  13. I loved the Hunger Games. And I loved Divergent. Oh yeah, and I loved Cinder (but I think it's science fiction?) So I've read more dystopian fiction than I thought! I'd read more, too. Because I'm fascinated by the idea of utopia for the few meaning a dystopian reality for the many. And I was going to say my new favorite show is Defiance! But having read Maria's comment I'm thinking it's probably more post-apocalyptic with dystopian elements? So for me? I am going to check out more dystopian romance! Which probably in no way answers your actual question...

  14. See? You bring me around to the point, Karyn, that no one really has a clear view of what dystopian is - and why I say 'speculative fiction' in my profile and then try to explain it. And your thoughts are helpful, too. I'm just trying to understand the market - and from the sounds of it, you're probably one of my target readers.