Welcome to Writer Wednesdays. Today I’d like to highlight a book hot off the presses (well, the electronic presses, for now. The paperback is on its way!). It’s called Dystopian Express, and I’m especially excited because dystopian writing is probably my favorite genre.
When someone asks me what my favorite book is, I always feel guilty–the way I imagine parents of multiple children would feel when asked which child is his or her “favorite.” As a writer and English teacher, I feel like if I name one book as my favorite, I am betraying so many other amazing works. And, sort of like having multiple children, each one brings something unique to the table. They’re not “better” or “worse”; they’re just “different.” But when pressed long enough, I cave in and name 1984 as my favorite book.
What I love about the work is how paranoid it is. The perspective, through Winston’s eyes, is limited so that we know only what Winston knows–and he knows that he can never know everything. We never are told with 100% certainty exactly what is real and what is made up. It’s, sadly, the way a story might be told by someone living reluctantly in North Korea. How could they ever be sure about anything they were told?
Following the dystopian vein, I wrote a short story called “Cohort 17” about a society in which Preceptors are created with a mutated form of cancer, allowing ordinary humans to have superhuman abilities–which are used “for the greater good,” of course, to keep everyone else in line. I just learned that the book has been released, so I haven’t gotten a chance to read the other stories yet, but I can’t wait!
From the publisher:
It wasn’t supposed to be this way.
You are followed.
You are watched.
Suppress your thoughts.
Do as they say.
You stand as one against them all.
What happens when every aspect of your life is managed, manipulated, and controlled by someone else? Everyone is guaranteed the opportunity to suffer equally for the greater good in this dystopian society. You become weary in your helplessness and have no voice in what happens to you, your family, friends and neighbors. Your possessions, your body, and even your thoughts, belong to them and not yourself.
What will you do? Jump on board and witness how the landscape has changed as we ride the rails of the Dystopian Express.