1. Most dystopias don’t depict how it happened. At least not ones I’ve read.
    1984 opens with Winston Smith struggling to get to work on time. Just another day at the office. Beneath the ostensibly benevolent eyes of Big Brother.

    • Travis Perry says:

      Good point, though some dystopias do provide a backstory. Though 1984, like most dystopias, features an all-controlling government. Part of what I wanted to point out is you can have a dystopia without an all-controlling government. E.g. Blade Runner…

  2. Elizabeth says:

    Watching the events, and changes/restrictions, over the past several months, I think of a frog in boiling water. You don’t just toss him in hot water. You place him in cool water and gradually turn up the heat. It’s been feeling like that to some extend. And just when we thought we were heading back to normal (sort of), the lockdown was put back in place. That’s when I noticed a spark of rebellion. Turning up the heat slowing, adding minor restrictions one on top of the other, and the public doesn’t fuss so much. But putting those in place, taking them down (slightly) and then within a week putting them all back up? People are less likely to comply as before.
    Lots are treating this as the next new “normal”, but some are expecting this to be all temporary. A cashier at the grocery store is expecting the Plexiglass, floor stickers, masks and social distancing to go away.
    It is an interesting thought. It does make sense for it to be a more gradual, step by step change. I’ve seen discussions where writers want to avoid writing about this virus. But some have suggested that, if their story is contemporary, perhaps an acknowledgement of it might be warranted. I’ve seen similar discussions regarding future movies set in present time. Should they be wearing masks? Or make mention of the virus, or otherwise note how the character(s) was affected by it?

  3. Autumn Grayson says:

    So you basically had your time wasted for a while? Sounds like that could be frustrating. Or a time to relax, one or the other.

    I’ve been thinking about some of the social distancing procedures lately and have been sure that at least a few things will stay, at least in some places. Mainly in the form of the glass separating cashiers from customers and such.

    The potential slow creep into dystopia is concerning. One thing to point out is that dystopia can occur from the result of someone’s ideal world. Either because that ideal world actually had horrific side effects, that ideal world was only good for select groups, or because forcing that ideal world to exist means being extremely restrictive and having to punish anyone that steps out of line, even if those people are relatively good.

    Dystopia is somewhat relative to who is asked. With the Hunger Games, it was mainly a dystopia for those living in the Districts, and a lot of the city dwellers were doing relatively ok, though even then they were living in a tyranny and would have a horrible life if they stepped out of line, too.

    In Death Note, Light seemed well on his way to turning the world into a dystopia. In a way it was a slow creep because technically the Kira investigation lasted for several years before he finally maneuvered himself into a position where he could take over. Though maybe his takeover would have seemed very sudden to those that weren’t involved. The world would have just been whispering about Kira, and then suddenly Kira took over and started mandating what could be taught in schools, and saying that anyone that commits a crime will get killed, etc. Light was defeated before he could fully cement his power, but his dystopia would have been gradual in the sense that he wouldn’t have just taken over in one day. But it would have been sudden in the sense that some people wouldn’t have expected it and the changes to people’s lives might have taken place in a matter of weeks and some would have viewed them as harsh.

    A lot of the issues surrounding masks and quarantines have been annoying, with some people taking it waaaaay too seriously, and some people not taking it seriously enough, but having that interplay between mindsets is important. If everyone just agreed to the idea of quarantines without question, then everyone would just go around agreeing to circumstances that limit their rights or cause unnecessary damage to the economy. But if we all flagrantly refused quarantines and masks, then there would be a lot of unnecessary sickness. The presence of both sides is important because they can question each other, hold each other accountable, and bring crucial points into a discussion that otherwise would not have had them.

  4. Autumn Grayson says:

    And my two favorite quarantine humor vids:


What do you think?