Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Dead Dystopia

While looking through my blog roll, I read a post that said dystopian, as a genre, is dead. There was some other stuff, too, but that’s obviously the part that concerns me as a writer of post-apocalyptic with shades of dystopian.

I have to admit, there has been an overabundance of works taking place in bright and shining worlds that achieve piece by exerting total control over the people. And of course there’s a rebellion, and an evil president, and a girl who accepts everything until she meets a certain boy (or sometimes vice versa).

These are just generalities. The actual books are varied and layered. And truly, you can’t go to a bookstore without tripping over a stack of dystopians. I just never thought this was a bad thing : P. But it does mean it’s a lot harder to stand out these days.

Is it the end? Far from it. A few years ago, it was contemporary YA I head that was dead, and only the freshest, best written were published. Then before that, it was Urban Fantasy that was gone, saturated with TWILIGHT knockoffs and girls with magic powers (or dating boys with magic powers). Both of these genres are still alive and kicking, so I’m thinking dystopian isn’t so much dead as it is in a recession. It’s still going to be hard to get noticed, but if you work hard, edit hard, and never give up, you still have as much a chance of getting published as anyone.

I think. And desperately hope.



  1. I hope it's not dead. My next WIP that's sitting at the plot notes and 1500 words written stage is a dystopian.

  2. I don't think it's dead. Yes there are a lot right now, but that's because it's popular not dead.

  3. I believe it's still gaining steam.

  4. My niece loves dystopian novels. Seems that's all she's reading. She's 12. So, unless her tastes change radically in the next five years, I think dystopian will still have an audience.

  5. I still see many dystopian books around. Also, new twists can be added when writing that genre.

  6. Right now because of The Hunger Games and other titles, it's popular, so there's a lot of it around. I do think that new twists on the genre can help a book stand out though.

  7. Medicine will tell you: too much of a good thing is usually poison. It is easier to stand out from the crowd when the crowd is a small one. In a large one -- not so much. But I say that as I am writing urban fantasy and historical fantasy (which is a genre that no one is asking for!) Go with your heart in your writing, and your prose will be alive. Trust your instincts: they will seldom lead you wrong. :-)


Please validate me.