Saturday, May 23, 2015

Another Dystopian Trilogy, part 1
In Oryx and Crake, Margaret Atwood writes a stark future. She herself refers to the genre as "speculative fiction" ~ meaning, in her definition, that it could happen. Not that it will. Some have referred to Oryx and Crake as science fiction; others as horror. My personal preference? Dystopian. One view of what the world may look like if we continue our self-destructive, and/or earth-destructive, path.

One element of the novel that fascinates me the most is that it takes place entirely in the life and mind of the main character and narrator, Snowman. Oryx and Crake are both figments of his memory and imagination. As his memories tumble forth, so do the characters develop. Atwood's clarity of style makes this work.

There remains a frightening element to this book even though it was published over a decade ago, in 2003. Much of what is intimated as causing the global devastation (overpopulation, destruction of species, blithe separation of the wealthy and those without less or no access to wealth, lack of a true moral compass, etc.), continues to bounce us forward to this day. Other causes (genetic and bio-engineering of new species of everything from animals to plants to viruses and cures, etc.) remain firmly in the speculative arena, yet tug the reader toward the sense that they are possibly happening.

I'm currently in the midst of the second in the series, The Year of the Flood. The title flood is a waterless flood, more of a vast barren wasteland. I'll continue the tale when I finish the story.

What do you speculate will the future look like? What do you see happening now that causes you to fear? What causes you to hope? How can you affect change in one direction or the other?

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