As I have mentioned it in brief on here and through social media, I am currently working on a novel. When asked to describe the story’s premise, I explained it as a dystopian science fiction story set in the not-too-distant future where humanity is paying the price for its long-term complacency and self-indulgence without consequence. Below the science fiction elements, the story serves as an underlying social commentary, warning humanity about the future if we fail to learn from the ills of our past. It echoes strongly of a Utopian society that, from all appearances, looks ideal in the aftermath of a series of catastrophes. Nevertheless, there is one fatal flaw that is bound to doom humanity all together should history repeat itself.
The dystopian genre is up there with novels and series like The Hunger Games trilogy (2008 – 2010) by Suzanne Collins, Minority Report (1956) by Philip K. Dick, Brave New World (1932) by Aldous Huxley, Fahrenheit 451 (1953) by Ray Bradbury, The Running Man (1982) by Richard Bachman (aka Stephen King), and Ender’s Game (1985) by Orson Scott Card… just to name a few. Dystopian novels are ominous in nature and don’t always result in happy endings. The gritty realism of each story often gives us an insight into the future of humanity in a worse-case scenario without getting our hands dirty, and at times, leads us to root for the underdog after they’ve been left with a bitter inheritance. We like having hope, even when the characters being portrayed in the story line have none.
In addition, dystopian stories are an honest social commentary about the consequences of the human collective and the price we pay for our actions when the lessons of the past go unheeded. They often expose the many ills of current society that we often politely shove under the growing pile of dirty laundry in the corner until we — with sudden shock and dismay — discover it later. While they have always been a favorite staple among readers over the years, with the release of books like those in The Hunger Games trilogy, there has been a resurgence of interest in the genre.
Given the commentary on what the genre has to offer, where does that put my story in the vast scope of things? I certainly don’t want it to get lost in a sea of other books that are all vying for attention to be published. So, bearing that in mind, I’ve started writing a story with a sense of realism in a science fiction setting that has a series of twists and turns along the way. The science fiction element comes into play early on from the first chapter. As a result of technology, humans have begun to evolve and have adapted in unique ways. Unfortunately, while the change appears to be a blessing and justified as the positive next step in the course of man, we find that it — among other things — aren’t as Utopian as they might seem. The main protagonist has been affected by these evolutionary changes and starts out as the anti-hero of the story. He is very disillusioned with his former life and with those he put his trust in before the calamity.
Without going into too much detail and giving away critical elements of a developing story, I’ll leave it there for now. Just know that for those of you who have been reading some of my other fiction online, there will be a well-woven plot and twists and turns to keep you reading. As one of my faithful readers wrote once, “You have a way with words and your depth of plot is amazing.” I’ve also been known to write well developed characters with clear motivations and desires that are easy to relate to. I find the human condition fascinating and have always been a study of people and how they interact with one another. Boiled down to their essence — what they are thinking and the motivators involved — you will find how they behave in the end is common to all of us in one way or another to varying degrees. I hope this perspective and approach to the characters and plot is reflected in the finished product.